Luxury Sales Moving Online, Study Says

A new report from L2, the retail researcher and think tank, suggests that the number of luxury sales that start online, through research, or end online, through e-checkout, could grow by 40 percent by 2020.

Currently, just 5 percent of total luxury sales are online. But nearly 50 percent of luxury sales are “triggered or influenced” by online experiences. Researchers expect both numbers to grow over the next five years and warn that the luxury industry, which currently lags in online commerce, would do well to keep up. 

“The luxury sector has been notoriously hesitant to embrace online commerce, but that’s slowly changing,” according to the report.

The report found that only 45 percent of luxury brands support e-commerce, compared to 88 percent of fashion brands. They also noted that of the luxury brands to launch new websites last year, just one was a new entry into e-commerce, suggesting that the gap is widening between brands that do court online sales and those that don’t.

The report also suggests that brands should go a step further and offer mobile commerce, or m-commerce, a shopping experience easily available on mobile phones. 

“Affluent shoppers both research and purchase on mobile devices at higher rates than their less prosperous brethren,” states the report.