Categories
data e-commerce Editor's pick

High intensity interval shopping? eBay’s ’emotional tech’ pop-up says yes

eBay has opened the world’s first store powered by emotion just in time for Giving Tuesday and also revealed just how stressful Christmas shopping can be.

Based at 93 Mortimer Street in London, the concept space is only open for two days (Nov 29-30). A “do good, feel good” experience, it encourages visitors to “unwrap” what it means to give thoughtfully this Christmas.

In biometric booths it uses intelligent bio-analytic technology and facial coding to (hopefully) remove outside stresses as people browse a selection of items from the retailer’s Giving page. The idea is that the tech identified which items create the biggest emotional connection. The ‘shoppers’ then get a report on the three items that they connected to the most.

There’s also an “emotional tapestry” centrepiece covering 20 sq m that translates shopper emotions in real time. US firm Lightwave provided the facial coding tech and ambient biometric sensors and also worked with eBay on research giving the whole thing a bit of context.

The two conducted a biometric study that suggested Christmas gift shopping can increase heart rate by 32%, which is similar to taking part in a long race. 100 people were fitted with biometric wearables that measured their emotional responses as they shopped. A massive 88% of them experienced tachycardia.

Equally bad (for their wallets if not their health), most lost interest after 32 minutes and hit what eBay called the “wall of disenchantment”. That’s when shoppers settle for anything just to avoid having to shop for any longer, so cue large amounts of money wasted on unwanted gifts.

The company is suggesting we should treat Christmas shopping like we do exercise, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) would become “HIIS”. So we shop for a bit then rest. Not sure how practical that is, unless you’re web-browsing at home, but maybe if you choose stores that have plenty of cafés nearby, it might just work.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday.

Categories
Editor's pick technology

British consumers are ready and eager for in-store tech, according to Barclays

in-store tech
The Barclays New Retail Reality report shows investing in tech in-store would give high street retailers a further boost

British shoppers now expect stores to be tech-enabled with an array of features like smart fitting rooms and virtual reality, according to the Barclays New Retail Reality report.

Its study of 2,000 consumers, reveals that 65% of shoppers are eager to see more touchscreen technology, while newer, more experiential technologies are popular too. Shoppers are more likely to visit a store kitted out with virtual reality (57%), smart fitting rooms (57%) or augmented reality (52%).

In addition, while the appetite for the use of drones in retail is muted, with around two-thirds of shoppers citing worries about security, privacy and collisions, new payment technologies can’t come fast enough. They’re highly rated by consumers, with many describing contactless (48%) and mobile payments (37%) as “life changing”.

In another technological shift, shoppers are now five times more likely to use social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to complain about a product than they were three years ago. And they want a quick response when they complain, with one in three (38%) expecting a complaint made via social media responded to within an hour.

Londoners are keenest about new retail technologies, closely followed by those in the North West. Respondents from this region are among the country’s most eager for biometric payments, mobile payments, smart fitting room and touchscreen technologies in stores.

Shoppers in Manchester are especially keen to trial virtual reality technologies in-store, even more so than those in London. In addition, although appetite for drone delivery services is more muted overall, shoppers in London and Northern Ireland are most eager for the introduction of them.

Ian Gilmartin, head of retail and wholesale at Barclays, said: “Our research reveals that the public still sees the high street as an essential part of the shopping experience [but] consumer expectations are currently moving faster than retailer innovation.”

The research also throws up some interesting points about Brexit. Britons said they want the industry protected during Brexit negotiations. Two thirds (64%) of consumers say they’re proud of the service that UK retailers provide to society, and a similar proportion (65%) want the protection of UK retailers and goods prioritised during Brexit negotiations. Overall, however, consumers are uncertain about the impact of Brexit on retail and worry about the availability of luxury goods (42%).

A version of this post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday.

Categories
business e-commerce Editor's pick mobile

Yoox Net-A-Porter: Mobile-only, seaplane deliveries and ‘EIPs’

Yoox Net-a-Porter seaplane
Net-a-Porter trialled same-day deliveries to the Hamptons by seaplane this summer

In an interview in the past few days, the CEO of the merged Yoox Net-A-Porter Group said: “One of my biggest objectives is to transform the company into a mobile-only company.”

