Mainland China’s luxury market returned to growth in 2016 after two years of decline. Looking to capitalize on the warmer climate, luxury brands are ramping up e-commerce and social investments, leveraging celebrities and influencers to amplify their impact. These are the ten brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Luxury China with the strongest digital presence, from relaunched sites to impressive mobile and social initiatives.
1. Burberry Digital IQ: 152
The brand’s enhanced China site helped boost its mainland sales this year, according to L2’s study. Burberry is also the top Fashion brand for paid visibility on both apparel and accessory terms on Baidu and leads in non-branded paid search term visibility for accessories on mobile.
2. Cartier Digital IQ: 147
The leader in omnichannel and concierge service capabilities, Cartier lets shoppers buy products online and pick them up in-store or make reservations online for appointments. On cross-border app RED, Cartier ranks among the top five Watches & Jewelry brands for both Baidu Index performance and mentions.
3. Coach Digital IQ: 139
Coach excels in both paid and organic search, purchasing ads on half of non-branded handbag search terms. The brand also appeals to cross-border shoppers, drawing more unique Chinese visitors to its global site than any other Fashion brand.
4. Bulgari Digital IQ: 136
Bulgari embraces multiple e-commerce channels, one of only a handful of Watches & Jewelry brands to distribute on Farfetch. The brand’s livestream campaign with Kris Wu gained massive visibility on WeChat for multiple watch models.
5. Gucci Digital IQ: 135
Trailing only Louis Vuitton in mentions across popular online user forums, Gucci also generates strong engagement on Weibo with popular posts featuring singer Li Yuchun. The brand launched an iOS smartwatch app for China this year, in addition to relaunching its China site with more sophisticated search and navigation features.
6. ChowTaiFook Digital IQ: 133
Chow Tai Fook scores high visibility on Baidu unbranded search terms, demonstrating consistent results on both mobile and desktop. However, the brand was unable to repeat the success of last year’s blockbuster social campaigns.
7. ChowSangSang Digital IQ: 132
JD.com integration makes Chow Sang Sang’s WeChat account stand out. The brand also fends off the gray market on Tmall by maintaining a feature-rich storefront.
7. Piaget Digital IQ: 132
Piaget boasts a strong presence across social channels. Its promotion of the Polo S watch with actor Hu Ge earned particularly high engagement on Weibo.
9. LouisVuitton Digital IQ: 130
Louis Vuitton commands impressive engagement across platforms and generates the most mentions on online forums. By accepting Alipay, the brand attracts large numbers of Chinese tourists.
9. Valentino Digital IQ: 130
Valentino increases visibility by bidding on rivals’ luxury brand terms. The brand also sees slightly outsize engagement on online promotions aggregator Dealmoon compared to its share of posts.