A late adopter of digital and social platforms, Chanel has always kept e-commerce at arms length. Last year, it made eyewear available online just a few months after selling select pieces of jewelry on Net-A-Porter. Chanel Beauty, however, has been available for online purchase – direct and through department store websites – for longer. Surprisingly, Chanel beauty products are available on U.K. drugstore brands Boots.com and FeelUnique as well as U.K. department stores John Lewis, Selfridges, Debenhams and House of Fraser.
Despite these concessions to third-party retail, Chanel has not given partners any control of how they present its brand. It maintains control of branding on most retailers sites. For example, shoppers on Selfridge.com do not find Chanel products listed amongst other brands; they appear on a separate, branded product page filled with just Chanel products. Furthermore, unlike other products on Boots.com, Chanel products have no reviews.
Chanel is an example of how prestige brands can embrace e-commerce on high-end and mid-priced e-tailers without fear of dilution. For more on Chanel’s digital performance in the U.K., download our latest Digital IQ Index: Beauty U.K.