Sticker Shock: More Luxury Brands are Moving to E-Commerce


Luxury brands are seeing the growth potential of being represented online. As designer and luxury items populate the e-commerce space, their audience reach, in some cases, is tripling around the world.

The luxury brand experience

The allure of luxury brand shopping has always been the tailored, in-store experience. Consumers of high-end retail have come to expect top-of-the-line service by amazing sales associates who cater to their every whim, in beautiful brick and mortar boutiques. In some instances, customers are offered fine teas, coffees, and even top shelf spirits while shopping. One can only imagine how difficult it must be to transfer this experience over to the web. The good news is, the transition isn’t as hard as you make think. As other brands and retailers in other sectors continue to reap the benefits of moving their clients online, luxury brands are following suite, and the response has been very good.

As e-commerce continues to grows exponentially across the board, the luxury sector refuses to be left behind. Shoppers can find most anything online these days, and that exposure and availability is a winning recipe for most industries. Here are a few high-end brands you can now purchase online, around the world, with some of the price tickets soaring well past a million dollars:

  • Blue Nile is an online-only jewelry store with a wide array of beautiful pieces. With their most wanted items being their ultra-luxe wedding rings, the sky is the limit when it comes to pricing. Online shoppers can hunt for the perfect diamond (whether by cut, clarity, color, or size), and create their dream engagement ring via virtual chatbots.
  • Tourneau has a brick and mortar flag ship store on 57th and Madison in New York City. This luxury watch store has every brand under the sun and is a very recognizable name synonymous with luxury watches. Seeing the return on investment with online shopping, this famous retailer’s site allows shoppers from all over the world to virtually shop their store. Tourneau carries a variety of high-end brands, including Patek Philippe – watches that sell in the tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Net-A-Porter, an online-only retailer, recently reported a sales increase of almost 12% in just one quarter this year. They are now selling top luxury Swiss watch brands on their site (including Mr. Porter), some carrying prices tags in excess of $120,000.

The future of luxury e-commerce looks bright

Luxury e-commerce is a $34 billion a year business. Major upscale brands like Hermes, which sells $25,000 timepieces on its website, and LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE), which hired an executive from Apple Inc. (No. 2 in the Top 500) to lead its digital push, see their future online. Keeping a brick and mortar store open for luxury brands also brings a hefty price tag, as top of the line sales associates, beautiful spaces in central locations, in addition to security detail are essential components to the in-store experience. While shoppers may see a decline in some of their favorite luxury brands’ brick and mortar stores, they can easily find their presence online.

Jill England

Jill England

Jill likes to share usable information with readers spanning industries such as food, travel, beauty, sports, pets, holistic health, and all things green. She's a curious and avid consumer of information of all kinds to enable continuous learning and sharing.
Jill England