December 3rd, 2018
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Following 13 successful editions across the globe, the Luxury Society Keynote returned to Shanghai for the fourth time this Wednesday. Titled New Retail: The Stores of Tomorrow, the event was Luxury Society’s biggest to date and attended by over 140 professionals from the luxury industry. Executives from top brands including LVMH, Chanel, Swarovski, Rolls- Royce, Vacheron Constantin, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts and Montblanc were present at the affair. Also in the audience were executives from the country’s biggest tech players, including Tencent, Alibaba, and YOOX-Net-A-Porter.

Together with event partner Four Seasons Hotels Shanghai, Luxury Society took attendees through an afternoon of learning about New Retail from the industry’s best. Following an opening address from its Publisher David Sadigh (also the CEO and Founder of DLG (Digital Luxury Group), the agency arm of Luxury Society that focuses on digital services for luxury brands), Partner and Managing Director China of DLG Pablo Mauron* offered participants an overall view of the ever- changing e-commerce landscape in China as well as the appropriate approach to executing a multichannel e-commerce strategy in China.

“Much can be said for and against the case of a brand building its own e-commerce platform in China,” said Mauron. “But at the same time, there are pros and cons to leveraging the existing e- commerce platforms available in the market,” he adds. “Ultimately, it is about what works best for your brand and what you hope to get out of the entire exercise.”

Representatives from the nation’s leading tech companies also shared their visions of how new technologies can help the retail industry and drive conversions. Qian Yi, the Global Business Development and Key Account Director at Tmall Global provided the audience with insights into the platform’s cross border business. Currently, it has over 19,000 international brands (spanning

some 3,900 categories) on its platform, originating from 75 countries and regions. He also highlighted the company’s recent record-breaking Singles’ Day performance. In a new high, the shopping festival generated over $30.8 billion USD worth of gross merchandise value – marking a year-on-year growth of 27 percent. Examples of the company’s new retail initiatives were also cited – such as its Magic Mirror that is powered by augmented reality (AR). It allows consumers to try on makeup virtually, then order products directly from the Tmall store online.

WeChat Pay Operations’ Vice General Manager Larry Lu also weighed in on the topic. Noting that with over 50 percent of China’s luxury consumers living in second-tier cities and below (where luxury brands do not necessarily have a physical presence), the importance of a strong digital presence and seamless shopping experience is growing. He also outlined the different scenarios in which brands can leverage WeChat’s ecosystem to better reach consumers. This was further supplemented by Kai Hong, Chairman and Partner of marketing automation platform JINGdigital, who spoke about taking the reach of WeChat one step further and leveraging it as a CRM tool to enhance the O2O journey for shoppers. Author of Luxury Selling and founder of consultancy Retail Performance Francis Srun** also built upon this topic, delving into consumer psychology and noting that the omnichannel experience is not just about perfecting the online experience, but making sure that sales advisors are best equipped at presenting consumers with the most optimal brand experience offline.

In a departure from the usual presentation format, this year’s event also saw the addition of two discussion panels. Chaired by millennials, both sessions looked at different facets of what today’s generation of young consumers are looking for today. While the first focused on what millennials looked for in terms of products and content, the second explored the model of social commerce and how brands can better work with this notion to maximise its reach. “The Chinese are not following other cultures anymore. They are creating their own style,” said Bryant Chou, the China CEO of leading youth media Vice China.

“We are very happy with the outcome of the event, and are already looking forward to the next one. Our vision here at Luxury Society is to allow luxury and digital executives to constantly connect, share, and learn from each other. And this is not just limited to professionals in China, but those abroad as well,” says Sadigh. “As such, we are now planning to host even more editions of the Luxury Society Keynote around the globe. Our readers can definitely look forward to that next year,” he adds.

*Pablo Mauron is also Associate Publisher at Luxury Society **Francis Srun is also Executive President at Ruyi International


With over 30,000 subscribers, Luxury Society is the leading B2B luxury publication for industry executives. It offers a global perspective on all things luxury with studies and features by in-house experts at DLG (Digital Luxury Group); curated news articles from leading media outlets; as well as in-depth interviews with business leaders.

Every year, Luxury Society organises an annual conference for luxury professionals that explores issues and trends within the industry. Titled the Luxury Society Keynote, its 2018 edition in Shanghai saw guests and speakers from over 60 brands in attendance including Vacheron Constantin, Salvatore Ferragamo, Qeelin, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Chanel, Montblanc, Swarovski, YOOX Net-a-Porter, Lane Crawford, Benefit Cosmetics, Alibaba and Tencent.

Luxury Society is a division of DLG, an international agency with offices in Geneva and Shanghai offering social media, e-commerce and CRM services for luxury brands. DLG has developed a unique expertise in defining and implementing impactful digital strategies that target sophisticated consumers through a combination of technological know-how, creativity and luxury savoir-faire.


  • Over 30,000 luxury executives subscribe to Luxury Society
  • This year marks the 14th edition of the Luxury Society Keynote
  • This year’s event saw 60+ luxury brands in attendance
  • >140 participants took part in the Luxury Society Keynote 2017
  • This year, presentations were made by tech giants Tencent and Alibaba
  • Previous coverage about the conference by media including Bloomberg, Wall StreetJournal, Hurun Report, WWD, Ladymax and Jing Daily