Two years ago, the CFO of LVMH - the world's largest luxury conglomerate - famously said no to selling its high-end wares on US-based online retailer Amazon, stating that "it does not fit with our brands". But when it came to the Chinese market, LVMH made an exception: it partnered Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba to launch an official Tmall store for Tag Heuer last year.
"They said yes to Alibaba to have that Tmall store, even though they'd just launched the China version of their e-commerce 'dot-com' site for LVMH," observed Kestrel Lee, the Shanghai-based principal analyst for Greater China at Econsultancy.
With its booming luxury category and love of e-commerce, the search for success in China is pushing brands outside of their usual approach: "In China, they don't have a choice," Lee said.
Trend 1: E-commerce is really mobile commerce in China
The fact that mobile is fueling ecommerce is hardly surprising— and in China, the preference for mobile shopping is even more pronounced. "China is clearly leading the way," said Jeff Rajeck, Researcher/Consultant for APAC at Econsultancy's Ecommerce: Trends, Data and Best Practice webinar recently.