Can Digital Drive Sales for Luxury Brands?

According to Burberry, the answer to the above question is, “Yes!” The digitally-savvy luxury brand announced last week a 29% increase in revenue over the past six months. Angela Ahrendts, CEO, attributed Burberry’s strong first half to, “… our continued investment in innovative design, digital marketing and retail strategies.”

Specific to social media and digital, Burberry has launched several innovative initiatives this year, including:

  • Burberry Body, the new women’s fragrance, launched globally and including Facebook, a YouTube homepage.
  • Spring/Summer 2012 runway show hosting the first ever ‘Tweetwalk,’ premiering the collection on Twitter

Though one of the leading luxury brands to invest in social media, Burberry is not the only one to benefit from going digital and connecting with customers online. According to a recent study published by L2, among the luxury brands who have invested most in digital, those with e-commerce capability register double the traffic growth, 85 percent higher Google search volume, and nearly triple the number of Facebook fans. They also demonstrate broader adoption of digital marketing tactics, such as search engine optimization and marketing and email communication.

And, the impact reaches all the way to shareholders. Brands ranked as ‘genuis’ by the luxury digital think tank also show the largest positive impact on stock price over the past year (based on data from L2 analysts and data available on Yahoo! Finance).

The key takeaway? Digital is no longer a nice to have. For luxury brands who pride themselves on providing the ultimate customer experience, digital is now a key touchpoint throughout the customer journey. The danger of not participating: your fans will create an online fanbase over which your brand has no control.

If you’re part of the luxury industry and haven’t thought of jumping into digital, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work! And, of course, we’re always looking for new, innovative cases for brands using digital and social. If you come across one, please send it our way!