High-end Watches Bring New Online Experience to their Visitors
Did you know that three of the best-selling watch brands in the world do not sell online? Audemars Piguet, Rolex and Patek Philippe still don’t have an e-commerce on their website today. However, the pandemic has been changing things rapidly in the world of high-end watches, whose plunging sales made them realise it was time to move into the digital era.
High-end Watch Brands Adapting Quickly to the New World
Luxury brands often believe that online experience is not has satisfying to their clients than being pampered in one of their high-end stores. But the coronavirus pandemic, which sent a good part of the world (including those who can afford to buy luxury items) into lockdown, has shaken some of their beliefs, or so it would seem. How else can we explain that suddenly brands have installed augmented reality applications on their website so their visitors can virtually try on their watch?
Who would have believed, a few months ago, that suddenly there would be virtual assistant online on these high-end watch brands websites? The need to compensate for the loss of in-store sales has made it come true. It is dandy to let customers roam through their site, looking at the various models, but you do need someone to let them know that the TAG Heuer Aquaracer being the ultimate sports watch, it is the one they really need to acquire, in order to impress their friends and colleagues on a tennis court.
This sudden movement to digital was obviously caused by the need to reach their customers who could not visit their store anymore, but it is also about adapting to their younger clients whom, for some of them, buy exclusively online. What the crisis did for the CEOs and General Managers of luxury watch brands, is awaken them to this reality as they found themselves daily briefed by consultants hired to take them through this crisis, in survival mode. No doubt that it was a shock for both to discover the state of affairs. Consultants probably could not believe that the brands could be so much behind their time (no pun intended) and executives probably wondered why they waited so long to jump into the digital world.
Suddenly, brands went from mild visibility online to hyper exposure as they started to have zoom sessions to present their latest models, which would normally have been unveiled at various shows around the world. How the mighty have grown in such a short span…
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