While various news outlets jumped on that statement, it’s probably not quite as bold as it seems. Convincing luxury shoppers to permanently abandon a bells and whistles website for an app might be tough, however good that app might be. The Yoox app certainly isn’t good enough just yet, even though the Outnet one is pretty impressive.

Full-scale websites still have their place and will continue to do so but Federico Marchetti’s statement of intent does underline how important mobile has become at all levels of the market. Perhaps he should have said he wants YNaP to be a mobile-first e-tailer, rather than a mobile-only one.

For now, he told Associated Press, mobile accounts for less than half the firm’s total turnover but Marchetti expects sales via smartphones and tablets to be around 75% of sales (sales totalled €1.74bn last year) by the end of 2020. He also wants overall sales to rise 17-20% annually in that timescale.

To help his ambitions, the company is developing further apps, finally added text search to its Yoox app recently, as well as a television shopping app with Apple TV. We should see more of this kind of thing for the firm’s own brands, as well as the e-stores it runs for brands like Marni, Jimmy Choo, Dolce & Gabbana and Armani, when its London tech hub opens next year.

Of course, tech doesn’t have to mean apps. Marchetti told AP that the company has some other inventive ways of meeting its same-day delivery commitments. It introduced services like seaplanes to drop off rush orders to the Hamptons this summer, for instance. And less tech but equally welcome is the try-it-on-while-we wait courier service.

All of that is particularly aimed at the firm’s EIPs (that’s Extremely Important People). They may account for 2% of customers but they spend one-third of the cash that the business generates.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday.

Categories
business e-commerce Editor's pick

Digital and discounts ride to rescue of battered luxury sector

luxury digital prada
Prada

Global uncertainty on too many fronts is keeping the luxury market in standby mode at the moment. Even the sector’s big spenders are worrying about terrorism, the oil market, the US presidential election, Brexit, and this currency going up or that one going down.

So it all adds up to a tough time for the sector. Well, ‘tough’ may be putting it too strongly. According to a Bain/Altagamma report, sales are going to hold steady for 2016 at a mere €249bn/$273bn for those luxury goods we can simply walk into stores and buy like bags, boots and $500 jeans.

Add in other luxury goods like art, yachts, private jets, interior designers, cars that do 0-60 in four seconds and restaurants where you have to book six months in advance, and you have a market worth a cool €1trn.

But no growth is no growth, whether you’re a 99p store or LVMH. So, in the face of a stagnating market, what is the luxury world doing?

Bain partner Claudia D’Arpizio said: “Brands are refocusing on the local customer base and working to develop products that are more affordable and more inclusive to meet their needs.”

Now we’ve been here before, of course. Once upon a time luxury brands churned out quite a lot of lower-priced goods that were designed to pull in the less affluent among us, but after the last recession many of the firms involved decided that “wannabe luxury customers” weren’t worth the effort and focused on the truly affluent with ultra luxury products at eye-watering prices.

But it’s not that easy anymore and companies are having to think differently.

“The luxury market has reached a maturation point. Brands can no longer rely on low-hanging fruit. Instead, they really need to implement differentiating strategies to succeed going forward,” said D’Arpizio. “We are already starting to see clear polarisation when it comes to performance with winners and losers emerging across product categories and segments.”

luxury digital gucci
Gucci
THANK GOODNESS FOR DIGITAL

One thing the sector is doing is focusing (finally) on digital. Bain said e-commerce leads among luxury shopping channels as a growth strategy.

The report puts it like this: “Around the world, retail, which continued to gain share as recently as last year, drastically slowed with the first footprints of rationalisation in the market. E-commerce is the leading channel in terms of growth, reaching 7% penetration in 2016, which makes it the third largest luxury ‘market’ globally after the US and Japan and a key driver in luxury’s digital revolution.”

Digital continues to be a democratising force on the global luxury market. Previously high barriers to entry have all but been destroyed, enabling emerging brands to compete directly with more established players.

“Naturally, an influx of new market entrants is concerning to incumbents, who are worried about losing market share,” said Bain’s Federica Levato. “But, we anticipate big opportunities for the brands that are willing to think and act more like their up-and-coming counterparts.”

luxury digital Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce & Gabbana
DISCOUNTING, LUXURY’S SECRET WEAPON?

