A Brief History of Luxury Brands Digitalisation in China

A Brief History of Luxury Brands Digitalisation in China

Marketing Digitalisation for Top Luxury Brands in China

We can break down 13 years of history of luxury brands’ digitalisation in China into these stages:


1. 2009-2011: Born of A Starlight

Burberry was one of the first luxury brands to embrace digitalisation. It was a global sensation but more like a fearless revolution: Burberry opened its social website, the Art of Trench, to allow consumers around the globe to share pictures and stories associated with their lovely and always trustworthy Burberry trench coats. Meanwhile, they opened their official account under the same name on Facebook.


2. 2012-2013: Rise of Weibo

This year, we saw luxury brands opening their official accounts on Weibo. This is the beginning of luxury brands interacting with Chinese consumers on their often-used local social apps.


3. 2013-2014: The Year of Discovery

Following the rise of Weibo, the H5 campaign, and all kinds of social websites, luxury brands attempted to create more ways of interaction and even shopping experiences online. The punchline behind this move was that we saw luxury brands come to awaken and realise digitalisation can print money.


4. 2014-2016: Sad, Beautiful, Tragic with the E-commerce

To beat the dropping curve on their sales performance charts, luxury brands were tip-toe on opening their boutiques on Tmall or other third-party E-commerce platforms. Burberry, again, became the first to open its online stores on Tmall in April of 2014.

However, after all, it was an unhappy marriage between a luxury brand and an infamous e-commerce platform, with Burberry dropping out due to the under-expected performance. But it was a beautiful story that moved many luxury brands to develop better operation plans and returned to e-commerce platforms again in 2016.


5. 2017-2018: Madness of E-commerce

In this year, over 50 luxury brands opened their e-boutiques across social and e-commerce platforms. Luxury brands use their e-boutique to interact with young consumers and increase traffic to their offline boutiques.


6. 2018-today: Wildest Dreams Came True

After short video platforms like TikTok, Kwai, and Bilibili were built into people’s lives, consumers nowadays are more open to different forms of online shopping experiences. This pushes luxury brands to accelerate their speed on digitalisation.


Trends in the Luxury Industry

The luxury industry was very cautious and late to embrace digitalisation. However, as the undeniable fact of solid momentum in the Chinese luxury market is laid on the table, luxury brands will have more resources and budgets for digitalisation to keep digging into the potential of the Chinese market.

Looking to elevate your brand’s journey in digital transformation in the dynamic landscape of luxury? JC Consulting offers comprehensive HR recruitment and executive search solutions to build a talent pipeline supporting your business goals.

Reach out to us today for strategic consultation and luxury retail recruitment insights.

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