DSQUARED2 Launches Chinese E-Commerce “Flagship”

Canadian Brand Working With Yoox

The new DSQUARED2 Chinese online store

The new DSQUARED2 Chinese online store

Coming off a year in which major luxury and fashion brands continued to build new and increasingly lavish brick-and-mortar stores throughout China, it appears that 2012 could be the year of the online flagship in China. Looking to take advantage of China’s booming (but crowded) e-commerce market, which is expected to surpass the US by 2015 to become the world’s largest, brands like Armani and Coach have launched their own official e-commerce initiatives, while multi-brand online retailer Net-A-Porter recently announced plans to launch Outnet.cn for the China market. Meanwhile, the number of domestic Chinese e-commerce platforms duking it out at the higher end of the market continues to grow, led by the likes of Taobao’s T-Mall, VIPStore, and Xiu.com.

Though the luxury e-commerce market in China still lacks a clear leader, the Italian global player Yoox has — since its China debut in the fall of 2010 — been among the most successful in launching individual stores for brands operating in (or eyeing) China, as well as adding local features for the market via thecorner.com.cn (previously on Jing Daily). This week, the Canadian brand Dsquared² (DSQUARED2) followed in the footsteps of Emporio Armani and Marni in launching an official online “flagship” for China, dsquared2.cn, hosted by Yoox. According to Hexun (Chinese), Yoox will handle all website maintenance, logistics, online marketing and customer service from its office in China in order to prevent kinks and offer a consistent online shopping experience.

Currently, Chinese shoppers can purchase garments and accessories from the Dsquared² spring and summer 2012 collection, including footwear and bags. At the moment, items like sunglasses and fragrances are not available on the online store.

Following the trend of offering broader thematic editorial content on the Chinese e-commerce site, rather than simply using it as an extension of physical stores, visitors to Dsquared²’s Chinese online store can watch videos of fashion shows and learn about the brand via a short film series, “Dean and Dan Go to China,” featuring founders Dean and Dan Caten.

Luckily for Chinese consumers, and likely due to the experience of Yoox, the new Dsquared² online store includes features that are somewhat obvious, yet now critical for success in the China e-commerce market, including simplified Chinese characters, live customer service, size conversion, local payment systems and currency conversion, as well as a guaranteed nationwide delivery service.

To introduce the new online store, Dsquared² posted the aforementioned video “Dan and Dean Go to China” on the brand’s global site as well as its China version. In the animated video, the Caten brothers traverse Shanghai and explain the e-commerce site to local media. Though far more lighthearted than rollout digital campaigns by brands like Burberry, and likely to make jaded viewers cringe, the video series will likely play well in the China market, and could accomplish a fair proportion brand education work.

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