Luxury brands can no longer map their future without partnerships with e-commerce giants.
The model designed by JD for Louis Vuitton redirects users from the JD app directly to Louis Vuitton’s official Mini Program.
E-commerce giants who play for global domination understand that they need the support of the luxury industry.
At first glance, Louis Vuitton and JD.com make an unlikely pair. Louis Vuitton is the epitome of glamour, French mystique, and elegance. And as a luxury leader, it represents an elitist and very exclusive worldview. By contrast, JD is an equalizer and the embodiment of mass culture. Yet, these strange bedfellows are redefining the meaning of luxury in China, and their latest partnership proves that the industry is ready for a major overhaul.
JD.com and Louis Vuitton have introduced a singular model to their Chinese fans. Designed by JD.com for Louis Vuitton, it redirects users from the JD app directly to Louis Vuitton’s official Mini Program. The process is straightforward: Visitors only need to type “LV” into their search bar on the JD app, and they get automatically redirected. “The unique model connects Louis Vuitton directly with JD’s high-quality active customers while providing immediate access to all Louis Vuitton products, further enhancing the luxury experience for JD consumers,” said a JD press release.
“We are thrilled to partner with Louis Vuitton to further enhance the Chinese e-commerce luxury experience,” said Kevin Jiang, president of international business, JD Fashion & Lifestyle. “This is an unprecedented model which provides a seamless shopping experience, enabling more high-quality consumers to enjoy all that Louis Vuitton has to offer. JD will continue to innovate in China’s luxury market to provide an unmatched experience.”
In the past, this move would have seemed like a strategic threat given the reputation of Chinese e-commerce sites as havens for counterfeit products, but that is no longer the case. Both Alibaba and JD have taken serious steps to curtail the sale of fakes. Moreover, in 2019, Beijing introduced a strict, new e-commerce law that makes e-commerce platforms, social media channels, and merchant sellers liable for selling counterfeit goods.
Today, luxury brands can no longer map their future without partnering with e-commerce giants. In our highly digitalized society, when access is the ultimate luxury, global brands understand these partnerships offer data-driven content marketing solutions, insight into conversion rate benchmarks, and enhanced access to an audience of hundreds of millions of consumers.
On the flip side, e-commerce giants who play for global domination know they need the support of the luxury industry. JD handed Louis Vuitton 471.9 million annual active customer accounts on a silver platter, but, in return, the Chinese e-commerce won prestige and status. This move has positioned JD as the supreme ruler of a competitive market where new players like Pinduoduo emerge overnight, and behemoths like Alibaba constantly rewrite the rules of engagement.
First and foremost, the partnership declared JD as the winner of the latest luxury battle with Alibaba. As scandals tarnish Ma’s empire and hesitations paralyze brands, Louis Vuitton is sending a clear message out, announcing its allegiance to Alibaba’s main rival. Aside from Louis Vuitton, the star brand of LVMH, we expect other brands like Dior and Tiffany & Co. to follow suit.
This alliance with JD.com also communicates that Louis Vuitton has officially entered a new era of becoming truly inclusive. For a brand that’s famously obsessed with preserving total control over its design, manufacturing, and distribution network, this development signals a more accessible and balanced attitude that is in line with the needs of young, hyperconnected Chinese consumers.