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Burberry targets Chinese e-commerce market

30 April 2014 - 12:32 by Simon Crisp

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Burberry has become one of the first British brands to enter into a deal with e-commerce giant, Alibaba, and offer an outlet for safe shopping online to customers in China, according to Invezz.

China is currently home to the world?s fastest growing e-commerce industry, with an emerging middle class looking to spend cash via the web, rather than heading to bricks and mortar stores.

The Tmall site operated by Alibaba is a venue already occupied by plenty of brands, but Burberry's arrival will boost the luxury end of the spectrum and could be a significant benefit for the firm itself, if it successfully courts Chinese buyers.

Last year, the total spent through channels offering safe shopping online in China hit the equivalent of £175 billion. And analysts predict that by the year 2017, this will have more than doubled, which is why retailers from across the world are keen to take advantage of such a massive expansion of the market.

Another reason for Burberry and others to set up shop online in China is that this gives them the opportunity to secure the reputation of their brands and avoid the issues with fakes and forgeries, which are especially rife in emerging markets.

At the moment, it can be difficult for consumers to buy Burberry products online in China and be sure that they are getting the real deal, but the launch of the company's Tmall presence will address this.

For people in the UK, getting genuine luxury goods is a lot easier, as a number of major retailers with solid reputations stock products from popular manufacturers. However, make sure that you avoid lesser known sites, or thoroughly research their reliability, before you commit to a transaction, as this will help you steer clear of forgeries.