The 2023 edition of Luxury Society Keynote concluded on September 19 at the Sukhothai Shanghai, co-hosted by DLG (Digital Luxury Group), the leading independent digital agency for luxury brands, and China’s leading digital retail service provider Buy Quickly, with FTChinese.com of Financial Times as media partner. Over 130 guests from brands, consulting firms, service providers, and media gathered to discuss "The Future of Digital Luxury" and delved into the most recent dynamics of the Chinese luxury market.
China's luxury market and Chinese consumers are entering a "new normal": Chinese tourists are returning to global fashion capitals; shopping experience expectations have never been higher; and China's market landscape is becoming increasingly sophisticated. 'Digtial' is and will continue to play an important role in the evolution of the trends mentioned above.
Pablo Mauron, Partner and Managing Director China at DLG (Digital Luxury Group), examined the 'New Normal' dynamic and identified three new 'obsessions' that luxury brands should adopt in the Chinese market in the current climate in the event's first keynote. In terms of e-commerce, there is a need to shift away from pure GMV growth and towards brand building. In addition to recruitment, brands should focus on private domain activation. Last but not least, rather than passively resisting travel retail, brand regional teams should consider how to capitalise on it.
In another keynote speech, Chester Cheng, President of Buy Quickly, spoke about new approaches brands should take in e-commerce. With e-commerce accounting for a growing portion of brand revenue, this channel is no longer just a transactional platform; it must also address emerging consumer demands such as personalization, creative content, and social commerce. In response to rising expectations, brands should leverage big data analytics and new technologies such as AI to improve operational capability.
The following lively panel discussion centred on the most pressing topic facing the Chinese market today – what will happen to the Chinese market and Chinese consumers in the aftermath of the pandemic. This panel, moderated by Casey Hall of Reuters, featured Vuthy Penn, Special Advisor at Buy Quickly; Willi Sun, Head of Advisory, Consumer & Retail at KPMG China; and Jacques Roizen, Managing Director, Consulting at DLG to share their perspectives on various topics such as data capture, consumers, market projection, and travel retail.
Following that, the event included two fireside talks that tackled different strategies brands should employ when addressing the evolution of the local market and consumers.
One of the fireside talks was between Denni Hu, a fashion research analyst and Isabelle Zhuang, General Manager China at Augustinus Bader. How should niche brands gain a foothold in China's beauty market, which is one of the most saturated segments in this market's consumer goods sector? Isabelle stated the opportunities and challenges that Augustinus Bader has faced in its four years of development since its entry into China, in terms of e-commerce.
In another interview, Alexander Wei, Editor China of Luxury Society, discussed how international brands should communicate with today's Chinese consumers on a cultural level with Cynthia Zhong, General Manager, North Asia of Mulberry. Cynthia discussed how the brand resonates with consumers through its products, campaigns, and marketing activations to communicate the brand DNA in response to the growing confidence of local audience.
This year's event also touched on Artificial Intelligence, the world's most discussed technology at present, which brands like Jacquemus and Balenciaga have already incorporated into their visual assets. However, fashion creators in the fashion business, like those in other creative industries, face challenges posed by AI. Buy Quickly's Chief Creative Officer Joseph Chan and DLG's Group Creative Director (China) Christy Yen discussed how brands and creators perceive AI. While Di Yao, Head of Legal from a multinational enterprise, explained the potential and risks of this technology from a regulatory and tech-philosophical standpoint.
This event concluded with a panel discussion on Chinese consumers, one of the world's most promising and sophisticated audiences. Sustainability has become one of the concepts that young Chinese consumers value, according to a report co-released by KPMG China and DLG. Tracy Zhang, President and Publisher FTChinese.com of Financial Times, discusses the dynamics of the luxury industry's re-commerce business with Yufei Jiang, Director, Advocacy & Service of B Corp China; Caroline Luo, Partner at PwC Strategy& China; and Dominique Simard, Chief Sustainability Officer at Ellassay Group.
Click on the links below to download the keynote presentations by Pablo Mauron, Partner and Managing Director China at DLG (Digital Luxury Group) and Chester Cheng, President at Buy Quickly.