In China’s luxury market, 82% of purchases are researched online and bought in-store. Although the number of brands launching e-commerce in China has rapidly expanded, Gartner L2’s new China: Omnichannel Insight Report finds they still have work to do on connecting their online platforms to physical store experiences.
Only 6% of fashion brands and 5% of watch and jewelry brands allow users to reserve items online from their brand site for offline pickup in China, according to the report. Adoption of the buy online, pick up in store option is more common, but still offered by less than 20% of brands in each category.
Almost all brands now offer a store locator on both WeChat and Tmall, with more than 50% ensuring that store locators are equipped with geolocation. Fashion brand Bally’s store locator appears on product description pages, allowing users to check in-store inventory, a feature that is especially necessary given Chinese consumers’ online-offline shopping pattern.
Thanks to the importance of in-person consultations for luxury watch and jewelry brands, brands in this category are more likely than fashion to allow users to make store appointment reservations through the brand site, WeChat account or e-tailer Tmall.
E-commerce in the luxury industry functions in many cases as a complement to physical store shopping rather than a replacement, and adoption of omnichannel features can increase convenience for the customer as well as store foot traffic and sales.