This is the first time the French luxury house is working with a third-party e-commerce operator in China. Previously, its products were only available offline and on its own online store.
The flagship will launched in September, but pre-sale began on July 5 to give Chinese consumers access to its full range of cosmetics and fragrance.
Chanel’s Tmall flagship offers real-time consultation by online beauty advisors and free shipping for all purchases.
Consumers can also sign up for the brand’s membership program, allowing them to receive privileges such as being the first to sample new products and attend exclusive offline events.
According to Alibaba, these features are part of a revamped Luxury Pavilion site which launched last month.
“We want to step up our offerings in terms of creative experiences, trending product feeds and style tips from fashion editors to help young users find items and brands they love. The Pavilion revamp enhances the discovery journey and shopping experience for our customers, while helping luxury brands better express their brand vision, aesthetics and new creations,” said Lili Chen, head of Tmall Luxury Pavilion.
According to Mike Hu, general manager of Tmall Fast-Moving Consumer Goods, the Chanel flagship gained thousands of followers within three days of the pre-sale launch.
“We look forward to partnering with this world-class luxury brand, to explore even more digital innovations at the forefront of luxury e-commerce,” said Hu.
Growing demand for luxury
Last June, Chanel reported that its total sales – which includes accessories, cosmetics and ready-to-wear fashion – grew 10.5% to reach $11.12bn in 2018, while net profits climbed 16.4% to $2.17bn.
The company attributed its success to the strong growth in Asia-Pacific, which saw almost 20% rise in sales. In contrast, the European and American markets grew 7.8% and 7.4% respectively.
Tmall Luxury Pavilion offers 114 brands extend to luxury fashion, watches and cars. Chanel joins a host of prestige beauty brands on Tmall Luxury Pavilion, including Tom Ford Beauty, Giorgio Armani Beauty, Givenchy, YSL Beauté and La Mer.
According to Tmall, sales of cosmetics leapt 60% last year, surpassing the industry average of 37%.
Earlier this year, the firm announced its intentions to launch an additional 1,000 beauty stores on Tmall, with a focus on international stores.
Chanel’s arrival is part of Alibaba Group’s plan to meet the increasing demand for luxury goods and beauty products in China.
Hu said: “In the past two years, we’ve seen significant growth in high-end beauty brands on our platform, from Givenchy, Giorgio Armani and YSL to Tom Ford, which joined us in April… to welcome Chanel, one of the world’s most luxurious brands, to our platform is of paramount significance.”