With the increasing integration of luxury and e-commerce, an ever-present hot topic is customer service. How best can upmarket designers replicate what they offer in-store in the online space?
It was interesting to read a piece on The Wall Street Journal recently therefore (A wish of e-shoppers everywhere, now in China), about the forthcoming launch of Yoox Group’s The Corner in China, and its collaboration with FedEx.
When shoppers get a delivery from thecorner.com.cn, the deal means the courier will actually wait on the doorstep for them while they look at their purchases, try them on and decide whether to keep them. Now that’s service.
The aim is to appeal to China’s high-end consumers and draw more of their luxury spending online. In case you weren’t already aware of the power of China spending, it might be worth noting it is estimated the country will account for 20% of the expected $547bn worth of luxury purchases by 2020, according to investment research group CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets.
Attracting this booming market is now about doing more than just opening a store. As the Chinese consumer has become more sophisticated so have their expectations, meaning special perks and exceptional service do hold value.
“China’s luxury buyers started decades later than the rest of the world, but in many ways, they are not only catching up but are surpassing the others,” said Federico Marchetti, founder and CEO of Yoox.
The site will also offer a 24-hour call centre, and fashion advisers accessible via instant messenger who can answer questions on fabric, quality, style and sizing.
Interestingly, if the standby service with FedEx is successful in China (it launches in September), Marchetti has suggested it may roll out to other countries too. Watch this space…