Brands praised for forward attitudes to e-commerce and social media.
A report into the online efforts made by 35 leading jewellery and watch brands has been produced by L2 in their first Digital IQ Index, with Tiffany & Co. and Swarovski classed as the most innovative and wide-reaching.
The report is focused on how effectively jewellery and watch brands work online. It warns that many risk getting left behind, with just 29% of jewellery and watch brands currently selling online.
The Digital IQ Index rates brands and companies on their effectiveness online, looking at their e-commerce abilities, navigational websites, m-commerce, social media and digital marketing.
The brands were rated on an IQ scale from less than 70 to over 140, with those at the lower end classified as feeble and those with a digital IQ of more than 140 considered genius.
Tiffany & Co. peaked on the chart with genius rating and all-round praise for its online efforts. L2 said of Tiffany: “A class by itself, Tiffany & Co. boasts the only m-commerce site and a flare for cross-platform programming.”
Second in line was Swarovski, which scored 124 on the Digital IQ chart and was praised for its widespread Facebook community, while being rated number one for digital marketing.
The top ten brands online were listed, in order, as Tiffany & Co., Swarovski, Jaeger-LeCoultre, David Yurman, Cartier, Omega, TAG Heuer, Longines, and in joint place Montblanc and Pandora.
Of those brands, four are part of Richemont Group, three part of LVMH and two part of Swatch Group.
De Beers was rated 18th, Breitling and Harry Winston joint 22nd and Rolex 28th. At the bottom end of the scale, brands considered feeble in their online activity were Graff Diamonds, Faberge and – bottom place – Patek Philippe.
L2 did note however that obstacles such as market concerns, counterfeit fears, price changes and retailer conflict were top reasons why brands were slow off the mark when it came to promoting and selling online.
The report revealed that 67% of consumers in the EU and half of those in the US search luxury goods online before marking purchases however less than half of the brands link to a store locator and just a third display product prices online.
Tiffany was the only brand to provide in-store pick-up through its site, while TAG Heuer is the only brand to provide links to online retailers.
All but three of the 35 watch and jewellery brands featured in the Digital IQ index now maintain a presence on Facebook, with communities averaging more than 200,000 fans.
M-commerce or the development of mobile sites has increased from 7% of the brands in 2010 to 39% this year. Furthermore, companies are beginning to abandon flash-heavy sites that are difficult to navigate in favour of more streamlined experiences that are more searchable, shareable and product-centric.
L2 found that less than half the brands are purchasing their own brand keywords, failing to appear in the top three paid-for ads on Google searches.
The majority of brands (35%) were considered ‘challenged’ in the digital arena, but more were average (31%) than feeble (29%), which shows progression in the luxury sector in its reach to digital users.