Many luxury companies remain cautious about jumping into digital sales, but rising sales figures are encouraging them to think again, according to Quartz.
Up to now many brands believe he small size of two-dimensional online images mean that high-value items of exceptional craftmanship are not shown at their best
Covid-19 has forced many shops to shut their doors and consumers to stay home, leaving shop owners with a whole collection of garments to sell before the end of the season, which is pushing them even harder to give new priority to their digital businesses.
Remo Ruffini, head of high-end jacket maker Moncler, said “During this time, when attitudes to shopping may be changing and habits may become even more online, I felt we needed not only an evolution, but a revolution in our digital culture.”
Jean-Marc Duplaix, chief finance officer (CFO) of Kering, which owns brands including Gucci and Saint Laurent, said that e-commerce accounted for (pdf) in the first half of 2020, up from just 6% during the same period last. CFO Jean-Marc Duplaix pointed out on a call with investors that even as stores have reopened around China and Europe, digital growth continued to accelerate.13% of its total retail sales in the first half of 2020, up from just 6% during the same period last year.
LVMH, the world’s largest luxury group and owner of brands such as Louis Vuitton and Dior, said it saw strong performance across its own e-commerce channels, as opposed to online sales through other retailers, which have tended to dominate online luxury sales.
“When I see the amount of business that we’ve been able to generate in the last six months on our e-commerce platform, I think there is a future for these platforms to generate a significant amount of the global sales,”
Jean-Jacques Guiony, LVMH’s CFO, said that stores would remain the most important sales channel, but he added that e-commerce would also be a “very interesting way of approaching some clients and distributing products”.
Luxury e-commerce’s growth has outpaced the market overall, partly because millennials and Gen Z shoppers make up a rising share of high-end consumers. The pandemic has forced shoppers to adopt even more digital habits, at least some of which are likely to stick around.