The Future of Bricks and Clicks in Personal Accessories - Part II: Digital Landscape

December 2016

Retail distribution in personal accessories has undergone upheaval in recent times. The evolving landscape has internet retailing as a rising star, gaining ground in both developed and emerging markets. This report analyses the geographical shifts in consumer spending and new innovations in retailing that comes with the digital age. The race to omnichannel retailing is also underway, as retailers adapt to modern consumers who shop across platforms and multiple screens.

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Emerging markets set to lead growth in internet retailing

Developed markets embraced the digital retailing revolution years ago, but growth can still be found as many brands, especially in the luxury segment, are still in the infancy stages of e-commerce. Meanwhile, emerging markets are catching up, spurred by m-commerce and continued urbanisation.

Consumers are more comfortable with buying low- to mid-priced goods online

Costume jewellery, bags and quartz analogue watches record a higher proportion of internet sales as consumers have fewer reservations about buying non-luxury goods online. Size and suitability continue to hinder internet retailing in luggage and fine jewellery, while consumers are concerned about authenticity and warranties in high-priced watches.

Internet retailing spawns alternative markets and platforms

E-commerce has revitalised concepts such as second-hand luxury, while turning third party merchants such as Asos and Zalando, and online marketplaces such as Tmall, into highly lucrative alternative platforms.

Mono-brand sites make personalisation scalable

Engraving, monogramming and self-design applications offered through brand-owned e-commerce are making it easier than ever for brands to consolidate and streamline the production process of customised accessories.

Omnichannel is the future of retailing

Most brands have embraced multichannel, but few are able to boast omnichannel status. However, omnichannel retailing provides the flexibility, convenience and constant availability that consumers expect from brands in the digital age.

Retailers increasingly embrace “phygital”

With footfall in physical retailing falling, retailers look into bringing consumers back into stores by improving the in-store experience using technology such as VR. Meanwhile, pure play internet retailers look to establish physical presence.


Key findings

Category Dynamics in Digital

Bags enjoy freedom from fit concerns
Consumers hesitant to buy expensive products online

Geographic Dynamics in Digital

Internet retailing catches on in emerging markets
Global leaders in personal accessories e-commerce
E-commerce markets to watch: China and India
M-commerce becomes major driver of online sales

Key Drivers in Digital

M-commerce opens up world of infinite possibilities
Leveraging alternative platforms: Online multi-brand retailers
Yoox Net-a-Porter enables luxury to focus on what they do best
Mono-brand platforms carve a niche in personalisation
Leveraging alternative platforms: Online marketplaces in China
Cross-border e-commerce hits luxury sales hardest
Social media is essential but s-commerce is far from taking off
Tiffany & Co: At the forefront of luxury social media
Second-hand luxury drives first-hand sales

An Omnichannel Future

From multichannel to omnichannel
Four stages to successful omnichannel
Webrooming is key in personal accessories retailing
Harnessing “ phygital ” to bring consumers back into stores
Physical retailers explore cyberspace
Online retailers get physical
Burberry: A pioneer in luxury omnichannel retailing
Burberry: Connecting with consumers through digital variety
Burberry: Luxury e-commerce that provides ease of mind
Burberry: Embracing physical and digital
Burberry: Beginning with infrastructure-ready markets

Key Takeaways

Key takeaways

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