BERLIN — Luxury may be hitting a bump in the world’s fashion markets, but it’s providing a growth spurt for MyBestBrands, Germany’s leading online mall for premium and high-end fashion.
Primarily active in Germany and German-speaking Europe, MyBestBrands gathers more than 5,000 designer labels and brands and about 1.6 million items in one spot. The site has almost one million designer fashion searching members, who are then linked to one or more of the e-mall’s 100 monobrand online store and multibrand e-tail partners that carry the designer or specific item the shopper is looking for. Between 60 and 70 percent of MyBestBrand’s shoppers are women, the remainder men.
To more strategically spotlight its luxury fashion offerings, the Munich-based company launched Luxuswelt — or World of Luxury — on its mall platform last March. Via its partners, such as Mytheresa, Stylebop, Net-a-porter and LuisaViaRoma, MyBestBrands has already featured luxury merchandise, including five-figure jewelry creations by Fred Leighton and assorted designer evening gowns at similar price points. The new World of Luxury is comprised of monobrand online stores only.
MyBestBrands initially signed on 12 monobrand partners for its World of Luxury: Balenciaga, Burberry, Gucci, Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld, Jimmy Choo, Iris von Arnim, Dorothee Schumacher, Brunello Cucinelli, Moncler, Stuart Weitzman and Casadei. According to managing director Jörg Domesle, “We want at least 50 [luxury monobrand stores] on board by the end of the year.”
The monobrand presentation, versus a more item-oriented, search-and-find on multilabel sites, “gives us this luxury feel. We like to give the brands a stage,” Domesle remarked. Brands, in turn, provide material for special Luxury World shoots and under new art director Kim Hahn, Andreas Ortner will shoot the site’s first high-end campaign in October, for end-of-year release.
Under the luxury heading, the mall has also launched two new formats: “Lifestories,” featuring exclusive interviews with the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Antonio Marras and Margherita Missoni, and “Brand of the Week.” The latter is a homepage takeover, as Domesle explained it, “to give full awareness for the brands. And our editorial team also does some content for them. It’s a whole mix — display, homepage, advertorial,” with the result, he contended, that some branding budget is being shifted to MyBestBrands. For its part, the mall reportedly has a six-figure budget at its disposal for both internal and external marketing.
MyBestBrands doesn’t release number of clicks, but the mall is said to attract 100,000 visits a day, with a conversion rate (of purchases per 100 visits) of between 2.5 and 5 percent for its brand partners compared to the e-commerce norm of 1 percent. MyBestBrands does communicate gross merchandise volume or GMV, and Domesle said that within the first four months, MyBestBrands “doubled the GMV for the 12 monobrand stores of the luxury segment to approximately 290,000 euros a month in Germany,” or $323,765 at current exchange.
He added the total GMV of these luxury segment monobrand stores is higher because the mall’s multibrand partners such as Net-a-porter, Mytheresa, Farfetch and Stylebop also offer products by these brands. The luxury segment’s monobrand store inventory is about 10,000 pieces, compared to the mall’s total inventory of about 1.6 million. “Due to the fact that new luxury monobrand stores will join the luxury segment soon,” Domesle pointed out, “there is much more potential until the end of the year.”
The luxury segment’s average buy of 700 to 800 euros, or $781.50 to $893.14, also outpaces the average buy of 190 euros, or $212.12, he noted.
In July, the MyBestBrands app broke the two million download barrier, and the online platform is now looking to break the German-language barrier with a European, English language rollout in the first quarter of 2017. “It’s a huge project, and we need to spend more on social media,” he acknowledged.