Half of luxury sales driven by online

Although online fashion and luxury goods sales still represent a tiny fraction of the overall market, the Internet will become increasingly important in a shorter period of time, especially for multibrand e-commerce sites. That’s according to a recent McKinsey survey.

The study found that almost half of decisions regarding the purchase of luxury goods are influenced by what consumers hear or see on the Net. According to the consulting firm, online sales of luxury women’s fashion should climb sharply from a current 3% share to 17% in 2018, accounting for 12 billion dollars.

Strong growth in developed Western countries as well as an exceptional expansion in China, will drive this spike of luxury sales on the Web. From 2015 to 2018, annual growth of online sales for luxury women’s fashion is expected to reach 17% in the US, 18% UK, 12% in Germany, and 70% in China, according to McKinsey’s estimates.

After overcoming an initial degree of reluctance and concern, most luxury brands are now more comfortable using the web as a tool, marketing their products both on their own sites as well as on the sites of department stores and e-commerce partners in certain markets, says McKinsey.

According to the study though, it’s multibrand e-commerce that will gain a greater market share in the luxury sector, while online monobrand stores have the potential for more limited growth. Multibrand sites allow, after all, brands to reach both consumers who don’t have time to surf multiple monobrand sites and customers in small urban or rural areas, who hardly have the time to visit their brick-and-mortar stores.

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