Daily Management Review

Growing E-Commerce Platforms Of Luxury Goods Sets A Trend For Watchmakers To Join The Team


There is a push among the high-end manufacturers of watch to turn to web sales, although the journey still faces resistance and limitations.

Giving the boom on the sales of luxury goods on online platforms, the “high-end” watch manufacturer are finally getting convinced to start investing in e-commerce breaking the long scepticism regarding customers’ spending the money to purchase “intricate timepieces on the web”.
The online sweep includes the small as well as large brands of “luxury goods” that are targeting the young customers for among this category the sales of “fashion” items on online platforms are driving home “major growth”. The LVMH watch business’ Head, Jean-Claude Biver, remarked:
“We didn’t realize the speed at which millennials would take to buying cars or watches online”.
Tag Heuer is a label of LVMH which generally has a long association with “motor racing”, whereby the same now wants to create its “own” shopping platform in the span of coming eighteen months. In collaborations with “multi-brand web retailers”, many watchmakers were often spotted participating in web sales.
According to Reuters:
“Tech-savvy shoppers in Asia have partly inspired a drive to do more - China overtook the United States last year as the leading source of traffic to luxury watch websites, according to consultancy DLG”.
With the proliferation of “unofficial resellers”, the watchmakers are taking steps to be at the helm of their respective “online image”. In fact, the C.E.O of Corum, Jerome Biard, said:
“We want to reassure people, while taking into account that today clients also might like to buy their watch at home in the evening while they drink a glass of wine”
As per Biard, the “first e-commerce site” of the Swiss Brand is going to be made “fully operational” within the coming sixty days. There are expectations that by the year of 2025, web sales will be contributing to 25% of “all global luxury goods sales”. However, some watchmakers including Rolex has not shown any interest in creating its online platform as yet.
Nevertheless, there are others who are investing “serious cash” on the growth of e-commerce. Likewise, the Cartier and Baume & Mercier’s owner has an offer of “up to 2.8 billion euros ($3.4 billion)” in return seeking for “full control of multi-brand site Yoox Net-a-Porter”. In the words of a watch enthusiast, Anish Bhatt:
“There is no taboo with buying online anymore”.
Bhatt further added that the watchmakers long harboured the perception that the sale of luxury watches could only be possible in a “certain environment” which he describes as in the presence of the “shop assistants wearing silk gloves, while you sipped champagne”.
Moreover, other Swiss watch manufacturers like Oris, RJ and Breitling revealed their plans of expanding into online platforms. Nevertheless, the said drive still faces some resistance and comes with “caveats and limitations”. Bulgari’s Chief Executive Officer, Jean-Christophe Babin, stated:
“There are watch adjustments that require customers to pass through a store”.
While Reuters informed:
“Bulgari already sells through its sites in the United States, China, Japan and the United Kingdom, and is rolling out e-commerce to all of Europe by year-end. It aims to launch in Australia early in 2019”.

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