Today marks the release of the 4th annual edition of the Digital IQ Index: Fashion report. This year’s study ranks the digital competence of 64 fashion brands across four dimensions: site, digital marketing, social media, and mobile. Based upon more than 675 data points, brands are classified into five categories: Genius, Gifted, Average, Challenged, or Feeble.

In 2012, 11% of luxury brands in the study grace the Genius ranks, up from 4% just one year ago. The Genius class continues to feature several industry icons, such as Burberry which lands in the top position for the second straight year. Other digital heavy hitters Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton return to the Genius category after dipping to Gifted in 2011. But the biggest surprises are Tory Burch and Kate Spade, which tie for the No. 3 spot in this year’s ranking. Bolstered by best-in-class e-commerce sites, strong mobile launches, and deep cross-platform social media penetration, the two brands are able to match competitors with bigger budgets and grander heritage.

For the rest of the Top 10 List, see the chart below.

The study finds that while brands are still clamoring for social media fan numbers, the quieter, yet more important battle, is for e-commerce market share. With more than half of global Internet users saying they purchase fashion items online and 20% digital sales growth year-over-year in the apparel and accessories category, e-commerce is more meaningful than ever for luxury brands. Our data shows a significant relationship between Digital IQ and year of e-commerce site launch with early adopters continuing to maintain an advantage across all digital platforms. All seven of the Genius brands in this year’s study have been selling online for more than five years.

For more information on the Digital IQ Index: Fashion, download an excerpt of the report here and watch the video below.

Digital IQ Index: Fashion 2012 from L2 Think Tank on Vimeo.

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