Few luxury firms sell online, yet among those that do online retail is an important part of their business, accounting for 12 percent of revenues on average, according to a new survey.
Ninety-four percent of the 178 luxury brand executives surveyed by Forrester Research Inc. and the luxury association Walpole Committee said they have a brand Web site, but only 32 percent sell online. Of those who do, average online sales were $57 million.
It's time for luxury firms to adjust their thinking on e-commerce, said lead author and Forrester analyst Victoria Bracewell Lewis. Eight out of 10 high-worth consumers use the Internet daily and regularly research and buy luxury goods and services online, the report said.
"Selling direct is not going to be appropriate for every brand, but it's time for luxury firms to step up and be just as innovative in this channel as they have been with their goods," she said. "We've admired luxury goods for their quality and their inventiveness, and I do think this is an opportunity that's being missed by the luxury sector."
The premium and luxury brands surveyed represented a range of industries, including fashion, media, retail, travel, members-only clubs and wealth management services. Fashion, footwear and accessories made up the largest category with 19 percent of firms in the survey. In addition to the survey, Forrester interviewed 20 companies, including Bang & Olufsen, Cool Diamonds, Emporio Armani, Fortnum & Mason and Louis Vuitton.
Twenty-two percent of the 117 companies without e-commerce said they plan to start selling online in the next year. Twenty-six percent said they do not sell online because they believe their customers would not buy their goods and services on the Web. Typically, they treat their Web sites as a glossy magazine ad.
When customers go online to buy something they may have seen in a magazine or elsewhere, then burrow down four or five layers only to find they can't buy, it's frustrating," Bracewell Lewis said.
"You've just created a poor shopping experience for that exact same audience you were trying to attract in the first place and they can leave feeling negative toward that brand and the experience they've just had. Your competition is just a click away."
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)