Alibaba pilots e-commerce platform for young luxury shoppers

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group is helping luxury brands reach younger, value-conscious consumers.

Alibaba is piloting Luxury Soho, a new platform named after New York’s fashionable Soho district. Luxury Soho can be accessed via Alibaba’s mobile Taobao marketplace and brands’ Tmall flagship stores. The e-tailer says its sees Luxury Soho as a solution to help luxury brands attract younger consumers, as well as those who may be new to luxury. 

In addition, Alibaba is attempting to provide luxury retailers with overstock resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic find new ways to reach customers who are primarily born after 1995 and price-conscious. The platform offers tools for brands to run their own stores with full control over pricing, product selection, strategy, and look and feel. Digital features include livestreaming, augmented reality, 3D interactive technologies, virtual icons, and flexible payment solutions. Offline store associates can engage with consumers online to showcase certain products and answer questions.

Retailers can open full-fledged outlet stores or “lite stores,” which offer special exposure for smaller quantities of product, on the platform. 

“We see it, first and foremost, as a solution to help luxury brands attract younger consumers as well as those who may even be new to luxury,” said Christina Fontana, head of Tmall fashion and luxury in Europe. “We envision it as a new gathering space for young people, where they can discover new designer brands and experiences and, potentially, where they make their first luxury purchase.”