Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen Join JD.com’s Toplife

Just two weeks into 2018, JD.com’s luxury e-commerce platform Toplife has already established two more exclusive partnerships with Western luxury brands.

After six months selling in China via Farfetch, Saint Laurent decided to take the plunge and commit to the rapidly growing Chinese e-commerce market. Its online sales in China will soon be exclusive to Toplife, Saint Laurent said last week.

Shortly afterwards, Alexander McQueen announced a similar exclusive deal with Toplife.

Toplife’s new collaborations are emblematic of the growing power of China’s e-commerce giants. Western luxury brands, no matter how popular they may be, still need the dominant e-commerce platforms to help them reach Chinese consumers.

But why choose Toplife specifically?

A Premium Product

Toplife is run independently from JD.com, and describes itself as “full-price.” What it lacks in discounts, it makes up for in premium positioning.

An important feature of Toplife is “T-Class,” a digital magazine built into the app. All of the articles published in “T-Class” are written by well-known fashion columnists in China, such as Mr. Jiliang (吉良先生) and Li Mengsu (李孟苏), who offer readers content ranging from style guide to the latest fashion news. The magazine’s five sections are: Style, Fun, Points, Video, and News.

Toplife’s magazine includes exclusive interviews with fashion icons, backstage videos, and behind-the-scene peeks at cover shoots.

Launching a digital magazine (like “T-Class”) within an app is a smart idea. It helps connect readers and form an online high-end fashion community where fashionistas can get inspiration and advice as they shop.

Toplife’s white-glove delivery service

Toplife also benefits from JD.com’s “White Glove” delivery service (京东“白手套”服务). Couriers for high-end luxury items are dressed in a black suit, dark grey tie and white gloves. Currently, the service is available in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

The transportation of goods is different, too. Rather than driving a motorized tricycle, White Glove couriers drive electric cars to deliver luxury items. This upscale delivery method helps differentiate Toplife from a typical e-commerce platform, as it guarantees quicker, safer door-to-door deliveries. In Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, the delivery time is said to be less than 90 minutes from the moment payment is processed.

The “white-glove” high-end delivery service is a smart strategy as it creates an emotional experience that makes high-end shoppers feel privileged and valued.

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E-Commerce, Tech