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In order to maximize sales online, an increasing number of luxury brands are taking a bespoke approach, offering personalized services as well as products exclusively sold online. A research presented by Enora Consulting.

Luxury e-commerce now represents 4-6% of the 200 billion euros in sales of luxury goods in the world, according to different estimates compiled by Enora. Almost nonexistent ten years ago, it grew by 25% per year over three or four years and could remain progression of 20% per annum in the coming years.Today, “the number of brands (luxury) with no site is very low” and “brands are positioned more upscale, less use of the Internet is advanced,” says Enora which points to the fact that a third of luxury online sales in France, today, are made with outlet stocks.

luxury brands

Product customization is one of the most widespread approach on e-commerce by many of the major luxury brands: Louis Vuitton offers personalized online of luggage with ”my monogram”,Ralph Lauren offers customization of their shirts (choice of logo, color, adding initials), Boucheron, customizes rings (choice of stones, shapes, quotes by e-mail), Longchamp is selling on-line a range of bespoke bags made of canvas, while Gucci offers customization of leather goods with the initials of the buyer in gold instead of 2G pattern as well as a collection of sneakers exclusively available for online sale on the Ipad.

Another important trend is to provide exclusive services online, for instance Hermes has a delivery service of ties in 3 hours. Jimmy Choo organized a treasure hunt interactive in London, supported by a network of geolocation, in which more than 4,000 people participated in less than three weeks and sales have increased by 30%.

Selling online has the advantage of capturing a younger audience, then shop to attract customers conquered on the web, but also to cover large geographic areas and to allow sales 24h/24. However, the major challenge remains how to create a unique online shopping experience, this being a major reason for several major brands lagging behind in terms of online sale development.

To better understand the recent changes in how luxury brands tackle social media and the internet digitaluxury.fr has recently compiled a research among 151 luxury brands from all sectors. Here are the key findings:

–  78% of the observed brands has activated at least 4 of the 6 social networks; 100% of the luxury brands are registered on at least one social network

– of all social networks, Facebook represents 26% of the global social registration, Youtube 25% and Twitter 24% while Tumblr, Linked IN and Foursquare represents a minority of the whole registrations

– during 2012, several of the main luxury brands have solicited bloggers in order to promote and enhance their products and/or brands (ranking in terms of pupularity on blogs: 1- Yves Saint Laurent, 2-Karl Lagarfeld, 3-Marc Jacobs, 4- Givenchy, 5 – Chanel, 6 – Christian Dior, 7- Jean-Paul Gaultier, 8- Swarovski, 9- Thierry Mugler, 10- Bulgari.

– the ranking in terms of registered and active users across all social networks: 1 – Louis Vuitton, 2 – Burberry, 3 – Ferrari, 4- Dolce & Gabbana, 5 – BMW, 6 – Marc Jacobs, 7 – Chanel, 8 – Diane Von Furstenberg, 9 – Michael Kors, 10 – Calvin Klein.

– in terms of applications, 23% of the studied brand have at least 3 applications; 86% have iPad/iPhone apps versus 20% for Android; 3% of the apps are paid; Porche, Ferrari, Saint Laurent have 5 more than such applications

– luxury brands use social networks and apps to present the universe of the brand (interviews, photos, personalized advice, news, events, craftsmanship and manufacturing etc)

– more luxury brands are considering launching Multi screen websites (mobiles, touch screen tablets, PC), integration E-CRM, interactive access to information

– mobile has become essential in the brand strategies that aim to be close to the internet users. Offer of additional services and day to day but also personalized news.

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Better tomorrow,

PR Pret-a-Porter.

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