03 April 2020 |
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Digital Shopping for Luxury, the New Reality after Coronavirus

I personally didn’t like it. But who cares? While we are forced to live our lives indoors, we learn to enjoy even more all the benefits of the digital existence. So we learn to go on without the “touch and feel” episode of research before the actual buying. We learn to be more careful about what we read and about what actually fits into our lifestyle.

I have followed a recent interview of the brilliant Jean-Claude Biver, maybe the most important contemporary figure of the watches industry. And he was answering regarding the recent decision of Patek Philippe – the leading luxury watch brand – to allow its dealers to sell the watches on-line. And yes, he names it the best solution! Because people still need to buy the Patek watches also during these days when all the shops are closed.

Even if we don’t like it, we are witnessing the actual start for Digital Shopping in the luxury industry. It has been around for many years but now, as Coronavirus is guarding outside the doors, we have to adopt it 100%. So it is the moment when we actually discover that the platforms were already there. It was us who were somehow reluctant. Us but also the brands in an unspoken way. Because some of the products were made available online but, in fact, they were waiting to be sold with a lot of support from the sellers. And now sellers can interact at most through a video call. I heard Jean-Claude Biver talking about Porsche. The brand theoretically allows you to configure your dream car completely and just order it via email. Nevertheless, I don’t think a future Porsche client, me included, would leave the pleasure of exploring and ordering to a soulless message. The same with watches. They are all over the internet. But most of them still need someone to actually tell in person the rest of the story.

Coronavirus is changing the world as we know it. Digital Shopping is the new reality and brands of all kind – and especially Luxury – have to adapt. The on-line logistics is in place since years but they face an even more difficult challenge. How long is needed to change a mentality?