Luxury watch brands shift up to 50% of marketing spend to digital platforms

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The latest WorldWatchReport from market intelligence firm Digital Luxury Group points to the world’s leading luxury watch brands reaching a tipping point in their attitude to presenting their brands online.

The tenth annual report finds that changing luxury consumer behaviour is forcing previously conservative watch brands to embrace the digital world. Many are spending more than half of their marketing budgets on digital promotions, according to Digital Luxury Group analysis.

“Today’s luxury consumer is more digitally savvy than ever before and luxury brands have adapted themselves accordingly, with 20 – 50% of their budget dedicated to digital activities and depending on the market,” explains Digital Luxury Group CEO, David Sadigh.

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The digital activity of 62 luxury watch brands was examined in the report, which also analysed the behaviour of over 85 million website visits across twenty global markets.

A new record for luxury watch website traffic was set last year, with 12% more sessions in 2016 than in 2015. December marked the highest monthly traffic of all time, with 50% more sessions than the same period the year before.

Digital Luxury Group calculates that traffic to luxury watch websites coming from digital media campaigns is at its highest level ever, representing 20% of all site visits, up from 15% last year. However, the quality of this media-sourced traffic is lower. Traffic coming from organic channels has been driving 11% of website visits to store locator pages, a sign that there is an intent to purchase, but traffic generated from paid ads only brings 5% to the store locator.

Organic social media is a highly qualified traffic source, with 13% of website traffic from social media platforms navigating through the store locator and revealing an intent to purchase. While the quality is very high, brands still have work to do when it comes to increasing the quantity of clicks they receive to their website from social media, only at 6% of traffic, but growing quickly at +76% year-over-year thanks to increased budgets and social media investments.

Email marketing is being grossly underleveraged by luxury watch brands. Representing only 0.4% of total traffic to a brand’s website, but with a quality of traffic higher than any other, brands have work to do here.

Having a strong database of clients and prospective customers not only makes email a great channel for communications, but also opens up brands to take advantage of more sophisticated targeting options from the big social media players.

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