Create a brand experience that matches the
Brand owners have struggled to develop digital platforms
offering luxury customers an experience on par with retail
channels. Technology advances like html5 help brands create
user-friendly sites that offer a visually and "sensorially-rich
experience" relevant to the brand DNA that works online and on
mobile devices, she said.
Your strategy is digital
"Many [brands] still think e-commerce equates opening a Tmall
store on Alibaba, while social media equates hiring a digital
person to tweet a few times a day on Sina weibo and now on
WeChat," she said.
Think at least mid-term, she advised. "Where do you see this
going in three to five years? [Don't] just work out a three-year
P&L projecting x% of growth each year. How about your plan for
people and training, organizational structure and operations
readiness to really cope with this growth?"
China is different; deal with it
Take payment and delivery. Many Chinese still pay cash on
delivery--easy for groceries, but a security risk for both buyer
and seller for ultra-expensive products. That's why in China
"brands need to have a real open mind," she said. "Global best
practices do not always apply in this market."
But don't panic
Learn to operate under pressure. "Many brands offer deep
discounts when they really shouldn't, or they strategized online
sales as a dumpster for overflowing inventory. Then how much
marketing effort is needed to remedy the harm done to the
Her final tip for luxury e-commerce brands in China? "China is a
picture yet to be painted. Be a little patient for your customers
to mature, which will not take long."
The Ad Age Questionnaire
Home city: I was born in HK but I haven't
figured out where home is yet.
Hobbies: Many. From museum musing to rock
climbing – my latest venture.
First job: A 24/7 account executive in a PR
agency. It was the perfect training, and I'm grateful for being
able to have it from my first job.
Lived abroad: Europe, USA, Asia.
Best advice you've ever gotten: Love life and
do what you think is right. And if you can't convince them, confuse
Biggest change you've seen in the industry: The
change I'm experiencing now is luxury going digital, be it
marketing or e-commerce, which brings another whole layer of
ininteresting happenings into the market.