The import of luxury goods is dramatically increasing in China, pushing companies to invest money and time in websites development, even when they perform badly.

Chinese luxury brands must not forget technical challenges before communicating

In China, the luxury industry extensively uses the Internet for social branding. A study from ip-label* confirms this trend, particularly in the sector of luxury watch, in which companies tend to develop high visual quality and more graphic platforms. But those feature usually result in very slow page load times. The reason for this is that many of these websites are designed by communication agencies. Furthermore, this problem is actually increased because they are not even tested by users themselves. According to Patrice Nordey, head of L'Atelier Asia, "these websites are in fact optimized for European networks and therefore the server location plays an important role." "On top of this, China has two main operators, one in the North and the other one in the South, that do not have the same technical limitations" , Patrice Nordey says. And the Chinese government Internet filtering also contributes to slow connections.

Anticipating ...

The study stresses that it takes three to twenty times longer for Chinese web users to connect the website of a Swiss luxury brand, than average the Internet users. "It is essential to focus from the very beginning on ergonomics, from website hosting anticipation to adaptability of the content to the use and behaviors of the users ", Patrice Nordey continues. Performance measurement tools are also essential in order for the sites to be functional, on several network points. In other words, testing is crucial because impacts the effectiveness of a website and therefore CRM and sales tools.

... beyond the web page

China has already purchased nearly €875 million of Swiss watches, an increase of 57 percent between 2009 and 2010, hence the importance of an appropriate web strategy. "Today brands want to be in control of their systems and websites, so they have to organize their online presence beyond their Web page" Patrice Nordey explains. It therefore requires policy community management whose objective is to optimize their ranking. "Most-of-all on-site and off-site must be considered equally, and consistency should be ensure between the two" he concludes.

* A certification institute specialized in measuring QoE (Quality of Experience)