According to Statistics, global digital retail sales increased up to $4.13 trillion in 2020, and by 2040 is accountable that about 95 percent of purchases will be done through e-commerce.
Resistance to digitalisation
Technology has not only changed the way people connect but it has also had a huge impact on the way people shop. With the covid-19 pandemic, shopping online has grown even more than projected. Businesses were required to digitize in order to sustain business.In the fashion industry, the pandemic has accelerated many changes that were already underway. One of the biggest changes in the industry is the way luxury brands are finally embracing the use of digital.
Over the last decade, high-end brands have been hesitant to embrace and adapt to moving their operations from retail stores to online. Most luxury brands have resisted dealing with online retailing as they believed going digital would make them seem more generic, negatively effect people’s perception of the brand’s image and they believed it would open more space for counterfeiting. However, the global pandemic has proven to luxury brands that digital is here to stay.
High-end brands are finally taking to e-commerce.
Digitize or Die: Traditional luxury brands are finally transitioning into the digital side of the business whilst remaining cautious in selling online on their own eCommerce platforms. The question is, why now are some of the world’s top luxury brands beginning to invest in their own digital retailing?
The influence of Millennials and generation Z
Prior to the COVID 19 outbreak luxury brands began to realise that the youth of today were more affluent in shopping online than the older generations. This gradually led to luxury brands developing their own digital pages and others starting partnerships with established third party e-commerce platforms in order to provide attractive and effective options for customers to shop online. These websites would appeal to younger consumers whilst still providing a browsing experience and style similar to one they would get in their retail stores.
Younger consumers based of millennials and generation z embraced the transition to a more virtual shopping experience whilst older consumers generally preferred to stick with more traditional retail shopping. Luxury brands started to become more aware that whilst physical shopping isn’t a thing of the past, digital shopping will represent a higher percentage of the future for the industry.
Covid-19 vs Luxury Brands
With the rise of the coronavirus pandemic more and more people are being forced to change their shopping habits. As consumers are unable to leave their homes they have taken to online retailing in order to satisfy their shopping needs for essential goods. This is no different with luxury fashion brands. There has been an increase in appetite for consumers to browse and shop through digital e-commerce platforms in order to get their products. Older generations are having to accept that digital is a necessary aspect of the shopping experience in the current climate. With store closures and travel restrictions it is assumed that this will only accelerate the transition from retail stores to online shopping.
Over the last several years there has been an effort made to appeal to the technology savvy generations of today. Luxury brands have recognised that millennials and generation z generally do most of their shopping through online resources such as mobile phones and tablets. This has allowed the infrastructure to be built in order to sustain an online based digital shopping experience.
As the COVID pandemic continues, older people have acknowledged the necessity to adapt to the new way of online shopping in order to get their products. The transition from an exclusively physical retail experience for luxury brands to a more accepted online shopping experience is no longer optional, it is essential to the survival and future of the luxury industry.
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By: Isabella Silva