Jewelers are failing to take advantage of online opportunities to build their brands, according to a webinar hosted by the think tank L2 on Nov. 14.
The webinar expanded on the findings of a recent L2 study that showed jewelry companies—even those L2 ranked in its top 10 list of digital-savvy brands—were rated only as “average,” “challenged,” or “feeble” when judged on the impact of their overall digital presence. The study also found that 90 percent of brands don't have mobile site features, and that no jewelry brand has totally embraced Twitter and made it a vital asset. Tiffany & Co. was regarded as a “genius” brand in terms of digital, but the company wasn’t taking risks online as seen in other industries.
"Some of the industry's greatest icons are losing relevance as they fall further and further behind," said L2 founder Scott Galloway. “These brands will lose differentiation if they continue to avoid digital, and be like Levi, a once great brand that faded.”
L2 found that jewelry brands were missing sales opportunities by not taking advantage of branded search terms, and by not integrating their physical stores more on their websites. Seventy-one percent of jewelry brands don’t have e-commerce enabled on their web sites, 97 percent don’t have an option for in-store pickup, and 51 percent don’t have a link to a store locator on the product page.
“Jewelry brands need to start viewing their website as a vehicle to get people into their stores,” said Maureen Mullen, director of research and advisory services for L2.
While jewelry brands are still struggling to embrace online, there are signs of improvement. From 2009 to 2011, Facebook and Twitter communities for jewelry brands have grown 89 percent and 70 percent, respectively, and 75 percent now have a presence on YouTube.
“When a couple more of the big brands fully embrace digital, the rest of the industry will catch up pretty quickly,” said Mullen, who used the fashion industry’s improvement online as an example.
Other findings discussed during the webinar included: