Luxury British fashion house Burberry has become the first premium brand to join Chinese company Alibaba Group online marketplace, Tmall.com with the launch of its digital storefront. Burberry's official Tmall.com store launched on Thursday and offers tailored selection of the brand's product range, including menswear, womenswear, fragrance and accessories. The store opening coincided with the launch party for Burberry's new Shanghai flagship store, bringing the brand's physical store count in China to 78.
In order to provide their customers with a richer online experience the Tmall.com store also offers special customer perks such as a gift wrapping service and 24 hour customer service consultants, which brings the heritage brand closer to its Chinese consumers. The Tmall.com store also features visual content pages which share the brand's heritage with its visitors.
The online store is compatible with all mobile, desktop and tablet devices across China and features a custom-built design which reflects Burberry online flagship store, Burberry.com. In honor of the store's launch, a special limited edition of Burberry's Petal bag is currently available exclusively at the Tmall.com store.
The Tmall.com collaboration lets "Burberry to connect digitally focused consumers”
“The official Burberry Tmall store offers the purest articulation of the Burberry brand on any of the Alibaba Group's platforms to date,” commented Burberry in an official statement. “This innovative collaboration with China’s largest online retail platform, allows Burberry to connect digitally focused consumers to an authentic representation of the brand.”
“The new tie-up is a first for any luxury brand and reflects a shared commitment to offering Chinese consumers the best in luxury experiences across all of Alibaba Group’s platforms.”
Tmall.com is currently China's biggest business to consumer marketplace and one of the three e-commerce sites operated by Chinese online giant Alibaba, offering custom-built brand platforms for a number of national and international brand such as Nike and Levi's.
The e-commerce platform hosts over 70,000 retailers and over the past three years sales via Tmall.com have increased tenfold to 273.7 billion yuan (26 billion pounds), according to Euromonitor International. Burberry's move to open a virtual store on Tmall.com highlights the booming e-commerce market in China and the brand's desire to expand its reach in the country.
Data tracker iResearch Global Inc estimated that Chinese consumers purchased 1.84 trillion yuan (175.5 billion pounds) worth of online products in 2013, which could grow to 4.45 trillion yuan by 2017 (423.4 billion pounds). However being able to provide Chinese consumers a full online brand experience and assurance of the products quality is necessary in order to stand out in China's expanding online marketplaces and stores.
Teaming up with Tmall.com means that Chinese consumers who purchase Burberry's products from the digital store have the assurance that the products they purchase are genuine, as all Tmall.com merchants must guarantee the authenticity of their wares before joining the marketplace, which will undoubtedly help the British luxury brand in its struggling against the increasing tide of Asian counterfeit products.
Although Burberry may be the first luxury brand to open an online store on Tmall.com, they are not the first British company to work with the Chinese platform to enter the country. Last year Marks & Spencer launched its viritual store on Tmall.com and earlier this week, Asos announced the launch of a Tmall.com as a supplement for its current online flagship store in China.