Luxury retailers are finally embracing the Internet. Potentially enormous online sales have driven luxury retailers, who have been generally late to the game, racing to build an integrated online platform that includes websites, blogs, and social media channels.
That’s really good news for consumers who can now find almost any luxury goods online — diamond necklaces, couture dresses, plush fur coats or trendy handbags and shoes — all while engaging with the brands directly.
The conventional wisdom that shoppers wouldn’t buy without first touching and feeling the products is not always the case in reality. What sells and what doesn’t isn’t that predictable. Perfumes, exotic foods and smartly chic clothing are among the high-traffic categories as well as luxury travel, vintage wines and jewelry. While luxury car sales do not do well online.
According to Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute, a luxury research firm, “Internet sales account for perhaps 15% of luxury revenue.” Online luxury sales jumped by at least 10%, and still climbing. Pedraza believes that “as websites get better and the industry gains expertise, that could rise to over 40% within five years.”
While big-name luxury brands ranging from Burberry to Louis Vuitton to Tiffany have build brilliant and stunning websites, so have the highly successful emerging luxury online retailers such as Net-a-Porter, Gilt, Ideeli, HauteLook, Swirl and others that sell designer clothing and accessories at fantastic prices.
Bloomberg compiled a list of 10 haute and hot luxury websites (which we adapted slightly) that’s worth checking out for their innovative, creative, and gorgeous designs…and of course, their wonderful luxury goods.
Beautiful clothes, beautiful people and tips for a beautiful life, pets included. Creative types will enjoy designing their own polo shirt.
2 — www.prada.com
A dazzling mix of sex, art and highly polished leather. Pictorial highlights include Carine Roitfeld’s reptilian makeover of the Paris store.
3 — www.hermes.com
You can kill a lot of time on this enchanting Website while waiting for your Birkin bag. Magnifying tool affords close-ups of those sumptuous scarves.
4 — www.burberry.com
Power to the plaid! Tech-savvy site streams runway shows live. Viewers can watch, click and buy, for speedy delivery.
5 — www.barneys.com
Cutting-edge merchandise is the least of it at this online home of hip. Check Simon Doonan’s Barneys Babble, and B-Sides, the retailer’s in-the-know blog.
6 — www.gucci.com
Brand’s “digital flagship” is a handbag fetishist’s dream, with 197 fall styles. Gucci has 1,358,189 Facebook fans. Better make that 1,358,190.
7 — www.tiffany.com
Getting married? Learn how to build the perfect engagement ring from various diamond shapes, settings and bands. The rest of the site also glitters.
Crystal-clear photos and mouth-watering descriptions of every wine in this vast collection. Click for Bordeaux futures; 2009 is one of the greats.
A premier online luxury fashion retailer with fashion magazine style website that offers unprecedented access to the hottest looks of the season from international cutting-edge labels.
10 — www.cartier.com
Refinement, thy name is Cartier. An elegant display of jewelry and leather goods, plus a pictorial paean to the French firm’s storied past.
photo credit: bloomberg