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Topshop a hit with online fashionistas

By Chen Jie | China Daily | Updated: 2014-11-18 08:42

Zhao notes that Shangpin, with 5 million users, is not the largest e-commerce retailer, but he says he won the Topshop contract because Shangpin is the first online retailer that sells only fashion.

Since it was founded in 2010, Shangpin has worked with fashion designers, bloggers and magazines to educate consumers about styles and build a solid base of consumers who seek not simply luxury brands but their personal takes on styles. People looking for big logos and big discounts on top luxury brands are not Shangpin's target customers.

Winnie Foon, vice-president of Shangpin, is a veteran buyer and worked with Lane Crawford in Hong Kong. "Shangpin's regular shoppers are young," she says, "pursuing self-expression and individuality, and they enjoy mixing and matching styles and brands. We provide some 1,000 looks every month online and give tips to customers-all added value of our service."

Another major appeal of Shangpin for Topshop is the ability to reach Chinese consumers in second-and third-tier cities. Zhao says that more than 80 percent of Shangpin's sales come from the smaller towns.

Sir Phillip Green, chairman of Topshop's parent company, Arcadia Group, said earlier that Shangpin impressed him with its capacity to operate brands and its understanding of marketing and brand building. He added: "Chinese consumers are looking for more than just a convenient checkout. They want trend-driven products and advice on how to style a look, something that Shangpin is well-positioned to help us deliver."

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