5 Essential Tips For Digital Fashion Marketing In China

Experts Spell Out Winning Strategies At Fashion’s Collective Event

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Last Thursday, digital fashion marketing resource Fashion’s Collective aimed its spotlight on digital strategy in China when it focused its monthly “Cocktails & Conversations” series on the topic of adapting a global strategy for the Chinese consumer. The event featured presentations by Fashion’s Collective Founder Elizabeth Canon and Shanghai-based Asia Partner and General Manager Cece Liu, as well as a discussion with Bomoda.com CEO Brian Buchwald and Vice President of Marketing and former Jing Daily Editor-in-Chief Avery Booker.

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Attendees at Thursday’s “Cocktails and Conversations” event hosted by Fashion’s Collective. (Jing Daily)

Fashion’s Collective, a New York-based company focused on educating fashion and luxury brands on digital marketing, recently opened its Shanghai center in order to cater to brands’ growing demand for deeper China marketing knowledge. Shanghai is now “the hub of a lot of activity of what’s currently happening,” said Canon during the presentation.

The discussion featured a wide range of topics related to digital fashion strategies in China and plenty of valuable advice on how to optimize social media and e-commerce strategies. Below is a summary of five digital strategy suggestions for fashion and luxury brands that were offered by Booker and Buchwald during their discussion.

1. If you’re not already on WeChat, get it now. Booker emphasized the importance of mobile app WeChat, a “very effective tool” for digital marketing in China that can pay dividends for brands when utilized well. According to him, WeChat is shaping up to be more effective than Weibo for marketing purposes. First of all, “it’s not a newsfeed; it’s just sitting there waiting for you, so if you go on vacation and come home and open it up, the message is waiting there for you to read.” In addition, WeChat users are much more responsive than those on other social networks. “They’re engaged because they’ve already signed up to get your updates, so you know that they want it. You’re not spamming them.”

2. Luxury e-commerce is still young and growing. E-commerce is booming in China, but according to Buchwald, many customers still prefer to buy luxury goods in-store or through a third party on Taobao. “The Chinese consumer will research online voraciously, but they’re not buying luxury goods online, ” he said. He recommended that brands mitigate this by focusing on important details that will make buying online more convenient for Chinese customers, including quick and convenient delivery, accurate fitting details, website speed, and accommodation for Chinese payment methods.

3. “Mix-and-match” is a popular editorial topic for Chinese customers. Buchwald noted that on Bomoda, readers respond well to features on how to mix high-end, designer items with less expensive pieces. He notes that this is because many Chinese consumers are more likely to save up for one or two key investment pieces, and want to know the best way to leverage these items with the rest of their wardrobe.

4. Key opinion leaders are hard to come by, but hold great promotional value. Booker highlighted the value of gaining the support of “key opinion leaders” (KOLs) on Chinese social media, referring not just to major celebrities, but also to figures such as prominent fashion bloggers. He noted that many KOLs take a “pay-to-play” approach with promotions, expecting set endorsement deals, so brands hoping for a mention need to think strategically if KOL payments aren’t a part of their budget.

5. Stay with the vanguard. Even with the present value of all the aforementioned advice, the speakers emphasized that brands need to constantly keep up with rapid changes in technology. “It’s entirely possible that a year from now, the dominant social platform or rising social platform will be something that we’re not even talking about,” said Buchwald. 

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Marketing & Branding

  • sammi

    Great tips for the western fashion brands looking at China! Thank you for sharing!

  • Ria Fernandez

    These are really great tips for penetrating the Chinese market! Its great about the luxury e-commerce market, and I think that companies should start tapping into this before the market reaches its peak. Thank you so much for writing it, we will definitely take note of these over at Fashionbi! 🙂

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