BEIJING: JD.com, the Chinese e-commerce group and a major rival to Alibaba, has launched a standalone online luxury platform that aims to help global brands to cater for China’s vast demand for luxury personal goods.
Called Toplife, the platform allows brands to sell directly to consumers through an “end-to-end luxury e-commerce ecosystem” that incorporates online stores, premium customer service and delivery, as well as marketing and branding expertise, JD.com explained in a press release.
According to JD.com, brands will be able to control every aspect of their store on Toplife, while also gaining access to the company’s customer service and delivery services.
These include “dust-free” warehouses in Shanghai and a delivery service, manned by staff wearing white gloves, in major cities like Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu.
However, the Financial Times also reported that the initiative is aimed squarely at China’s mid-tier cities, which accounted for more than 80% of the country’s luxury online sales in 2016.
“Luxury brands have to have an online presence in China to help themselves reach into second- and third-tier cities whose residents might not have easy access to purchase luxury items offline,” Shaun Rein, Managing Director of consultancy China Market Research Group, told the newspaper.
JD.com also said that a number of top luxury brands have signed up already to Toplife, including La Perla, Emporio Armani and Trussardi, among others, and that others will join in the coming weeks.
“Our deep understanding of high-end consumers has enabled us to launch a luxury e-commerce ecosystem that provides a truly premium shopping experience, and helps partners tell their brand story to local consumers,” said Richard Liu, Chairman and CEO of JD.com.
“Working with Toplife, luxury brands worldwide are now able to directly provide customers throughout China with a true luxury shopping experience previously only associated with high-end offline stores,” he added. “Toplife aims to mirror the offline luxury shopping experience in a premium e-commerce experience.”
Sourced from JD.com, Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff