MILAN — Gucci, Burberry, Prada, Dior and Moncler received the Altagamma Digital Awards for their digital leadership on Friday.

The fourth edition of the event was organized with the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, which this week became a partner of Fondazione Altagamma. Carlo Capasa, president of the Fashion Chamber, was named vice president of Altagamma for the fashion sector starting next year.

The Altagamma Digital Awards were bestowed on the basis of data collected and analyzed in the 2020 edition of the Digital Competitive Map developed by Contactlab, which this year measured the performance of 44 brands based on 271 parameters.

The prizes were split into two categories: Best Digital Offer and Best Customer Relations, with awards in each for the Best in Class and Best Improver. In addition, there was a  Special Award for the most outstanding performance in the past three editions.

Burberry and Gucci were declared the Best in Class 2020 prize winners for best digital offer and Gucci best customer relations, respectively.

Prada was named the Best Improver 2018-2020 for its digital offer. Dior and Moncler were also jointly bestowed the award, for best customer relations and for their progress in the area over the past two years.

Gucci was given a Special Award for being top in digital excellence for the past three years.

Burberry stands out for the most widespread presence on e-commerce platforms, both directly and via e-tailers and luxury online department stores.

Moreover, it offers the most extensive content localization on the web (including the choice of 11 languages for the U.S. web site) and through e-mail marketing (including e-mails in Russian, Portuguese and traditional Chinese).

Prada accelerated its digital transformation and omnichannel approach over the past two years, completely redesigning the site’s customer experience globally. It has also opened new e-commerce markets, including Brazil, Singapore and Korea in 2020. The Italian brand has personalized its content and strengthened its digital communication strategy through the full use of social channels around the world.

Gucci was rewarded for the excellence of its navigation and user experience during online shopping, and for the high quality and variety of content for Digital Direct marketing, for which Altagamma hailed the brand as “a benchmark.” The luxury goods association also praised Gucci’s “constant desire to experiment and innovate online,” for example, through an app with augmented reality, digital gifting with split payments, or eco-packaging.

Dior has improved the user experience and increased the payment options available online, while also introducing several innovative services such as the Facebook chatbot, a virtual perfume store, an app for virtual try-ons of make-up and augmented reality on e-mails via Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and web browsers.

Moncler has enhanced omnichannel services by including store virtual appointments, and expanding online payment and delivery and returns. It has also invested in the development of in-store digital services, focusing on a full mobile digital experience, and strengthened the digital interaction with the consumer through digital postcards, livestreaming and digital appointments

“The pandemic has led to an acceleration of online sales of personal luxury goods, which have grown by 12 to 23 percent of total sales in 2020,” said Stefania Lazzaroni, general manager of Altagamma. “Digital is turning from a channel for sales and communication into an environment in which today’s — younger — consumers can live an immersive experience with the brand. With the Altagamma Digital Awards, created with Contactlab, we intend to monitor the evolution of the digital ecosystem of personal luxury goods on the basis of a very broad set of parameters that offers an opportunity for comparison and analysis on which are the most useful and effective tools to manage social media and online activity.”

The “Digital in the Post-COVID Era” study, presented by Antonio Achille, senior partner and global head of luxury at McKinsey & Company, expects online penetration to grow by about 20 percent over the next two years. Consumers will become increasingly demanding.

“This requires particularly challenging adaptive strategies from brands: extreme care in the collection and systematization of data, a more agile and rapid marketing model in execution, an extreme personalization of the offer and communication and an increasing attention to the authenticity of the storytelling,” according to the study.

Marco Pozzi, senior adviser at Contactlab and author of the study, noted that the luxury sector has been “extremely reactive” in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, accelerating its e-commerce presence. “The valuable knowledge of sales assistants has also been rapidly reused to promote virtual engagement. It is enormously gratifying for Italian fashion that the six outstanding brands shortlisted include Gucci, Valentino and Bulgari. Furthermore, Prada, Moncler, Armani, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana emerge as brands which have most improved their digital performance in 2020.”