On August 10, in celebration of Shanghai’s Double Five shopping festival, Shanghai Disneyland began trial operations of its very first online flagship store on Tmall. In its shift to e-commerce, the resort aims to expand its retail experience beyond the theme park itself to a multi-channel shopping experience while supplementing its offline sales. The exciting new shopping experience comes one week after the opening of China’s first Disney home furnishing store.
During its trial period, the online store will offer exclusive products from the park’s offline stores, including plush toys, clothes, accessories, toys, souvenirs and even home decor. Specifically, guests will be able to purchase products from Summer Mickey’s Pool Party Collection and Chip n’ Dale Car Accessories Collection. More merchandise is set to be released following the official opening of the store later this summer.
Apart from selling exclusive products, Shanghai Disneyland will also launch an exclusive prize draw for special merchandise on August 15. The daily drawing will provide guests with the opportunity to receive a purchase voucher for select merchandise throughout the park.
One reason for the store’s launch can be attributed to Disney’s desire to make up for losses caused by closure of parks and other uncontrollable factors. Due to complicated travel restrictions and requirements wrought by the Shanghai Covid-19 outbreak, many Disney fans and tourists were (and some are still) unable to travel to Shanghai. For those who lack the time or means to travel to Shanghai, the online Tmall store bridges that gap and brings the magic right to their fingertips. By the same token, the online store will allow families to order a variety of outfits and other merchandise to prepare for their future Disney excursions well in advance.
Another potential motivation for going online could be to recover lost ground from online purchasing agents. According to Beijing Business Daily, there are currently 3,056 Disney-related shops on Taobao with people buying and selling merchandise. Among them, the highest monthly sales exceeded 1,000. Some vendors even hiked up the original price of popular merchandise such as the LinaBell doll by twice the amount or more. With Disney’s reputation, the company could easily garner more profit by selling directly to its customers online.
By opening an online flagship store, Disney Shanghai not only casts a wider net for its potential customer base, but it also reclaims a market saturated by unaffiliated buyers and vendors. The move additionally closes the gap by making products directly available to its most loyal customers. Brands can take note from Disney to leverage new technologies and platforms to elevate guests’ shopping experience both online and offline.