Discounting is also key, which may be a bit contradictory for a sector that claims to hate markdowns. But when those markdowns are under brands’ control, they don’t seem too unhappy.

Today, discounted luxury goods represent more than 35% of the personal luxury goods market, versus full-price and off-price stores comprise more than 30% of the market. These numbers are expected to increase as consumers continue to push for value for money. Luxury brands that can strategically, rather than tactically, manage the outlet channel while reducing discounts in stores will reap the rewards, Bain said.

Accessorisation and polarisation are also prevailing market trends. Soft accessories and jewellery continue to be consistent outperformers, surpassed only by beauty, despite variable trends from brand to brand.

And what exactly does polarisation mean? The ongoing polarisation trend is the outperformance of the Absolute luxury and Accessible luxury segments. Unlike in previous years, where brand performance was largely even among the major players, the current era more clearly reveals brands with a strong lead and those that are falling behind in these sectors.

And finally, what about the Chinese consumer? Mainland China is increasingly outperforming the market as Chinese consumption at home increases. However, the rise in local spending doesn’t offset decreased purchases among Chinese tourists, especially in Europe.

For the first time in history, Chinese consumers have decreased their contribution to the total luxury market from 31% in 2015 to 30% in 2016. Local factors such as price differentials, lower levels of service, and overall incomparable shopping experiences are driving down volumes and average ticket sales at home compared to Chinese consumers’ purchases overseas.

But over the longer-term, Chinese luxury spending and the country’s contribution to total personal luxury goods consumption are expected to trend upward, due in large part to a growing middle class with more disposable income to spend on luxury purchases.

Looking ahead, D’Arpizio anticipates the personal luxury market will reach €280bn-€285bn by 2020 (compound annual growth rate of 3%-4%, beginning in 2017), but cautions that it won’t be an easy road.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday.

Categories
e-commerce

Digital luxury: Who are 2016’s winners (and losers)?

Balenciaga digital luxury
Balenciaga.com

Luxury was late to the digital party and for the most part hasn’t acquitted itself well ever since. Which is why the regular ContactLab/Exane BNP Paribas reports into just how good the purchasing experience is for consumers is always interesting.

The report looks at factors such as digital touchpoint like abandoned carts, customer service, ease of ordering and general communications, plus physical touchpoint like packaging, delivery and much more.

Last year it did this from a Milanese viewpoint and this year it was New York. So what did it learn?

Well, Balenciaga and Fendi topped the performance ranking this time after ContactLab did its usual practical tests. It bought and returned products from 31 brand websites and five multi brand e-tailers.

Kering (Balenciaga owner) and LVMH (Fendi owner) must be happy as they were joint first. Kering scored again in number three position as Saint Laurent (or is it YSL these days?) took the bronze medal. Chanel and Coach shared fourth place, just missing the medal-winners rostrum.

Dropping back this time were Cartier, which had scored well last year but was in eighth spot this time, plus former high-ranker Louis Vuitton at only number 17. Hugo Boss was a lowly 31. Gucci stayed at number 16.

Burberry and Prada both improved. But given that Burberry was only at number 13 when it prides itself on being very digitally-focused, that’s not great. And poor old Prada only managed a rise to number 27 so its much-talked-about digital turnaround obviously hasn’t kicked in yet.

What’s so interesting about this particular report is that it’s not about the things we often notice first, such as high profile websites or social media engagement; it’s purely about the nuts and bolts of buying and returning goods, because that’s what the customer does and that’s how the customer interacts most with a brand. Given that online accounted for all of luxury’s growth last year and is expected to do so for the next few years at least, you’d think the experience would be prioritised.

You’d also think luxury retailers rather than monobrands might perform better with their long traditions of customer service, but some of those don’t acquit themselves that well. Saks was only in 13th place, Nordstrom 18th, Barneys 26th and Bergdorf Goodman an unimpressive 35th.

Who was the top retailer? Net-a-Porter in sixth place. I must admit, the experience of buying from this company (and its Yoox arm) is generally excellent. It wasn’t always. Many a time I’ve paid extra for Saturday delivery from Yoox only for something to arrive on Monday. While Net-a-Porter once took five months to refund me for an item returned the day after delivery. It was only a small amount and I completely overlooked not getting the refund until it just showed up nearly half a year later.

