BEIJING — Yoox is going mobile in China.
Yoox Group entered China around five years ago, hosting flagship online shopping sites on the mainland for fashion brands such as Emporio Armani. Two years later, the e-tailer launched its own site for Chinese consumers.
Now, indicative of the rise of mobile commerce in China, Yoox, under the domain name Yoox.cn here, revealed on Monday that it is launching a mobile e-commerce app for its Chinese clientele.
“In China, the mobile shopping market is skyrocketing,” said Luca Martines, the Hong Kong-based Yoox Group International Markets director.
In 2014, Chinese consumers spent more than 929 million yuan, or nearly $150 million, shopping via mobile devices, according to iResearch, a Beijing-based Internet research firm. By 2016, iResearch predicts transactions made via mobile in China will surpass those made via personal computers.
“For Yoox Group, the Chinese customer is the youngest in the world, with more than 50 percent of these customers below age 30,” Martines said. “This is the new generation of customers. They are tech-savvy. They engage with brands through being hyper-connected and socially active online and have rapidly embraced tablet technology. This was a big opportunity not to be missed.”
Yoox’s mobile app in China allows mainland consumers to see what other shoppers around the world are purchasing in Milan, Paris and New York. It also has a feature that offers Chinese clientele an area where they can discover exclusive global collaborations, capsule collections and inspiring trends.
A “China for China” section provides localized content and exclusive promotions.
Martines said one factor driving Yoox’s sales is Chinese consumers’ preference for Italian products. “Generally speaking, the trend among Chinese customers is a love for ‘Made in Italy’ brands,” he said. “Shoes are among the top-bought categories. Female Chinese customers love high heels while male customers prefer sneakers.”
The executive said the company welcomes an investigation by China’s antitrust regulator over unfair business practices in the country’s e-commerce sector. On Friday, China’s National Development and Reform Commission revealed a probe into possible unfair marketing and sales tactics used by mainland e-commerce companies. The investigation did not name specific companies.
“Yoox is dedicated to creating a healthy online shopping environment for customers and brand partners through our transparent products with direct origins,” Martines said, adding that in China the e-tailer has launched an exclusive antifraud program using radio frequency identification, or RFID, tracking technology to ensure product authenticity.
Martines said Yoox’s full-priced operations, which includes its Chinese version of the full-priced fashion e-tailer site Thecorner.com, as well as 14 monobrand luxury e-tailing sites on the mainland, are achieving “positive results.”
“Over the past four years.…We have seen a rise of the young, Chinese middle-class becoming sophisticated, experienced shoppers,” he said.
Martines added that in terms of buying full-priced luxury online, male consumers in China are more likely to pay more than females.
“Amongst Chinese consumers, men’s wear purchases from our full-priced channel make up more than 70 percent of net sales,” he said. “This contrasts with consumer trends on a global scale, where women’s wear and men’s wear net sales shares are almost equal.”
In 2014, sales in other countries grew 32.1 percent, accelerating by 41.4 percent in the fourth quarter, driven by Yoox.com in China, which benefited from the extension of its offer following the introduction of the complementary logistics setup in February last year.