International online luxury sales jumped 170% over August and September

Online cross-border luxury sales have shot up by nearly 200 per cent as the “much-predicted shift to digital luxury” gets underway.

Throughout August and September, international sales of luxury goods spiked 170 per cent compared to a year earlier as the ongoing coronavirus crisis forces the industry to bring their experiences online.

According to data from eShopWorld, these figures follow a peak in July when international luxury sales were 40 per cent higher than the lead up to Christmas last year, traditionally the most lucrative sales period for luxury brands.

While luxury brands have often shunned ecommerce, favouring the exclusivity and experiential elements of physical retail, the pandemic means experiential luxury is now facing a decrease of between 40 to 60 per cent.

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The research goes on to suggest that luxury retailers are now being forced to “reprioritise digital”, introducing better ecommerce experiences, showrooming and online events to maximise sales.

“Luxury companies are having to accelerate their digital presence to compensate for the decrease in in-store shopping,” eShopWorld’s chief executive Tommy Kelly said.

“To do so they need to create brand-owned online stores if they want greater control and wish to position their products according to their sales strategies, striking a balance between brand experience and the ease of finding products seamlessly.

“This allows for the merging of the physical and digital worlds to create innovative retail experiences delivered with the seamless service consumers expect from luxury retailers.”

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