According to management consultancy, Bain & Company, COVID-19 is pushing luxury brands to focus on their digital businesses. At the start of 2020, digital accounted for 12 per cent of luxury sales. By 2025, online sales could account for as much as 30 per cent of the luxury market, Bain estimates. Moncler, which previously outsourced its digital operations to fashion-tech outfit Yoox Net-a-Porter, plans to bring those operations in-house and double its e-commerce sales to 20 per cent of its business by 2023.
Similarly, Kering accelerated its digital growth by 6 per cent to account for 13 per of cent of its total retail sales in the first half of 2020. LVMH saw strong performance across its own e-commerce channels, as opposed to online sales through other retailers, which have tended to dominate online luxury sales.
E-commerce hasn’t been nearly enough to offset the tremendous losses luxury companies have suffered from closed stores and the plunge in international tourism, which makes up a large share of their sales. But it has softened the blow. For instance Prada’s online sales grew by 150 per cent in the first half of year versus the same period last year, despite total sales falling 40 per cent.