Chinese luxury consumers are becoming more sophisticated and digital-savvy — they will represent a major force behind the expected increase in global luxury spending.
By 2025, 7.6 million Chinese households will account for $143.6 billion (RMB 1 trillion) in global luxury sales, an amount that is double that of 2016, and equivalent to the combined size of the French, Italian, Japanese, U.K., and U.S. markets in 2016.
As wealthy Chinese luxury consumers desire more personalized products and services, the role of word-of-mouth marketing has gained in importance to drive sales.
According to a McKinsey Report, 30 percent of luxury purchases are directly influenced by personal recommendations, up from only 14 percent in 2010. As word of mouth becomes more important among Chinese travelers, the notion of social commerce on WeChat for luxury purchases will inevitably grow.
I have worked with close to 50+ luxury brands in the travel, retail and hospitality industries to structure their luxury marketing strategy on WeChat. Here are some case studies along with best practices advice for luxury marketing.
1. DFS Master Of Time
Marketing Tactic – Exclusivity
The mini-program showcases an exclusive range of fine watches and accessories. The curation of all the luxury products with large front-facing visuals illustrate a premium and polished feel.
The user could favorite their desired product to their preferred catalog. After they had selected the product, they would leave their contact details and a support team will contact them.
Bonus Tip: Great visuals are key to illustrate emotional appeal and brand identity. Brands should curate their exclusive range of products and having a targeted lead generation approach such as VIP appointment booking to convert.
2. Rimowa x Off White
Marketing Tactic – Limited Time Offer
The Rimowa x Off White mini-program is a unique partnership that leverages upon the impulse purchase behavior of Chinese consumers together with the social viralness of the mini-program. The limited time offer is particularly useful for luxury brands launching exclusive product offerings for their customers.
Bonus Tip: Luxury brands should cultivate a sense of “impulse” in their mini-program campaign. The campaign mechanics such as campaign period and reward constructs have to be carefully planned out.
Marketing Tactic – Gamification
One of the key features of the Gucci mini-program is to allow you to put a virtual mask on your selfie or picture. This is a pretty neat feature as this would attract millennials consumers to try it out and show off to their social networks.
This will promote brand authenticity and a sense of ownership in the product purchasing journey.
Bonus Tip: Convert your consumers into “brand ambassadors” through playful and interactive expressions digitally when structuring your luxury selling strategies.
4. Sergio Rossi
Marketing Tactic – Personalization
The mini-program allows the user to personalize their desired heel based on color, size and also personalized engraving onto the product. This is especially important among Chinese Luxury Consumers who are increasingly appeal to individuality and sophistication of their products and services.
Bonus tip: Give your consumers the freedom of expression to express autonomy and co-create unique product and services together with you.
Marketing Tactic – Social Gifting
Social gifting is an important trend in China. Dior has allow shoppers to buy virtual gift cards and send to their friends in the Mini Program. This is the first among luxury brands to implement social gifting.
Bonus Tip: Understand the power of social + gifting as important Chinese cultural values. Craft luxury branding campaigns that understand the importance of social relationships or “guanxi” in China.
Lionel Sim is the Founder of China Tech Roundtable (互圆). China Tech Roundtable is a marketing agency specializing in educating and connecting global Brands to understand WeChat and China’s digital ecosystem. Previously, Sim is part of the Global Marketing Team in WeChat.