The Startups: Glamour Sales

21 Jun

First up I spoke to Vanessa from Glamour Sales for my e-commerce series who provided a lowdown about the company and some insight into who and where the market seems to be headed.

What labels does your company sell?

International, well known ones, but not tier 1 luxury brands like Prada or Gucci. Most are like Hugo bossOrange, NineWest, UGG, Kookai, Diesel, etc. We also carry cosmetics like MAC, Bobbi Brown and home deco brands like La Cruset and La Costina to name  a few.

Who is your target customer? 

<25-40, urban men and women from tier 1 and tier 2 cities.
Smart shopping, sophisticated shoppers who look for good brands and quality but also value for money.

What makes your company different from other e-commerce sites?

Merchandising: we only work directly with brands. No other e-commerce sites in the same category can do this. By doing this we get unmatched products and support from brands.

What market is most important?

It’s still all about 1st and 2nd tier cities with the same target group.

What trends do you see happening in China’s e-commerce industry?

More luxury brands are entering China’s e-commerce market! Like Neiman Marcus, our partner, who have a target to launch their website fall of this year!

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Weekly Dose: Your Little Black Book

14 Jun

China’s E-Commerce Industry

14 Jun

China’s fashion market is particularly fascinating due its unique spending patterns from it’s seemingly insatiable taste for foreign luxury brands to their willingness to spend a higher percentage of their income to acquire it. Not to mention consumer taste which contrasts with western models.

Take China and the States.

Giant multi-brand e-retailers dominate the market in the US with Amazon leading the pack in sales. Popular e-commerce sites focusing on fashion tend to fall into these categories (according to my observations):

1) Brands who traditionally sold in catalogs (JCrew, Victoria Secret) and mass retailers (GAP)

2) The find anything free for alls (eBay and most lately etsy)

3) Indie offerings, specialty (Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters)

4) Mid-ranged designer and ready to wear multi-brand retailers like Shopbop

5) Designer discount e-commerce sites (Yoox, Overstock) and reluctantly launched designer e-shops

Currently a mature market, online shopping is incredibly popular. Return policies are customer friendly, credit cards are easy to use and best of all- variety becomes readily and quickly available. Not as population dense as China it goes without saying that stores are not as conveniently available so transit time to a shopping destination is a serious consideration which encourages online shopping.

China’s e-commerce industry on the other hand is a nearly a decade behind. Taobao, arguably the most popular platform was launched in 2003, 8 years after eBay. Online shopping is not intuitive, payment is a hassle and only supported by internet explorer. Merchandise needs to be checked on delivery, once you have signed for a parcel you are liable for in transit damages. Other challenges include China’s shopping mentality; most customers enjoy the service they receive when they shop, will want to check colors in natural light, seams and fabric quality (my mom did this whenever we went shopping). That being said, China’s market is where the US was in the early 2000s, a boom stage, a key time for e-retailers to get in the market.

Interestingly enough, due to the market difference and delayed development China’s market has grown in reverse. Western designers began launching their e-commerce sites before multi-brand startups were being setup, Armani, one of the earliest adopters and biggest China success stories, launched their webshop in November of 2010. Whereas China’s multi-brand e-commerce startups are a more recent development but seems to be where the market is headed. So in that vein, I spoke to four relatively new sites Glamour SalesZooqAnyShopStyle and XinleLu to learn what they are all about and where they think China is headed. Watch this space for my interviews with them.

May Events

2 May

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Your Weekly Look: Spring Is In The Air

19 Mar
Untitled #7

Throw on a little bit of everything to get you spring look kick started. Keep your feminine skirt from being prissy by pairing it with androgynous it girl brogues and a loose denim shirt that you’ll wear to death.

Weekly Dose: Your Little Black Book

20 Feb

There doesn’t seem to be too much going on this week but there are two fairs worth checking out.

Thursday Feb. 23rd
Studio No. 5 Spring Cleaning Flea Market
10am-3pm

Original designer items from more than 10 vendors, special discounts, lightly used second hand items and food from Pantry will all be available at this daytime event.

Lane 169 Jiashan Lu, House No. 5

Saturday Feb. 25th
1933 Charity Flea Market
10:30am-5pm

Shop a mixed basket of second hand, vintage, designer and handmade goods. 1 RMB for entry.

10 Shajing Lu near Jiulong Lu

Weekend Wishlist

17 Feb

Get me here.

Valentino’s Spring 2012 collection is to die for, etheral, girlie, with a pop of color and a hey girl hey feminine cut, this blouse is simply divine. Shanghai please remember this isn’t in any way, shape or form office wear.