But that was five years ago, since then the company has shown why it’s the luxury e-tail leader.

“Net-A-Porter is digital native and is extremely consistent in assuring a top luxury performance in the majority of the more than 100 digital and physical touch points we have been evaluating along the online purchasing process,” said Marco Pozzi, senior advisor at ContactLab. He added that US department stores came out better on the digital touch points (especially Nordstrom and Saks) but they’re “average or lagging on physical touch points”.

“It should not be difficult for department stores to improve packaging, fillers, documentation and overall care in order to give a more luxury and less Amazon-like feeling to online customers,” Pozzi said. “Of course this requires focus on the problem, and for sure additional costs.”

The stores do rate highly on returns though, especially Nordstrom, which is unsurprising as multibrand retailers have a long tradition of liberal returns policies while luxury brands themselves are frequently very unforgiving if you change your mind. However, ContactLab said Burberry and Cartier top the returns service rankings.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday.

Categories
e-commerce social media

Ralph Lauren knocks Michael Kors into second place in digital rankings

Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren is top dog in the US when it comes to luxury brand website visits, according to the latest study from digital-marketing company PMX Agency and data-analytics firm Hitwise.

The pair measured website visits in the year to June, and Ralph Lauren overtook last year’s winner Michael Kors. Ralph Lauren had a 19.2% share (that’s nearly one in five visits) compared to 18.5% for Kors. The figures were arrived at by measuring website visits, social media interactions and brand searches.

With Coach in third place (12%), Louis Vuitton next (9.5%) and Gucci fifth (5.3%), it clearly doesn’t leave a lot of room for the other 75 brands the companies tracked. In fact they said that the top 10 brands accounted for almost 80% of the website visit share. The remaining top 10 brand include Chanel, Burberry, Hermès, Christian Louboutin and Versace, and as the number 10 spot only gives the Italian giant a 1.7% share it’s obvious that everyone else is trailing the big players at the top of the list by a huge margin.

Online interactions are largely driven by women of all ages, but among men, it’s the 34-to-44 age group that engages with these brands the most.

luxe-study-bloomberg-chart

Interestingly, even though luxury is seen as more of a physical store or at least a large screen experience, global luxury brands got more than half (52% actually) of their US web traffic from smartphones or tablets. Perhaps that’s part of the trend that sees social media driving 6.3% of the website traffic. While that’s still a surprisingly low number, luxury brand social media followers have risen 40% year-on-year and we’re likely to see more explosive growth over the next few years.

Consumers visited websites 185.2m times over the study period, which meant 11.2% fewer visits than a year earlier. That’s odd given how much luxury brand have upped their game when it comes to offering richer online experiences and better e-commerce features for those who want to buy online rather than tripping off to a destination city’s flagship store.

Of course, the fall also comes at a tough time for the luxury sector with global economic woes and currency exchange issues denting sales of luxury goods worldwide.

“The drop in online visits can be attributed, in part, to external factors like fluctuating exchange rates, uncertain economic outlooks across the globe and reduced travel due not only to financial concerns but also terrorism,” said Glenn Lalich, VP of research at PMX Agency.

“Also notable is that more luxury interactions may be occurring solely with social platforms on social applications – predominantly mobile – and not always reaching the traditional luxury brand website,” he added.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday.

Categories
e-commerce mobile

Smartphones: Still third choice for fashion shopping

smartphones fashion
Topshop Unique

We’re buying more and more fashion on our smartphones these days but it seems laptop and desktop computers, as well as the tablets that we use to browse while lounging on our sofas, are still our favourite devices for actually spending.

A new report from e-tail personalisation platform Nosto, based on data from 700 vendors, shows that m-commerce accounts for 51% of all online spend across categories, but for fashion, we’re still more likely to buy via a traditional computer or tablet.

And we spend more per order on other devices. UK shoppers’ average fashion order value (AOV) via smartphone was £89 in the first half of the year compared to £116 on desktop/laptop and £107 on tablets.

