The famous Chinese website Glamour Sales has decided to try something new ! By getting the approval of the Italian brand Maserati, they launched a flash sale on a special edition car. Usually, the website offers high-end clothing, watches, handbags or even home furnitures but never cars.
How can a luxury car can be sold online ?
« We launched a one week campaign and we have already received more than 20 applications » says Thibault Villet, the CEO of Shanghai-based Glamour Sales. The Maserati Gran Cabrio Fendi limited-edition sale started at €357,575 which is a special price consider Christian Gobber, managing director of Maserati China. During the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, 10 of the 50 Fendi edition Maserati roadsters were reserved for China. Glamour Sales, which has 4.1 million registered members, had the chance to have one put aside. Moreover, the website has encouraged members to get interested by the rare Maserati car by winning a voucher of €23,544 if they were interested in buying at the discount price
For those who still don’t believe a car can be sold online, Thibault Villet says that “The idea of selling a car online was always at the back of my head. We started five years ago in Japan selling five Peugeot cabriolets online. We sold four. The Maserati campaign was the perfect match for the luxury spirit of Glamour Sales”. Let’s not forget that China’s luxury e-commerce market reached €20 billion in 2013. So even if the Maserati car wasn’t targeting all the members, it was a good strategy to buzz and attract more potential buyers. The CEO Villet reminds us the special WeChat campaign where « people shared and sent the link of the campaign to their friends ». This provoked a huge buzz upon the users which made the application the top messaging app in China with almost 400 million active users.
Western and Eastern e-commerce, a different world !
Compare to the wealthy Western countries, Chinese marketing is comfortable using social media and applications (like WeChat or Weibo) to spread the word and have more impact. Chinese well-heeled don’t mind buying online and use those social network to communicate everyday in their personal life as well as professional one. In Europe and America, online and offline markets aren’t connected the way it is in China.
Luxury goods online
Buying luxury goods in those two part of the world is a different experience. For example, in the Western world, luxury products are associate to a strong brand image with VIP events and specific sports and gatherings (golf, sailing, formula 1). Buying a luxury car means joining a club, sharing the same vision and the same experience with other buyers. Price is often not a concern. In China, promotion and discount are still driving most of the buyers to purshase no matter the brand’s name, the price or the exclusivity of the item. Therefore, it’s becoming very common to buy high-end luxury goods on flash-sales platform like Glamour Sales. The main e-commerce culture in China is to make very convenient the fact of purchasing anywhere you want.
We will see more and more luxury goods being sold online in the future including all type of things such as luxury holiday packages or VIP events. Purchasing online through a mobile app will become usual and will even give you a special status. Gathering people of the circle together and making the virtual club is as important as gathering people in the physical one.