BIO’s CEO Peter Veash has been writing about digital trends and possibilities in the Chinese market for Luxury Briefing, a magazine examining the latest industry news from established players, start-ups and cool hunters in the luxury sector.
In Luxury Ambitions with WeChat, reposted here on LinkedIn, he looks at how luxury brands are embracing China’s most popular messaging application.
China itself is experiencing a slowdown in its home-grown luxury market, as consumers there prefer buying luxury goods abroad. They’re shopping for big-ticket items in Japan, South Korea, Europe and Australia according to research by US management consultant Bain & Company.
Luxury brands worldwide are now spending 35% of their marketing budget on digital, while 92% of global luxury brands now have a WeChat account. However Peter comments "While the number of luxury brands engaging Chinese audiences via instant messenger apps has grown by 87% over the past two years, there is still much they could be doing in order to get the best out of this digital strategy… few brands are taking full advantage of all the features that can be added to an official WeChat account including push notifications, geolocation tracking, e-commerce and more sophisticated customer service capabilities like multiple agents and auto-reply functionality."
Peter also mentions that direct e-commerce links and customised, manual replies (rather than automated ones) are thin on the ground, before asking the question of how luxury brands should be using WeChat. He suggests looking at the example of Burberry: "Burberry uses WeChat to keep consumers informed about new arrivals, trending products, and further link them back to the brand’s official website… followers can read about the Burberry Heritage Trench Coat and explore a 360-degree view of the Burberry catwalk show, which in 2014 marked the opening of the brand’s fourth flagship store in Shanghai and its largest in Asia."
of global luxury brands now have a WeChat account.
With a growing trend for Chinese consumers to seek out niche brands and products in order to stand out from their peers there’s clearly an opportunity to supply equally niche digital experiences. Traditional brands may find younger designers disrupting their space in the months to come. Watch this space…
See more on the importance of social media in Daxue Consulting’s article 6 tips for a successful digital marketing strategy for the luxury industry in China.
The BIO Agency has worked with luxury brands including Hotel Chocolat, Bobbi Brown and Battersea Power Station.
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