While some commentators seem surprised/frustrated at this, I’m not particularly shocked. Personally, I buy on my laptop, my tablet and my phone, depending on the circumstances. But if I’m in the comfort of my living room, buying via a smartphone is the last thing I’d do. And given that most of my fashion purchases are done from the sofa, then I’m a confirmed laptop/tablet shopper.

My phone is more of a device for research – shooting photos, making price comparisons while in-store and so on. That makes it a crucial omnichannel tool and with Nosto saying mobile bounce rate is the highest of any device and time on site is also the lowest, it seems many people feel the same way.

However much investment e-tailers put into their smartphone apps and however tech-tastic smartphones get, it makes sense that consumers will use a large screen over a small one when they’re able to when shopping for items as personal as things we’re going to wear.

And that seems to be the attitude across Europe. Consumers in the Nordics and France spend more via smartphones (£101 and £96 AOV respectively) while in Germany it’s £88 and in Spain £81. But with those figures not too far different from the UK’s, it seems the laptop/tablet bias is fairly universal.

That said, fashion m-commerce via smartphones is growing fast and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. But whether it will ever become the primary channel for fashion spending (especially higher value transactions) is still open to question.

Nosto said mobile accounted for 29% of all UK fashion web traffic in the first half, a rise from 22% compared to H1 2015.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday.

Categories
social media

Who won NYFW’s social media war?

social media Michael Kors
Michael Kors had the highest social media engagement this NYFW, according to ListenFirst

It used to be that coming out on top during fashion week meant getting the best review from the doyennes of international fashion journalism. Not so much when digital engagements from millions of users are the new measure of success.

So who won the social media war during NYFW? Michael Kors, it seems. The designer’s 9.6m digital engagements (according to ListenFirst) between September 7 and 15, were all about the presence of the social supermodels in his show.

ListenFirst’s Digital Engagement Ratings measured customer engagement with runway fashion labels across Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube and Wikipedia, and the company said that star names really helped.

“Kors’ #AllAccessKors campaign, launched September 11, dominated social all week and the women’s collection, shown September 14, was widely praised by consumers and the press. Having Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid in the show also helped boost engagement,” it said.

So who was next on the list? Step forward Victoria Beckham. Now of course, this particular fashion designer has an in-built advantage given her personal celebrity status, her husband and her kids and so doesn’t need to rely on anyone surnamed Jenner or Hadid to get attention. She garnered 4.3m engagements.

Surprisingly, evening wear label Sherri Hill came third with 3.2m engagements and managed to beat Tommy Hilfiger into fourth place with ‘only’ 2.4m engagements, despite Gigi Hadid being Hilfiger’s trump card. Hilfiger got a lot of attention on the day of his show – becoming number one fashion label for engagements on September 9 with a 36% year-on-year rise to 411,000.

Banana Republic was joint fourth with 2.4m too, perhaps a surprise given how much owner Gap is struggling to encourage interest in actually buying the brand’s products these days.

Marc Jacobs, Carolinna Herrera, Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren came next, hovering between 1m and 1.5m, with Desigual bringing up the rear in the top 10 with just shy of 1m.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday.

Categories
mobile technology

Mobile wallets: French shoppers say “non merci”

mobile wallets
The French are becoming avid m-commerce shoppers but they’re less fond of smartphone payments technology

Samsung Pay celebrated its first birthday last month and hit 100m transactions worldwide (from the seven countries in which it was available). But in a world where m-commerce is surging, there still seems to be a lot of consumer resistance to smartphone-based mobile wallets in some countries. That’s despite many shoppers in those countries tapping their debit and credit cards on contactless payment terminals with increasing regularity.

A new survey illustrates this perfectly, It shows that the French are becoming avid m-commerce shoppers but it seems but they’re not too fond of smartphone payments technology.

The survey, by CCM Benchmark and reported by eMarketer.com shows that French shoppers are buying fashion via their smartphones in increasing numbers (34% out of a survey group of 1,000 adult consumers), booking travel (40%), buying cultural items (that’s books and music to you and I, with 33% of respondents buying them), and consumer electronics/household appliances (23%).

They’re also researching on their phones with 65% of them using those phones in-store to check out products and deals and take photos.

