E-commerce to account for 18% of all luxury sales by 2025

Back in 2009, McKinsey had capped its ecommerce prediction at 2 percent of sales, or $4 billion, for 2015. The actual figure is around 6 percent, or $14 billion, and the research firm has accordingly reassessed its view of digital channels, anticipating robust growth for the next decade and beyond.

“Luxury shoppers are very digital, they are much more mobile digital than the rest of the population,” said Nathalie Remy, partner at McKinsey & Company, Paris. “Brands have to be everywhere, but you have to manage, make sure you’re consistent,” she said.

E-commerce has grown at about 27 percent per year since 2009, four times the rate of offline sales, and McKinsey sees no reason why this rate would stop especially when smartphone penetration is increasing and consumers become more comfortable shopping online.

The average amount of luxury sales generated by ecommerce is six percent, but certain countries are far ahead of the curve. For instance, ecommerce in Britain accounts for about 11 percent of luxury sales. Brazil and China are two other leaders, and China in particular could be well ahead of the pack since no indisputable measurements exist and the country has a large grey market. Surprisingly, the highly digital culture of South Korea is average when it comes to ecommerce size. The U.S., Japan and Italy are also middle of the pack.

The McKinsey report was presented at the 2015 FT Business of Luxury Summit in Monte Carlo

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