Screen Shot 2013-12-23 at 6.08.03 PM2013 was a year of digital progress for Watches & Jewelry, one of the slowest categories to embrace new channels. E-commerce penetration doubled for the 28 brands L2 tracked since 2010, from 29% to 54%, and e-commerce accounted for 23.6% of annual growth in the overall category. A look at the digital strategies of Watches & Jewelry brands, however, shows there is room for improvement.

Email is an underutilized tactic. Our 2013 Digital IQ Index: Watches & Jewelry shows that 73% of brands invite visitors to sign up for an email newsletter, but just more than half send a marketing message within six weeks of initial sign up. Of the three ‘Genius’ brands in our Index, only Tiffany & Co. capitalized on the weeks leading up to the holidays with emails. The brand sent 40 emails over eight weeks in November and December, 2.7x Swarovski and 3.6x Cartier. The graph below shows the other two brands only slightly increased their email frequency in December.

Given that 30% of online sales across all industries happen in November and December, ignoring the season (or barely tapping it) is a missed opportunity. Even Tiffany & Co. did not optimize the season to the fullest; its email frequency made a sharp decline starting December 17th, possibly missing a wave of last-minute shoppers.

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