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Michael Kors Courts Chinese Consumers With Interactive Tmall Experience

While fashion and footwear retailers have been experimenting with different ways to engage with consumers as stores remain closed throughout the U.S., some are now taking the initiative to reengage shoppers in China as the country seeks to recover from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Michael Kors has launched MK My Way, a digital experience designed to enable shoppers to discover and customize MK signature handbags, on Tmall’s Flagship Store 2.0, Alibaba’s consumer-facing storefront. The luxury retailer will roll out the experience globally later this year, albeit on an undisclosed timeline.

MK My Way enables customers to interact with Michael Kors himself via the “Ask Michael” digital personality quiz. After shoppers answer questions such as “Sneakers or Stilettos?” and “Yoga or Running?,” Kors offers a product recommendation based on their lifestyle in a personal video message.

With these messages, the luxury brand can reacquaint Chinese customers and fashionistas with the American designer, giving them a new opportunity to interact with the man behind the brand. In a statement, Kors described the interactive experience as “a trunk show for modern times.”

After selecting an MK Signature handbag or travel piece in Tmall, customers can have their bags hand-painted by Michael Kors artisans or paint their own bag at home. To make products even more personal, Tmall consumers can paint over their accessories using a co-branded selection of brushes and colors, created by Michael Kors and Californian leather-paint company Angelus Paints. The co-branded paint pack includes red, yellow, blue and white paints, leather preparer, an MK charm stencil, five Angelus brushes, a circular sponge and detailed instructions on how to paint the new bag.

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The launch of the MK My Way experience coincides with Michael Kors’ first Super Brand Day on Tmall. On April 27, Michael Kors hosted a takeover of Tmall, introducing more Tmall shoppers, with special content, livestreams and the interactive MK My Way shoppable quiz.

“Michael Kors is forging new, innovative ways to engage with Chinese consumers with activations on their Tmall Super Brand Day,” said Bo Liu, vice president of Alibaba Group and general manager of Tmall and Taobao marketing and operations. “We are thrilled to see how they have tapped into Tmall’s digital technologies to create highly personalized products and targeted experiences. Tmall has been at the forefront of working with brands to build elevated engagements for young Chinese consumers, and we look forward to continuing to partner with Michael Kors as they accelerate their momentum and growth.”

Michaels Kors isn’t the only luxury brand that has made the jump to Tmall. A 2019 Gartner L2 Index noted that 51 percent of the 45 top global fashion brands it tracks now have official flagships on Tmall, with brands including Burberry, Yoox Net-a-Porter, Coach, Givenchy, Valentino, Versace, Isabel Marant and Bottega Veneta.

Footwear brands are joining in as well. Allbirds, the eco-friendly DTC footwear brand that has been growing increasingly popular in China, recently celebrated its one-year anniversary on Tmall. According to Erick Haskell, the company’s president of international operations, when Allbirds noticed a Tmall consumer had bought shoes online for frontline medical staff in Wuhan, the footwear retailer shipped additional shoes to the hospital as a way to help out of those doctors.