In October 2017, JD launched the luxury e-commerce APP - TOPLIFE, independent from the main JD application. TOPLIFE differs from the JD APP in the areas of interaction design and platform service, focusing more on maintaining the established brand image.
The APP focuses on visually large images, clothing-match suggestions, special back-end warehousing, customer service and logistics services (equipped with couriers in suits and white gloves). All this makes TOPLIFE look like another e-commerce supported by JD.
However, the situation changed on August 2nd, when TOPLIFE announced it would open a new gateway to JD APP.
As planned, TOPLIFE will not grant access to all JD users. Instead, JD will present TOPLIFE’s access to some mobile users according to users' interests and their behaviour when purchasing luxury goods. Xia Ding, vice president of JD Fashion and TOPLIFE promoter, said, “It is also one of the brands’ needs to open new access to TOPLIFE on the JD APP to attract more users.”
In addition to accessing JD’s main APP, TOPLIFE plans to set up a separate WeChat Mini Program for member brands. The orders, logistics, customer service, etc. of the WeChat Mini Program are monitored by the TOPLIFE system. JD will develop the WeChat Mini Program for these brands for free. With the launch of the Kepler Light Mall mini program in April of this year, JD claimed that the development of WeChat Mini Programs for each brand could be completed within one day.
According to the follow-up investment plan of TOPLIFE announced by Ding Xia, around 100 brands are to be located in TOPLIFE by the end of the year. In 2019, TOPLIFE will accelerate its steps in the investment promotion plan.
Compared to Tmall's luxury channel, Luxury Pavilion, launched in August 2017, JD TOPLIFE is more of a branded online shop that can generate revenue while maintaining brand value. However, since the launch of TOPLIFE in October of last year, JD has increased its investments in fashion and luxury brands, including luxury e-commerce (JD.com invested $397 million in Farfetch, the British luxury online retail shop last June), and bought TOPLIFE related keyword advertisements on Baidu’s search engine.
TOPLIFE’s sponsor said there are three main concerns in selling luxury brands in e-commerce: one is counterfeiting, another is that luxury goods cannot be located near similar brands online, as in offline stores, and the third is that they can not offer customers shopping guide services in e-commerce. However, while JD is good at selling 3C products (3C products here mean computers, communications and consumer electronics), it is still a long way for JD to catch up with Tmall, who is strong in clothing and fashion.
According to the marketing strategy, brands will enter TOPLIFE as official flagship stores and there will be no discount promotions in the two sales seasons each year, ie “618“, the festival on June 18th, and “Double 11“, also called Singles Day. Both are beneficial for the brands to preserve the brand value. Apart from that, the type of goods on TOPLIFE would be determined by the brand itself.
From all the stuff, we can see that TOPLIFE is trying to establish itself as an e-commerce platform bridge between the luxury brands and the consumers.
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