In widely-circulated press releases and industry articles, digital innovation often translates to 3D printing or virtual reality experiments, magic mirror installations or complicated omni-channel implementations.
It’s understandable then – when headlines and word of mouth cater to the most remarkable cases – that a majority of luxury retail brands have decided that digital innovation is not mission-critical. In fact, many seem to have deprioritized even the most foundational element of any business (not just digital) strategy: the e-commerce website.
Based on a research audit that we conducted in May 2016, just 65 percent of the largest global luxury retailers sold products via e-commerce. However, with online expected to drive 40 percent of sales growth for luxury brands by 2020, it's time for the rest of the late adopters to convert.
This is not a call for transformation, but rather a plea for rational thought. A website is a storefront that reaches more (qualified) consumers than brick-and-mortar vitrines. It must make an impactful first impression, properly represent the brand, and offer service and purchase experiences that are as seamless as those in a physical store.