But mobile payments? Not so much. The French are saying a big “non!” to smartphone/smartwatch payments at the moment. Most m-commerce transactions in France are still pretty ‘analogue’ with consumers preferring to tap their card details into the checkout form on a website or app.

In fact, only 7% of digital buyers had taken advantage of the ever-increasing number of mobile wallet solutions out there, which is a low number given that m-commerce shoppers might have been expected to be more mobile wallet-friendly than the average online shopper.

Around 27% of respondents did say they were ‘ready’ to use a mobile wallet but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll take action any time soon. And as many as 56% said they weren’t willing to pay that way.

Why is this? Unfortunately, the survey didn’t say. Maybe it’s security concerns, or maybe setting it up in the first place just seems too fiddly.

What often influences take-up of such innovations is a compelling piece of technology that makes it a no-brainer, or another change that drives fast adoption. In the UK, the ability to pay using contactless on London’s cash-free bus system was key for driving people to accept contactless payments in general.

In France, perhaps smartphone and operating system makers hoped their state-of-the-art devices had done enough to become that sort of catalyst. But not so.

At least the problem isn’t global. Those Samsung Pay figures and a survey this summer of 2,000 consumers in the US and UK by mobile engagement specialist Urban Airship, have showed a more favourable outcome for mobile wallets.

Urban Airship said 54% of US/UK consumers had used systems like Apple Pay and also see them as key for staying updated on sales, offers and coupons as well as boosting their interest in loyalty programs. Importantly too, 67% of millennials have used them and they’re also more popular among high-income households.

Perhaps the message from France to Apple, Google, Samsung, and the numerous banks now offering mobile wallet tech isn’t so much “non merci” as “s’il vous plaît être patient!” Maybe they’re just not ready for this giant tech leap forward… yet.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday. 

Categories
business social media

Get influencer marketing right and you’ve got luxury e-tail sewn up, says study

Influencer marketing is increasingly important for luxury brands
Influencer marketing is increasingly important for luxury brands

Who decides what we buy online? Well, we do of course. But other people have an influence too. Friends, family, significant others, and celebs (from A-list to Z-list) can all play their part in our final e-buying decisions, as well as how we shop in physical stores.

Which is why influencer marketing is so important and is going to become even more relevant to the luxury and premium brand sectors over the next decade, global influencer marketing platform Traackr and digital marketing agency The Myndset say. They reckon influencer marketing can be a way for smaller brands to compete with the major players.

The reason is that if brands get it right, influencer marketing can be both cost effective and generally effective, reaching the parts other marketing channels can’t and at lower cost.

Myndset president Minter Dial said: “Luxury market CMOs must re-evaluate and realign budgetary spend around achieving true impact. The measurable benefits of advanced influencer marketing practice are enabling niche luxury clients to compete on a level playing field with major players…[As a result] all luxury brands can achieve compelling ROI and demonstrably increase sales, brand resonance and achieve superior insights into their valued customers.”

So how do Traackr and Myndset reach this conclusion? A recent study by McKinsey and Altagamma Foundation estimates the percentage of luxury sales made online should rise from their current 6% of total luxury sales to 18% in 2025, reaching €70bn.

And influencers are key when consumers shop online. Luxury may have been late to this, but as they realise that the future is all about the younger millennial shopper and that this shopper is fully connected, they’re racing to come up with effective influencer marketing strategies.

Luxury brands have traditionally relied heavily on expensive marketing methods such as glossy print and flashy TV campaigns, as well as creating expensive online brand experiences and spending heavily on creating beautiful stores. But achieving the personalisation, true engagement with and impact on their customers has remained difficult to achieve.

Traackr thinks they’ve been missing a trick lately with “trust [being] largely driven by peers and authoritative content” with only 3% of individuals driving 90% of conversations and impact online.

Luxury and premium brands are, of course, taking notice of this. Traackr cites an Econsultancy report on fashion and beauty. Apparently, 59% of company decision-makers are planning to boost their budgets for this area this year and Myndset research reveals 67% of luxury brands and 60% of premium brands considering digital “important to very important” in understanding their customers.

That’s because digital has been such a huge disruptor for their business. While 11% of non-premium and non-luxury companies say digital is a disruptor, 42% of luxury brands and 28% of premium brands say so. If you want to know more, the white paper can be downloaded here.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday.