LONDON — JD.com will begin to share its 471.9 million annual active customer accounts with Louis Vuitton from Thursday midnight Beijing time, by redirecting “LV” search results on the JD.com app to Louis Vuitton’s official WeChat mini program.
Kevin Jiang, president of international business at JD Fashion and Lifestyle, said, “This is an unprecedented model, which provides a seamless shopping experience, enabling more high-quality consumers to enjoy all that Louis Vuitton has to offer.”
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Since the brand upholds a strict exclusive retail business model — only selling from its own stores and online channels — this partnership is a creative way for Vuitton to increase its online reach in China, and deliver further growth for the brand. This is also the first time that Vuitton has ever worked with a third-party platform in China.
While the brand has been resilient during the pandemic and reportedly logged record-breaking sales figures in China, it is facing competition within the group.
In the first quarter of 2021, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said Dior outperformed the group’s other fashion brands, while Vuitton’s revenues rose in line with the division average.
Dior’s pre-fall 2021 show in Shanghai last week was livestreamed to 126 million people on the brand’s own platforms and nine major Chinese social media channels including Tmall. The brand also introduced a virtual avatar called Angela 3.0, based on its brand ambassador Angelababy, to interact with China’s two-dimensional community.
LVMH’s overall revenues jumped 32 percent, and its key fashion and leather goods division rose 52 percent year-over-year.
The partnership with Louis Vuitton is also a way for JD.com to stay competitive in China’s luxury battle.
While Tmall has become the preferred platform for most brands to open online flagships, JD.com has offered several incentives to attract brand partners to stay with it, such as opening omnichannel solutions, which were only available to its fast-moving consumer goods clients pre-COVID-19, to luxury brand partners like Salvatore Ferragamo, Tod’s, Ermenegildo Zegna and Delvaux.
JD.com on Wednesday also appointed model Liu Wen as a spokesperson of its cross broader business JD.com International to attract more China’s style-savvy shoppers to buy the latest fashion from the platform.
The recent $2.78 billion fine Alibaba received from the Chinese government over monopolistic behaviors will also give luxury brands more freedom to sell in China’s online marketplaces and not just tie to one platform.