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Fashion brands online trends study


Online sales are leading the way as luxury and designer brands emerge from the challenging global economy. According to the Trend Report: Luxury & Designer Brands Online – a study of 20 online fashion brands released by PM Digital based on Experian Hitwise data – until recently, luxury and designer brands were behind the curve in adding online stores, but that has changed as more and more find success online.

"Today`s consumer is foregoing fleeting trends in pursuit of the stability and value of timeless pieces from trusted brands," said Suzy Sandberg, President of PM Digital. "Luxury and designer brands can make headway in this economy by creating a deeper engagement and dialogue with consumers across online and mobile channels." PM Digital – named Internet Retailer`s 2010 Fastest Growing SEM Agency – is an internet marketing agency specializing in paid search advertising, SEO, social media marketing and comparison shopping engines for more than 130 online brands.

Key findings from the study reveal:

  • Four brands captured two-thirds of the online market share of visits: Coach (by a wide margin), Gucci, Juicy Couture and Burberry.  
  • Search traffic, predominantly from Google, dominates referrals to luxury and designer retail sites. Interestingly, Facebook edged out Yahoo! search.  
  • Traffic from social media sites to luxury and designer brand sites is growing, as brands such as Lacoste and Dolce & Gabbana link to their Facebook pages from their homepages.  
  • A brand`s market share in social media popularity does not correlate with market share of site visits.  
  • After search, visitors most often come from other retail sites. This is typical, indicating shoppers` tendency to visit a variety of similar sites.  
  • Email and social media traffic to luxury and designer brand sites is comparable, and both sources have recently experienced growth.  
  • Kate Spade and Tory Burch have among the largest share of high income visitors.

The Trend Report reveals that the challenge for luxury and designer fashion brands is to give customers more reasons to be loyal and buy direct. Some are already embracing this need by adding online stores. Yet, currently, luxury and designer brands seem reluctant to use Facebook pages to sell product or run promotional offers.

For this report, PM Digital selected 20 online luxury and designer brands within the apparel category that also have e-commerce-enabled websites. Much of the data in this report, excluding data primarily gathered by PM Digital, has been sourced from Experian Hitwise North America. Experian Hitwise derives its data from direct relationships with a range of Internet Service Providers.

About PM Digital
Named Internet Retailer`s 2010 Fastest Growing SEM Agency, PM Digital is a leading digital marketing agency specializing in search engine marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing and comparison shopping engines. Supported by proprietary media and marketing intelligence tools, PM Digital builds business revenues and brands online for several of the nation`s top retailers, as well as premium brand name clients in the publishing and nonprofit fields. Clients include The North Face, Spiegel, Wrangler, Martha Stewart Living, The Wall Street Journal, AARP and Forbes, among others. Based in New York City, PM Digital has offices in San Francisco, Indianapolis, and Columbia, SC. To find out more about PM Digital thought leadership.

About Experian Hitwise North America
The leading global online competitive intelligence service, Experian Hitwise helps clients protect and grow their market share through the application of internet measurement data. Experian Hitwise measures the largest sample of internet users – 25 million worldwide, including 10 million in the United States. This sample size allows clients to understand internet behavior and competitive activity through data that is unmatched in timeliness, depth and breadth.