Alibaba has made a strategic investment in Ordre, a luxury online wholesale fashion tech company that serves as a platform for designers’ virtual showrooms. Under the partnership, Ordre will gain access to Alibaba’s extensive data insights while also heightening their profile to elite Chinese consumers. Financial details regarding the partnership were not disclosed.
“The cooperation between our respective businesses will enable the company to accelerate the development of our leading-edge technologies that are already having a positive effect on the fashion industry globally. We are also excited to add value for the designers we work with and create pathways to the lucrative luxury fashion market in China,” said Simon Lock, founder and chief executive officer of Ordre.
Ordre touts that 156 designers have tapped its platform to launch virtual showrooms. Lines like Proenza Schouler, Thom Browne, Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney have used Ordre to reach global buyers in lieu of the throttling fashion cycle, which often results in buyers missing showroom appointments. Buyers are able to use Ordre’s virtual reality services to view collections to inform wholesale orders.
“Our investment in Ordre represents a further step in expanding our presence in the fashion industry globally, reinforcing our positioning as partner of choice for brands engaging with high-net worth Chinese consumers with an appetite for international luxury, said Jessica Liu, president of Tmall fashion and luxury, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group. “Matching Ordre’s technology with Alibaba’s unique data insights and capabilities — of which our recently launched luxury pavilion is a great illustration (an invite-only, exclusive luxury platform for Chinese consumers) — we can provide our consumers with a personalized and differentiated experience, helping brands develop a deeper engagement with them.”
As cross-border commerce continues to grow, companies such as Ordre stand to play an integral role in positioning western brands to Chinese power spenders. According to a Nielsen report, “What’s Next for China’s Connected Consumers,” 84 percent of consumers in the country shop on mobile — 92 percent used Alipay.
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