China is on track to surpass America as the World’s largest luxury market by 2025. At which time experts predict Chinese consumers will account for half of all luxury goods spending worldwide.
So it makes sense that luxury brands like Bottega Veneta are focused on growing their reach and connect with consumers in the Chinese market.
About Bottega Venetta
Based in Milan, Italy, Bottega Veneta is one of the World’s most recognized luxury fashion brands. They have established themselves as a premier luxury fashion brand, celebrated for their extraordinary handbags, fashion, and leather goods.
In 2011, Bottega Veneta announced their first Chinese website to increase their brand awareness across all of China. Today, Bottega Veneta operates over 40 stores and joins well-known brands such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton as top-tier luxury brands in China.
The Challenge: Making Bottega Veneta’s websites work in China
In early 2021, Bottega Veneta announced that they were shutting down nearly all of their social media platforms. The change meant that Bottega Veneta would rely more heavily on their web content to stay relevant in their consumers’ lives.
As Bottega Veneta modernized their global websites for increased performance, they learned that many of these new sites were inaccessible to consumers in China.
We’ll look at two content-rich websites and the developers’ challenges in getting them working in China for this case study.
Note that these two websites were developed independently, by separate developers, and at different times.
Issued by Bottega Online Magazine didn’t work in China
In 2021, after dropping nearly all their social media accounts, Bottega Veneta announced to the World that they would be delivering a new media experience in the form of a luxury fashion digital magazine.
Once they had picked a Jamstack approach, it was time to select their tooling. Netlify was chosen as the hosting platform for the global site. Sanity’s headless CMS was chosen to manage the site’s global content. All images and video content had to be hosted on Sanity’s foreign (non-Chinese) content delivery networks (CDN) to maintain an agile workflow.
Tristan, the site’s developer, painfully discovered that these two popular technologies do not work in China. He also learned that many other well-known overseas SaaS and PaaS solutions are not usable or wholly blocked in China.
Here are few other examples of everyday technologies that do not work in China:
- Content Management Systems (CMS): Sanity, Contentful, DatoCMS
- Image Storage Services: Cloudinary, AWS S3
- Video hosting services: Youtube, Vimeo
- Hosting platforms: Netlify, Vercel, Gatsby Cloud, Github Pages, etc will be very slow or even inaccessible.
ICP filing red tape and a tight deadline
Not long before the digital magazine’s global launch date, Tristan learned that the site’s ICP filing was not finished in time, putting the team in a difficult situation. Without the ICP, the website could not be hosted in mainland China, forcing Bottega Veneta to deploy the Chinese website with Netlify.
Across China, consumers attempting to view the anticipated digital experience found the website to be inaccessible due to:
- Netlify’s overseas servers were responding slowly in China.
- Sanity CMS’s foreign (non-Chinese) CDNs were still trying to load content.
Bottega Veneta’s Seasonal Collections Site didn’t work in China
It is common for luxury fashion brands to display their seasonal fashion lineup through live fashion shows and seasonal collection websites.
Alessandro was one of the developers tasked with developing a new website for Bottega Veneta to share their seasonal collections with the World. The Jamstack architecture for this site used Next.js and Sanity and was hosted via Vercel.
One of Alessandro’s American colleagues had just overcome a similar issue with another client’s new Jamstack site deployed to China. He told Alessandro that he’d found a hosting platform like Vercel but for China, called 21YunBox.
Marketing analytics were compromised
In addition to the website’s technology issue, Bottega Veneta quickly learned that Google Analytics didn’t work correctly in China. Their marketing teams had observed a data loss issue coming from Google Analytics, leading to misleading or incomplete information.
Bottega Veneta’s marketing team needed a fix to the 3rd-party client-side analytics systems to ensure their data was reliable and painted the complete picture.
The Solution: Bottega Veneta uses 21YunBox to make Websites work in China
In searching for a solution to get the Bottega Veneta websites working in China, their developers learned about 21YunBox PaaS and Sanity solutions several months apart.
The Bottega Veneta developers signed up with 21YunBox’s free trial. In just a few minutes, the developers connected their Github repository to 21YunBox. Using a 21YunBox starter, Alessandro deployed the Sanity.js + Next.js starter to 21YunBox CDNs in just minutes.
The developers confirmed that the sites did work in China by sending the 21YunBox provided test URLs to their Bottega Veneta colleagues in China.
Over the next several months, the Bottega Veneta worked on the ICP license and migrated their websites to China. Right away, they made great strides by leveraging several features of 21YunBox, including:
21YunBox Build: 21YunBox uniformly initiates data requests to major headless backend systems and pre-builds static websites.
21YunBox CDN / Edge: this provides advanced functionality built on top of leading cloud providers in China. It’s built-in directly with 21YunBox Build to provide extremely fast content delivery network (CDN) nodes distributed across Mainland China, helping Issued by Bottega’s website to serve the 1.41 billion users in China with ease.
Automatic Routing and Forwarding: After the Git code is submitted, 21YunBox will automatically adapt the URL of the website, which can be done automatically without the manual help of Bottega Veneta’s ops team.
ICP Filing Consultancy Service: 21YunBox helped Bottega Veneta to address the problems and concerns when they completed the ICP Filing and enabled the website to be publicly accessible in China in compliance with laws and regulations.
CMS Integrations: 21YunBox seamlessly connects with dozens of CMS solutions, so the development team could integrate with Sanity and keep the workflow compatible with Issued by Bottega’s non-Chinese website.
Analytics Dashboard: 21YunBox’s Analytic Dashboard provided Bottega Veneta’s marketing team a fix for Google Analytics by providing more accurate data and a complete picture of their visitors.
Results: Seamless Migration into China
Maintain Agile Workflow and Deliver Performance across China
Using 21YunBox, Bottega Veneta successfully launched several content-rich websites to China from Italy. Allowing Bottega Veneta’s content team to connect to their Chinese consumers’ daily lives while maintaining their agile global workflows.
Page load times have improved by over 10x times, without the additional high cost of third-party content delivery networks (CDN). The straightforward architecture, transparent processes, seamless integrations, and out-of-the-box features of 21YunBox allowed the team to:
- Deliver a blazing-fast website and content to consumers across China
- Maintain an agile workflow: enabling Bottega Veneta’s content team to publish quarterly issues of Issued by Bottega to China from Italy
- Simplify Bottega Veneta’s content workflow by enabling Sanity headless CMS to serve worldwide and Chinese websites simultaneously.
- Deliver faster, without waiting on the IT or ops engineers, the team can quickly troubleshoot any issues.
- Eliminate the need for an IT administrator or a DevOps engineer since there is no server or infrastructure to manage.
- Collect up-to-date marketing data to track and optimize marketing efforts.
Scale the Websites’ Growth without adding Complexity
21YunBox has enabled Bottega Veneta to reach millions of its Chinese consumers directly. In the digital magazine’s first few months, the website recorded a massive number of unique visitors per day without issue.
Benefiting from the Jamstack architecture and 21YunBox, Bottega Veneta’s marketing and content teams can now focus on connecting with Chinese consumers through world-class content without worrying about changing the website to support growth.
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