Following the digital footprint of rivals Christian Dior, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton, the French luxury powerhouse Givenchy has officially joined the list of luxury brands selling on WeChat. The label launched its online boutique today, May 15.
According to a public statement by the brand, the new WeChat boutique store was created as an extension of Givenchy's premium offline service, aiming to offer a convenient yet immersive shopping experience for wealthy Chinese consumers. WeChat followers can now browse through an exclusive, limited-edition collection, with pieces from ready-to-wear apparel and leather goods to accessories. Designed by Creative Director Clare Waight Keller, the WeChat store collection allows Chinese shoppers to place orders directly on the app.
To provide a digital luxury shopping experience in line with premium offline customer treatment, Givenchy's new WeChat store has paid special attention to details including web design, photo selections, and the presentation of product information and brand history. As a way to form a seamless online-to-offline connection, Givenchy's WeChat boutique also has a page that lets consumers search for offline stores.
With WeChat's monthly active users reaching one billion in March this year, the app has become a marketing necessity for luxury brands looking to build a connection with Chinese consumers. A new report issued by digital marketing agency WalktheChat reveals the power of WeChat in driving online consumption in traditional sectors. Shopping, food, and travel increased exponentially in 2017, up 22.2 percent to 333.9 billion RMB (approximately 52.22 billion).
"Luxury goods mega-brands have been adopting WeChat as an e-commerce platform," wrote Luca Solca, luxury goods analyst of Exane BNP Paribas, in an investor's note on May 15. The note remarked on the information that almost all leather goods mega-brands - including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, and Burberry - have launched an official e-commerce store in the past year.
Before opening its WeChat store, Givenchy tested out consumer sentiment through collaborations with the country's top-tier fashion KOLs - gogoboi and Mr.Bags. Both collaborations proved the brand's popularity among Chinese shoppers. For Valentine's Day last year, the brand co-designed the Mini Horizon handbag with Mr.Bags, which was exclusively available for Mr.Bags' followers to purchase. All 80 pieces in the collection were reserved in 12 minutes. Last summer, Givenchy debuted its new Duetto handbag collection on gogoboi's WeChat store, and all items were completely sold out in 72 hours.
It was not too long ago that luxury brands were wary of adopting any kind of e-commerce sales, for fear of brand dilution. Though brands are now more willing to embrace the selling power of WeChat, it remains a real challenge to strike the perfect balance between online sales, and luxury exclusivity.