Mytheresa.com is building on its international expansion strategy with the launch of a Spanish-language website to target the Latin American market.
Michael Kliger, Mytheresa’s CEO, said he wants to ensure the retailer has a presence as a leading online player for the region’s consumers, who are known for their luxury appetites and who are beginning to embrace e-commerce.
“We always have a strategic view on where we see interest in developments, and while Latin America is not a big region right now — at least when you compare it to the whole of Europe, Asia and the U.S. — it is one of the fastest-growing regions right now in terms of e-commerce. It is expected to grow 30 percent, which outplays the other regions, so we obviously want to move in early to build customer relationships and position ourselves ahead of our competition.”
Kliger said markets such as Mexico and Colombia have the biggest potential, primarily because of their sheer size: Mexico has a population of 120 million, with 40 million owning smartphones. Colombia has a population of 50 million and up to 20 million smartphone users. He said they draw their influences from Spain and the U.S. for fashion and consumption trends, respectively.
In the last three years, Mytheresa has introduced Korean, Arabic and Mandarin websites as part of a strategy that’s built on international expansion.
Kliger said servicing customers in their native language is essential when tapping into a new market.
“In markets like China and [South] Korea, 80 to 90 percent of all of our business is now done in the local language of those regions. It’s clearly one of the ways to make it far easier and more convenient to shop but also for us to demonstrate that we are really interested in this market and respectful of that consumer,” Kliger said.
“We are serving a very-hard-to-serve customer base, and we really have to show our commitment to excelling and service by creating choice and great customer service. By serving them in their language, we are also showing commitment to their culture and to their shopping behaviors.”
While services such as e-mail newsletters, customer care and product information are provided in local languages, the site’s offer remains global, with a focus on big international brands.
“We are offering global product and global trends to our customers. They are interested in the latest fashion, from Gucci or from Balenciaga; they are not interested in local fashion. They want the real thing, and the real thing is European designers,” Kliger added.
To mark the launch, the retailer will debut an exclusive capsule by Johanna Ortiz, a Colombian designer who has built up global appeal and who now presents her seasonal collections during Paris Fashion Week.
The collection, which lands online on April 11, offers pieces for a holiday wardrobe inspired by the city of Cartagena.
There are printed kimonos, polka-dot shirtdresses and ruffled skirts and bodies, with prices ranging from $495 to $1,850.
Partnering with brands on exclusive capsules is a key part of Mytheresa’s strategy, which has previously teamed with the likes of Prada, Miu Miu, Aquazzura, Off-White and Chloé on collaboration collections that are always supported with video and social media content.
“It’s important to stay fresh, to always offer something new and to demonstrate that if you come to Mytheresa, you will find merchandise that you won’t find anywhere else. The capsules are the tip of the iceberg. They are attractive, they create interest in our business, but they are not a replacement of the [regular] collections we offer. It’s more about showing the creativity of the designer,” added Kliger, pointing to more exclusive partnerships slated for this year.