Tmall Luxury Pavilion, Alibaba Group’s dedicated site for high-end brands, on Monday unveiled a redesigned app which features a new “Maison” store format that enhances the brand experience for luxury shoppers.
An invite-only option available to a select group of the world’s most-prestigious and time-tested luxury brands, Maison is a designated tab on the homepage of the Luxury Pavilion distinguishing these brands from other labels. The Maison storefronts enable brands to customize their digital editorial content and storefront designs to speak to their brand image and tone of voice, as well as offer early access to Alibaba’s latest technologies such as 3D pop-up shops.
WATCH: Shopper’s journey on the Pavilion.
Launched in 2017, Tmall Luxury Pavilion now offers more than 80 brands, including Valentino, Burberry, Versace, Ermenegildo Zegna, Stella McCartney, Tod’s, Moschino, Giuseppe Zanotti, MCM, La Mer, Maserati, Kering Group-owned Qeelin, LVMH-owned Guerlain, Givenchy, Tag Heuer and Zenith. Products range from apparel and beauty items to watches and luxury cars.
The more-exclusive Maison environment makes luxury brands feel at home and is part of the effort to help them find the “equilibrium” between innovation and tradition, said Lili Chen, general manager of Tmall Luxury Pavilion.
“The Maison concept was designed so luxury brands could digitally embody their unique brand stories, heritage, savoir-faire and innovations, as well as their in-store atmosphere and energy. We’re helping them engage with online luxury consumers — mainly the ‘always connected’ generation of young consumers, but also consumers in lower-tier cities that rely on digital devices to buy luxury goods,” said Chen. “We want to provide them with the best tailored, immersive shopping experience that they would get shopping in a brick-and-mortar store.”
Italian luxury fashion house Bottega Veneta, which launched its flagship store on Tuesday, is one of the first brands to opt in to the new concept, alongside Valentino, Burberry, Tod’s and Zegna. Best known for its leather goods and hallmark intrecciato weave, Bottega is offering selected items from its latest collections, including clothing, handbags, jewelry, sunglasses, fragrances, footwear to home accessories, as well as exclusively debuting its newest blue-colored BV Luna Bag in Nappa on the site.
This comes as an increasing number of luxury brands are taking bold steps to cater to Chinese consumers, the biggest spending force in the global luxury market. According to consultancy Bain, they accounted for 32% of global sales in 2017 versus 22% for U.S. consumers, who come in second. A recent McKinsey report also forecasted that China’s share of global luxury spending is expected to reach 44% of the total market by 2025.