As Chinese consumers turned to cross-border e-commerce to access global fashion brands this year, online communications and sales traffic became even more important for a brand to master. What has the experiences of this year been for an e-commerce business? To find out, The Luxury Conversation spoke to the CEO of Mytheresa, Michael Kliger.
An industry leader in the world of online luxury fashion and retail, Mytheresa presents a curation of women’s, men’s and kids’ products from over 270 of the world’s most covetable fashion brands, with exclusive designer collaborations. Michael shared his insights on market localisation and the affects of the pandemic on their China operations.
Who is Mytheresa’s target in China and how do you engage with the right audience?
Mytheresa serves the true luxury shopper who’s looking for the best edit from all the leading European luxury brands. In addition, we constantly offer exclusives and capsule collections, which you cannot get anywhere else, from the likes of Gucci, Valentino, Loewe or special campaigns with brands like Saint Laurent, Loro Piana and Burberry.
We offer womenswear, menswear and kids on one website, which makes us unique. Our customers are typically 30+. They live across all regions of China and all tiers of cities.
The Mytheresa client leads a busy, professional lifestyle and thus enjoys the convenience and efficiency of shopping online. Our buying team curates the best collections instead of offering everything from every brand.
What localization you have done to cater for the market?
Mytheresa has introduced its Mandarin website in 2016, and we have a dedicated team of Chinese locals in our Munich headquarters to adapt best to the needs of the Chinese market. We offer different payment options, such as Alipay, WeChat Pay and China Union Pay.
Moreover, we have Chinese speaking colleagues in our Customer Care and Personal Shopping teams as well as for Social Media. Mytheresa is active on important platforms like Weibo, WeChat and Little Red Book.
We’ve hosted a very successful Stella McCartney x Mytheresa event in Shanghai during last year’s Fashion Week. We are also delighted to now have Cecilia Song on board as our brand ambassador for the Chinese market. She will create a special edit for our Chinese customers.
What you have your experiences been with the impact of the pandemic to business?
The pandemic was and is a very severe crisis across many aspects of society and the economy. However, we have luckily been less affected so far; Mytheresa was one of the few luxury online retailers able to keep operations running during lockdown and we are very optimistic about our future business. We’ve seen a strong recovery in China which was one of the first countries to have controlled the pandemic.
We have also seen a lot of new customers across the world, who have probably bought for the first time luxury items online as traditional stores were closed. The shift towards online and the importance of digital visibility will further accelerate in the coming months we believe.
We also believe that now is the time to invest even more in building long lasting customer relationships and partner with the best luxury brands in the world.
On Chinese consumer preferences, what trends are you seeing for now and the rest of the year?
During and post lockdown, we’ve seen – among others – increased interest in understated luxury items from brands such as Loewe and Jil Sander, as they’re versatile and are perfect for in- and outside. We are predicting timelessness as a trend to stay for FW20, consumers will most likely go for pieces that are long lasting investments, good quality and easy to style throughout the seasons.
Flat shoes such as Gucci loafers and Bottega Veneta boots are among our bestsellers in China this season, as well as Ann Demeulemeester riding boots, which we’ve recently added to our designers’ roster for the Fall/Winter 2020 season.
Brands such as Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Valentino and Burberry are also part of our top 10 bestselling brands in China at the moment.