The growth of online commerce has increased very rapidly in the recent years. Its reach is so vast and far reaching that you can ignore it at your own risk. The luxury brands are a bit reluctant to adopt the medium as they claim that the web dilutes exclusivity but Burberry, Oscar de la Renta are beginning to embrace it. It is a perplexing situation as the fashion industry is forward thinking and are yet reluctant to enter into e-commerce and other digital platforms or social media.
The irony of the situation is that authentic research shows that 80% of the affluent consumers use the internet to actively research and purchase luxury goods and services. The recessionary pressures have forced the hand of some brands to take the online route as an additional channel for retail. The numbers are rising but as a percentage it is still low. The European brands are relatively slower in moving towards the online option.
The argument against the web given by these companies is that the shopping experience a high end brand can provide in a store cannot be replicated on the web. When a client is spending big money in a store he is paying for more than the goods. A glass of wine going around, the personal attention of the staff are the extras in a store.