Despite the global lockdown caused by the Covid-19 crisis, UK consumers are still indulging in the purchase of luxury goods online. This trend has been observed on various online platforms in Britain, with designer handbags and expensive sneakers being the most sought-after items. Emarsys, an innovative CoachTech firm, has reported that luxury online shopping is serving as a coping mechanism for shoppers across the globe during these challenging times. In fact, there has been a remarkable 57% increase in online spending on luxury fashion items compared to the previous year, with the UK showing a particularly high demand for handbags and sneakers.

The surge in online purchases is partially compensating for the closure of physical stores worldwide. Bain & Company predicts a significant 35% decline in the global luxury market this year due to the impact of these closures. However, the potential of online sales to fully offset the decline in physical store sales is limited. Some consumers still prefer the traditional brick-and-mortar shopping experience, and securing timely delivery during the crisis can be challenging. Additionally, several renowned luxury brands such as Chanel, Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton do not offer their complete collections online. These brands have traditionally prioritized the exclusive and immersive in-store luxury experience, a strategy that may prove detrimental during this crisis, as suggested by Emarsys.

Emarsys has identified these emerging online shopping trends through its collaboration with GoodData on the Covid-19 Commerce Insight project. This innovative project analyzes the impact of the pandemic on consumer confidence by analyzing data from over a billion engagements and 400 million transactions in 120 countries. By delving into this vast amount of data, Emarsys has discovered that while many consumers are currently facing tough times, the sales of luxury goods online are actually on the rise. Alex Timlin, the Senior VP of Verticals at Emarsys, who has analyzed this data, acknowledges that e-commerce may not be suitable for every luxury brand at the moment. However, he emphasizes that it can certainly help mitigate the losses incurred due to physical store closures during this global crisis. Timlin suggests that now is the time for luxury brands to reconsider their selling channels, even if they had previously believed that luxury sales were not effectively conducted online.

Two relevant links for further reading:

1) Vogue Business: Consumers are still buying luxury goods online during lockdown.

2) The Guardian: Coronavirus pandemic could give rise to a new planet of beauty.