With China’s luxury market back to double-digit growth and Chinese consumers expected to make up 40% of all luxury spending by 2024, whether or not brands are poised for success hinges on finding digital strategies that resonate with this crucial consumer group. This growth prompted a wave of major e-commerce launches and experimentation across WeChat mini programs and omnichannel, DTC, and e-tailer channels. These are the ten brands in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Luxury China with the strongest digital presence.
1. Cartier Digital IQ: 140
Locking in the number one spot in this year’s ranking, Cartier remains high-profile and one of the most mentioned brands across Baidu Index, WeChat Index, and mobile community apps. It aggressively buys mobile display and purchased against 73% of unbranded category terms on Baidu mobile. Additionally, it builds buzz on social media by featuring brand ambassadors such as Xin Zhilei and Lu Han.
2. Bulgari Digital IQ: 139
Bulgari boasts highly-engaged social content and a strong follower growth. For example, its Weibo post featuring Kris Wu and its Save the Children charity donation video campaign were both among the top ten Weibo posts and videos. It also embraced a new millennial-focused selfie app, Pitu with branded Bulgari filters.
2. Louis Vuitton Digital IQ: 139
Even without a permanent face in China, Louis Vuitton strategically dresses many popular local celebrities and from that, creates content that generates high Weibo engagement. It is the most mentioned brand on fashion community sites and the most visible on unbranded fashion search terms with paid links on Baidu mobile. Finally, it shines on WeChat, linking to commerce, account, live chat customer service, and including seasonal features like Chinese New Year stickers.
4. Coach Digital IQ: 137
Coach is stands out as one of the only brands to adopt user reviews on brand.com product pages. Its WeChat commerce features include a gift card mini program and pop-up shop mini programs selling Xu Weizhou and Disney collaboration collections while its average Weibo post engagement increased four times year-over-year.
5. Gucci Digital IQ: 135
Gucci garners the highest visibility across fashion category pages on Farfetch and was the top-mentioned brand by KOLs on WeChat and RED. It launched DTC and WeChat commerce and built up multiple Chinese New Year promotions including a WeChat mini program store selling a limited-edition Year of the Dog handbag and a UGC mini program featuring branded stickers for users to personalize photos with a link to a Gucci gift card mini program.
6. Burberry Digital IQ: 132
Burberry bounced off China’s hip-hop and streetwear wave with a capsule collection for brand ambassador Kris Wu’s collaboration, featuring his hit song Burberry Made. It also broached the blogger scene by inviting fashion blogger and KOL Becky Li to its fashion show and boutiques.
7. Montblanc Digital IQ: 130
Montblanc gained high viewership on its Yizhibo account through its brand ambassador Yang Yang. Additionally, its sophisticated interactive WeChat campaigns includined a VR museum experience and H5 campaign for its Petit Prince collection.
8. Valentino Digital IQ: 127
Zhang Yixing’s appearance at Valentino’s streetwear-inspired event was a hit on Weibo. The brand also launched a WeChat Qixi Festival sale for its special-edition Rockstud Spike bag promoted by Xu Weizhou and Fan Bingbing. It topped off its performance with a Candystud collaboration sale with Tmall that included both an offline pop-up and a VR interactive.
9. Swarovski Digital IQ: 123
Swarovski sparkles as a WeChat innovator with a group gift-buying mini program and a new brand zone. It embraces e-tailers with its JD.com Toplife launch, helping it make the cut for this year’s top ten for the first time.
10. Chow Tai Fook Digital IQ: 121
Tmall online-offline integrated loyalty; one of the few brands with official shop on RED; invests heavily in WeChat mini programs
10. Michael Kors Digital IQ: 121
Michael Kors targets millennials with a wide range of growing apps including Douyin, Pitu, and FaceU. The brand’s high-functionality WeChat account is accented with a loyalty program, Chinese New Year red envelopes, and a brand zone highlighting online bag customization.