The market for luxury watches and fine jewellery is currently estimated to account for 20% of the sales in the global luxury market. The business of luxury goods is constantly changing in relation to the vagaries of style trends and fluctuating financial markets. Recent developments have shown that an additional component is evidently influencing the consumption of luxury goods: digital marketing.
Craftsmanship and technology join forces
Built upon the ideology of traditional craftsmanship and classic elegance, watch and jewellery brands have been reluctant to explore the potential online retail and information channels may have on consumer affiliation and consumption.
The time is ticking though. Luxury brands have experienced a sense of disconnection between their online and offline representation; challenged to maintain a sense of desire and unattainability, many brands were hesitant to explore the craftsmanship behind social media. A staggering 88% of luxury watch marketing executives named social media to be an important brand shaping tool. Simultaneously, half of the executives believe social media to be the highest risk factor influencing this image. Whilst high-end luxury brands have been watching from afar, affordable luxury brands have been exploring the digital world, challenging ‘Swiss-made’ traditions and engaging potential customers into two-way conversations. Even though luxury brands can learn a ‘tick’ or two from affordable luxury brands in terms of digital, one cannot compare the sentiment represented by limited luxury timepieces and jewellery to affordable mass-produced watches.
The viable question emerges, how valuable are e-commerce and social media for watches pricing £2500 and above? Research has found that online websites account for a fundamental 40% when creating and nourishing customer relationships. By providing instant access to valuable information such as catalogues, pricing and sales locations, not only do websites stimulate customer curiosity, they also create the significant link between the online and offline representation of products. Even though an Instagram or Facebook challenge does not provide a direct incentive to purchase a luxury watch, it encourages the respective audience to engage with the products history, values and newest products.
In order to keep watch on life’s most memorable moments and not lose customers to affordable luxury brands; high-end watch and jewellery brands must engineer innovative strategies, linking the past and the future to create unique experiences with a modern yet timeless edge.