Although luxury growth in China went from 21 percent in 2012 to 2 percent in 2013, L2′s latest China report asserts that the overall picture is rosier than this plunge suggests.
Swarovski, Piaget and Hugo Boss received top scores, while Stuart Weitzman, Oscar de la Renta and Yves Saint Laurent all ranked in the bottom 10, three of almost 70 brands who received feeble scores. The lackluster digital performance of so many brands belies the state of the country’s ecommerce, which surpassed the United States in sales volume for the first time in 2013.
“It is surprising that luxury brands are still reluctant to invest digitally in China,” said Emma Li, lead researcher of L2′s report, New York. “Before venturing overseas to make luxury purchases, Chinese consumers demand three things: brand education, pricing transparency, and product availability.
“But only seven of the indexed brands that lack ecommerce capabilities display prices on their sites to help Chinese shoppers conduct pre-purchase research,” she said. “Also important is to offer online concierge services. A third of watches and jewelry brands offer concierge services on product pages on their U.S. sites to aid in-store shopping, but just a quarter provide these services on their China equivalents.
“Brands simply can’t afford to leave out such a simple yet important feature and risk turning off Chinese consumers.”
L2′s Digital IQ Index: Luxury – China examines the digital competence in China of 95 global and five local fashion, watches and jewelry brands across four dimensions of digital: Web site and ecommerce, social media, digital marketing and mobile and tablet.
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