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Swarovski's website and e-tailing operations were amongst the highest ranked luxury brands
Swarovski's website and e-tailing operations were amongst the highest ranked luxury brands

Luxury jewellery and watches digitally ’paralysed’

Swarovski and Tiffany & Co’s “digital IQ” may have made it into the top 10 highest ranked luxury brands, but jewellery and watch brands are still lagging behind their fashion, shoes and leathergoods counterparts.
The digital survey, conducted by digital innovation think tank L2, analysed 72 luxury companies; Swarovski and Tiffany & Co came in at number 8 and 10 respectively but the watch and jewellery category as a whole dropped to the bottom of the ranking, with an average IQ of just 79.

“Amidst grey market concerns, counterfeit fears, and a general hope that the ‘whole internet thing will go away,’ the watch and jewellery category appears paralysed,” L2 founder Scott Galloway said.

While fashion brands Coach, Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton topped the rankings, iconic jewellery and watch brands such as Rolex, Chopard and Cartier largely ignored social media. They had limited engagement on Facebook and non-existent presences on Twitter.

An absence of social media and a limited digital presence could have an adverse impact on offline sales, according to the report.

The 21 brands that increased their digital IQ experienced an increase of 52 per cent in traffic over the year, while those who recorded IQ decreases experienced an increase of only 8 per cent in traffic.

Cartier, Prada, Dior and Rolex, who all achieved “Gifted” rankings last year, dropped to “Average” and “Challenged” this year due to a perceived lack of leadership and limited investment in digital areas.

De Beers was also the only brand in the LVMH conglomerate to record a below-average digital IQ.

Despite the underperforming of jewellery and watches, high-end jewellery brand Fabergé recorded one of the largest digital IQ leaps.

It gained 63 points after relaunching its collection and site in September 2009 and its high-technology website could serve as a precursor to the future of luxury e-commerce, according to the report.
Amongst some of its standout features were gem-encrusted baubles across its homepage and sales advisor assistance for clients as soon as they log onto the site.

Despite luxury brands’ overall improvement in utilising e-commerce and social media avenues, there was still much room for improvement.

Galloway said luxury brands were not using techniques that had the proven ability to drive traffic to their offline stores.

“None of the 72 brands in the [report] employ user reviews, only three boast live chat capability, and just two have incorporated the Facebook ‘like’ button,” Galloway said.

He added that less than 50 per cent of the surveyed companies were purchasing search terms on Google and despite the growing prevalence of social media, companies were still prioritising “flash-heavy marketing microsites.”

The L2 report scores brands against their peers across four areas: effectiveness of a brand’s site, digital marketing, social media and mobile marketing.

Listed below are the rankings of all the luxury jewellery and watch brands:
Retailer Digital IQ and contingent factors
8 Swarovski 139 – Lacked mobile site/application
24 Tiffany 138 – Successfully bridged commerce and brand building
24 Tag Heuer 116 – Boosted by commerce-centric site and iPhone application
25 Longines 114 – First luxury watch brand to sell online. Ahead of its time
26 Hublot 113 – Content packed site with World Cup advertising but difficult to navigate
34 Montblanc 104 – Features Facebook link and strong customer service
35 Bulgari 102 – Experimenting with social media and purchasing competitor search items
37 Omega 100 – Innovative quick view on site scrolls through watchbands
39 Jaegar-Lecoultre 92 – Good mobile application, weak site
39 Piaget 92 – Boosted by Youtube, Facebook and Twitter
39 Van Cleef & Arpels 92 – Enchanting site, mobile application integrated with Foursquare
42 David Yurman 90 – Boosted by iPhone application and strong customer service
44 Cartier 89 – One of the biggest missed opportunities due to 30,000 fans on Facebook but no fan engagement
44 Raymond Weil 89 – Fundraising for cancer nudged it in e-commerce stakes
48 Rolex 87 - Compelling website but invisible on social media
49 Movado 85 – Facebook engagement but no Youtube or Twitter
50 Audemars Piguet 82 – Flash-heavy site wastes time
54 Harry Winston 76 – Mobile application enhances brand’s classic aesthetic
55 IWC 75 – Facebook push in mid-August has helped, likes have doubled
56 Faberge 74 – Service-centric site could be future of super-luxury e-commerce but no digital marketing, mobile or social media
63 De Beers 63 – Commerce-oriented but no social media
64 Chopard 61 – Plummeted because of plain website, boosted by daily blog
64 Vacheron Constantin 61 – Hour Lounge discussion forum connected horologists worldwide
66 Baccarat 56 – Sophisticated Facebook site include links to e-shop
67 Patek Philippe 54 – Highly responsive Facebook page is a good start
69 Franck Muller 39 – Cookie-cutter website incongruous with unique brand
70 Graff 35 – King of diamonds lacks original digital presence
71 Bulova 32 – Dated website and lack of social media
72 Buccellati 21 – Family-run house of jewels doesn’t move beyond brochure-ware website

More reading:
Jewellers without websites are missing a trick

Designa Accessories

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