Italian jeweler Bulgari has partnered with the Chinese e-commerce giant, Tmall, to create a bespoke digital storefront in order to maintain brand value while making the move to the marketplace. The brand became the first to experiment with the platform’s innovative storefront-operating model called luxury pavilion. Through the Bulgari Tmall store, the brand offers not only products, but a selection of tailored services, for example bespoke engraving, voice gift cards, AR try-on sessions, consultations with Bulgari sales associates and aftercare. Over 600 items, ranging from jewelry to watches and bags, are displayed in the store. Additionally, several items exclusive to Tmall are to be unveiled.
Incredibly popular among shoppers, digital marketplaces often act as the first stop when shopping as consumers research potential purchases online. However, due to the one-size-fits-all model, it is incredibly challenging for vendors to stand out and harder to control how customers experience a brand. Selling on a marketplace may mean that brands lose first-party data, the direct relationship with their customers and control over the brand experience. To alleviate these concerns, leading marketplaces are helping brands to understand how best to position themselves on their platform. By creating designated channels for select brands and assisting them with creating their own customized storefront and one-of-a-kind experiences inside their platforms these carefully crafted storefronts help brands maintain or even exceed the shopping experience their consumer expects.
Bulgari is committed to expanding and leveraging its omni-channel operations, injecting new ideas into the traditional luxury retail sector to meet and adapt to changes in luxury consumer consumption trends and lifestyles. Leveraging the expertise of Alibaba and its Tmall Luxury Pavilion will help the brand explore more possibilities within the luxury good ecosystem, and Alibaba and Bulgari have together joined forces to customize the store’s interface, blending the iconic Italian House’s design aesthetic with a fresh digital experience geared particularly for Chinese customers. Bulgari’s bespoke digital presence sets it apart from other stores on the digital mall of Alibaba Tmall Luxury Pavilion marketplace. However, more brands are expected to adopt and create a more customized approach as they seek to evolve more of their operations online while simultaneously preserving the sense of exclusivity key to luxury shopping.
This article originally appeared in the PSFK iQ report, Multi-Brand Marketplace Strategy.