“Bally has reduced page download times for Chinese end users by a staggering 81% and reduced the total data transferred by 97% on origin” ____ Bally, the luxury leather goods brand synonymous with quality and elegance, was founded in Switzerland in 1851. Known for its shoes and accessories, Bally’s collections combine sophisticated style with the highest quality craftsmanship and finest materials.
Today Bally has emerged as the longest running global luxury brand in the world, over 160 years, with business continuing to go from strength to strength every year. Bally was one of the first luxury brands to capitalize on the opportunities offered by the Chinese market. The country’s high-income earners now spend more on luxury products than affluent consumers in any other market. Some 27% of all luxury shoes, handbags, jeweler and other goods are today bought by the Chinese. In 2015, Chinese shoppers will account for 34% of all luxury items.
Despite the global economic slowdown, the Chinese feel confident about their future financial prospects, with around three quarters of affluent households believing that their income will continue to increase significantly in the next five years. These figures by McKinsey highlight the huge potential that the Chinese markets represent for luxury brands in and outside of China. And, as the global online retail market continues to grow, now is the time for forward thinking luxury brands to make the move to Chinese ecommerce.
The Challenge Bally, the Swiss luxury leather goods brand, was amongst the first high-end brands to realize the potential of the increasingly affluent Chinese market. Since launching the first shop in Hong Kong in 1978 and Beijing in 1986, Bally has expanded its presence in the country to 60, with 51 boutiques in mainland China and 9 in Hong Kong. To further capitalize on the business opportunities in the country, Bally introduced a dedicated Chinese website, www.bally.cn , in 2011. The website, featuring high-resolution images and videos of Bally’s high-end shoes, handbags and accessories, brings the company’s trademark products to the fingertips of China’s growing population of high-income earners.
Despite the opportunities offered by the Chinese market, ecommerce in the country poses a few challenges too. Due to the ‘Great Firewall’ implemented by the Chinese government, companies such as Bally need to be aware of its restrictions and localize their content, not only regarding language, but also photography and site layout.
Chinese geography can also prove problematic. Despite a high level of Internet penetration in the biggest cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, there are areas where telecommunications infrastructure is in need of an upgrade to meet the demands of the growing digital economy. China’s Internet infrastructure has limited peering points and fragmented network topology, which can result in patchy connectivity and slow page download speeds for web users.
To break down these barriers and to ensure that the user experience delivered by www.bally.cn would meet the expectations of discerning Chinese shoppers, Bally turned to CDNetworks to boost the performance of the brand website.
The Solution: delivering a luxurious online experience with CDNetworks Bally uses CDNetworks’ content acceleration service to optimize www.bally.cn and improve web performance for its customers. The company has also tapped into CDNetworks’ China Acceleration service, a state-of-the-art content distribution infrastructure across 25 points of presence (PoPs) in mainland China. The China Acceleration service has been designed for the country’s specific network requirements, routes content and applications for optimal delivery with minimal latency across the public Internet to Chinese end users. It has reduced page download times by a staggering 81% and reduced the total data transferred by 97%