Thanks to exclusive new luxury sales platforms, China’s biggest e-tailers JD.com and Tmall are finally making headway in attracting official partnerships with high-end brands.
This week, Saint Laurent announced that it will join JD.com’s Toplife luxury e-commerce app, a platform separate from JD.com that only features high-end labels. More like Net-a-Porter than Amazon, Toplife and competitor Alibaba’s similar Tmall Luxury Pavilion were created last year to offer high-end shopping experiences similar to those on pureplay luxury sites. Prior to the launches of these platforms, L2’s Digital IQ Index: Luxury China report found that luxury brands were wary of opening official online storefronts on the mass-market Tmall or JD.com, where everyday items like diapers and laundry detergent can be found. Pureplay platforms Farfetch and Yoox, however, have succeeded in attracting a wider range of brands in the China market.
Since the new platform launched, both JD.com and Tmall have been making progress in attracting more high-end labels. Tmall’s Luxury Pavilion features brands like Tod’s, LVMH’s Loewe, and Kering’s Stella McCartney for either full-time shops or flash sales.
Tmall has seen significant progress with LVMH in the past year, and now has official storefronts owned by Tag Heuer, Guerlain, Make Up Forever, Fresh, Sephora, and Rimowa on its main platform. Prior to Stella McCartney’s Luxury Pavilion flash sale in December, Alibaba made peace with rival luxury conglomerate Kering, which dropped a lawsuit against the e-commerce giant in August that had accused it of encouraging sales of counterfeits.
Meanwhile, Saint Laurent is of the most important luxury labels to join a growing brand roster on JD.com’s Toplife, which includes names like Swarovski and Derek Lam. Saint Laurent also previously announced that it would partner in China with Farfetch after the e-tailer’s investment from JD.com. The e-tailer provides its luxury white-glove delivery service for both Toplife and Farfetch, offering same-day delivery service in major cities.