It was only in April that top Chinese KOL Gogoboi launched his own WeChat boutique “Bu Da Jing Xuan,” a platform on which he curates selections of goods from luxury e-commerce retailers like Yoox, Net-A-Porter and Farfetch to sell to his fans (he's got over 7 million followers on Weibo). But Gogoboi has already gotten his first luxury brand on his platform, Givenchy.
On July 14, Givenchy launched its new Duetto handbag collection on this platform and became the first luxury brand to test out this influencer’s own e-commerce channel.
The official price of the new collection is 7490 yuan, which is consistent with the offline price. This exclusive online sale includes seven styles (in addition to black and white, the bag also came in a variety of colors), and for each style, there were six bags available for purchase.
The result was a success. The featured black-and-white style was sold out after half an hour after the campaign went live, and within 72 hours, all of the available styles were sold out.
Gogoboi’s first e-commerce test with a luxury brand achieved remarkable results. The blogger attributes the success of the campaign to his new business model, which he dubs “content e-commerce” — applying interesting story-telling to accentuate the products for sale to give consumers a richer environment, beyond one that is merely about buying and selling.
With a background in fashion editorial, Gogoboi’s distinct writing style is what first garnered him a loyal fan base. His witty humor and harsh comments on celebrity styles make his blog stand out in the competitive KOL landscape.
For the Givenchy campaign, he gathered 10 co-workers wearing the featured black-and-white bag. After each style, he added his signature humorous comments and asked fans to vote for their favorite. The post itself didn’t include any information about availability of the handbags, which was available at the very end of the article. This move accentuated the posts' styling tips to readers and de-emphasized its feel as just a shop.
Bloggers and KOLs are now looking for alternative ways to cash in on their influence and gain more power over their personal imagery, and Gogoboi's “content e-commerce” strategy paves the way for a more sustainable business model.
Mr. Bags recently wore the designer hat in a handbag collaboration with Tod's and "Miss Shopping Li" stepped out of fashion to embark on her first collaboration with the car brand MINI and is in the midst of launching her own brand.
It’s never a one-way street, while bloggers are busy broadening their horizons, brands are also looking for better ways to take advantage of their massive fan economy. But they also need to be careful.
“With more and more brands starting to establish a partnership, it gets sort of repetitive and could have diminishing returns and less impact," said Danielle Bailey, head of Asia Pacific Research at digital intelligence firm L2, commenting on the pratfalls of working with KOLs who work with multiple brands.
In order to avoid oversaturating their value, each campaign requires more creativity from brands and KOLs to cater to each other’s audiences.