Bally's new online store
Two companies that are looking to expand in the China luxury market, the Swiss luxury footwear and accessories brand Bally and Italy's e-commerce powerhouse Yoox, have teamed up for Bally's first official Chinese-language "Online Flagship," which launched this week. The new online platform, www.bally.cn, offers the entire line of men's and women's Bally products, along with several features that are likely to catch on among China's notoriously fickle high-end consumers.
Over the past several months, Bally has made a more concerted effort to reach out to Chinese consumers, following the lead of competitors like Armani and adding not only a Chinese-language option to their official website but now working together with Yoox to offer full online shopping functionality to the site. This move comes around six months after Jing Daily pointed out, in our coverage of Bally's expansion in smaller second- and third-tier Chinese cities, that the brand lacked a Chinese-language version of its website, which threatened to hinder brand awareness.
Although it's fresh out of the box, Bally's new online store is very slick indeed, to which credit is owed to Yoox. Coming to China two long years after launching in Europe and the US in 2009, Bally's e-commerce functionality in China is optimized for another must-have among China's middle- and upper-middle class: the iPad, and offers what the company is calling a "one of a kind" shopping experience for Chinese customers. (Which, seemingly, is code for "we've done our homework.") This translates to fast shipping to 400 cities throughout China, local size conversion, free returns, full Chinese-language customer service, and transactions in Chinese yuan -- features that Chinese consumers don't only enjoy, they now expect. Bally is also throwing in a free gift for new customers of Bally's online shop, a move that always works well in China.
Considering Bally's online footprint in China was virtually nonexistent only six months ago, this online store is a big step forward. Watch for more companies to follow the lead of Bally and Armani in the coming months, particularly as more media focus turns to China's burgeoning e-commerce market.