As Chinese luxury shoppers fan the globe, fashion brands are rushing to offer features like specially trained Chinese-speaking staff in their boutiques.
But Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Luxury China finds that brands are lagging in one crucial area for catering to the the Chinese luxury traveler: mobile payment options.
While Chinese-speaking staff are employed in 71% of fashion brand boutiques in the US and 82% of those in France, only a third of brands’ French boutiques accept Alipay and just 27% use WeChat Pay. UnionPay remains brands’ main payment method for Chinese tourists, with 86% adoption.
Meanwhile, China has become a virtually cashless society thanks to mobile payments, and Alipay and WeChat are racing to expand globally.
While most fashion labels are lagging on mobile payment methods, others are ahead of the curve with promotions on Alipay. For example, Dolce & Gabbana promotes its NYC Soho boutique on Alipay, and Coach offers coupons for both NYC retail and outlet stores via a coupon QR code.