The Digital IQ Index: Watches & Jewellery report is published annually by research company L2. The 2017 iteration presented an analysis of the online strengths and weaknesses of 70 watch and jewellery brands, including Swarovski, Pandora, Tag Heuer and Alex and Ani.
Each brand was assigned a score based on website and e-commerce capabilities, digital marketing, social media engagement and smartphone compatibility. From there, the score determined the company’s rank across five categories, the highest being ‘genius’ and the lowest being ‘feeble’.
Tiffany & Co and Cartier were the only brands to be given ‘genius’ status; 16 placed in the second best category of ‘gifted’, including Swarovski, Pandora, Alex and Ani and Mont Blanc.
It is widely known that consumers are comparing price, quality and style of products online before making purchases from a bricks-and-mortar store.
According to the report, price transparency was therefore an important consideration and luxury brands were increasingly faced with the dilemma of deciding whether or not to display pricing on websites.
The report found 44 per cent of watch brands did not provide pricing online compared to 24 per cent of jewellery brands.
It highlighted that several companies were employing ‘concierge’ methods in an attempt to drive consumers in-store without listing prices. Examples included offering online appointment scheduling, allowing ‘concierge’ contact via a webform and providing a phone number to connect the customer to a ‘concierge’.
Among the social media platforms utilised by watch and jewellery brands, Instagram proved most popular. The social media platform captured 83 per cent of the total interactions in the past 12 months, compared to Facebook’s 16 per cent and Twitter’s 1 per cent. However, when YouTube views were added into the mix, the top contender for total interactions changed – YouTube came out on top with 78 per cent, followed by Instagram with 18 per cent.
Mobile vs apps
According to the report, brands were primarily shifting focus to mobile-friendly sites rather than apps in the past 12 months. The study stated that mobile web audiences were three times as large and increasing twice as fast as app audiences. In addition, 56 per cent of the brands analysed did not have an app and many more were no longer updating their apps; some had eliminated them altogether.
SEO and SEM strategies
The research indicated that jewellery and watch companies were demonstrating distinct search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) efforts in response to ‘grey market’ sites dominating digital visibility. L2 noted that brands controlled 51 per cent of the top three organic Google results when using branded keywords such as ‘Chanel’ or ‘Rolex.’ If a product term was added – for example, ‘Rolex watch’ – brands controlled 68 per cent of Google’s results. When the query became more specific and included an actual make or model term, brands maintained 64 per cent of the results.
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