2017 marked a return to growth for the Watches and Jewelry sector, primarily driven by recovering sales to Chinese consumers, both in China and abroad. Winning brands invested in strategies to reach new demographics and younger consumers on social media, while broadening their reach to new distribution channels. Here are a few key trends observed in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Watches & Jewelry:
Brands are adopting e-commerce… Five watch brands launched direct-to-consumer e-commerce in the past year. As a result, 62% of brands in L2’s study now support DTC e-commerce, up from 53% in 2017. However, DTC remains primarily the mark of affordable and aspirational brands: 90% of this group offers DTC e-commerce, compared to just 35% of luxury brands.
…but still losing visibility to discounter sites. Search remains a weakness for brands: 64% of Google search results for Rolex go to resale sites, while 42% of search results for Omega take consumers to gray market pages. Even more drastic, 85% of Google search results for Roger Dubuis are for resale sites and 13% go to gray markets, leaving just 2% of results that link back to official retailers.
Customers are getting faster service: Brands are improving response times on Facebook Messenger, with a third now replying within minutes. An impressive 59% have also introduced menus with guided questions to preempt frequent inquiries. Jaeger-Lecoultre takes it one step further, integrating Messenger in the primary navigation on both its desktop and mobile site.