Why Gucci’s New Travel App is Poised to Win Over Chinese Luxury Consumers

    Gucci's new travel app has the potential to become a powerful marketing tool that taps into the explosion in Chinese outbound tourism.
    Photo: Gucci/Official website.
    Yiling PanAuthor
      Published   in Finance

    The Italian luxury powerhouse Gucci just released a new travel section on its mobile app, named “Gucci Places," which offers customers and travelers alike the chance to take a close look at some of the global destinations that have left their mark on the 96-year-old label.

    According to the Fashion Network, Gucci is about to release travel guides for 29 cities around the world that the brand has had deep connections with in the past. To engage with its readers, the app also enables a geo-location feature that allows users to check in and win a badge when they are near the destination.

    The stately Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, Great Britain is the first place featured. The site, which is the seat of the Duke of Devonshire, inspired Gucci’s 2017 Resort Collection designed by the current Creative Director Alessandro Michele. The entire campaign was shot there.

    Photo: Gucci/Official website.
    Photo: Gucci/Official website.

    The new travel platform is more than just a guide though. In an attempt to further engage visitors, foster a sense of connection and spur consumption with nifty exclusive offers, a newly released capsule collection has been released that will be made available for purchase only to visitors of Chatsworth House.

    The launch of Gucci Places comes amid the explosion in China’s outbound tourism. The sense of exclusivity that the app engenders ensures its potential to become another powerful marketing tool for Chinese consumers. It's that demographic that has been known for their strong spending power when traveling abroad and also for having become more sophisticated and picky in recent years.

    According to a survey conducted by the management consulting firm Oliver Wyman this month, Chinese tourists spent an average of 6,705 yuan (around 993) on shopping in 2016, dropping from 8,050 yuan (1,192) in 2015. The report confirmed that the shrink in overseas shopping expenditures is largely due to the fact that more and more consumers can now purchase luxury goods at home as brands have started to beef up the diversity of their product offerings in China. As a result, the exclusive editions that they could at one time only buy overseas should be appealing to the Chinese who like to show off their unique experiences.

    The fashion magazine Vogue calls the move into travel a visionary step by Michele as it demonstrates “an understanding of how millennials currently travel—all while growing the ways in which Gucci’s legions of fans can express their love for the brand.”

    It's not the first time a luxury label has espoused the concept of “traveling with your favorite brand." In 2015, French brand Louis Vuitton translated its classic “Travel Book” collection into an app that gives users travel tips in cities including Tokyo, Shanghai and Paris.

    The popularity that Gucci has had among Chinese consumers will likely mean wide acceptance of the new travel app given people’s renewed interest in the brand since Michele came on as creative director in 2015 and reinvigorated the brand’s aesthetics.

    Gucci topped the ranking of premium handbag brands among Chinese female buyers in 2016, according to one survey. And, when the brand hosted an art exhibition in Beijing in April of this year, young Chinese people flocked to the event demonstrating outsize enthusiasm for the history of the brand as well as related arts. It seems, more than ever, fans are willing to go just about anywhere Gucci desires to take them.

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