Daily Insights

Watch Brands Need to Watch Out

By: Brett Finkelstein | Feb 21, 2019

With digital-native disruptors like All Birds and Casper revolutionizing retail within their industries and completely changing what consumers expect from brands, the hard luxury sector of watches & jewelry is no different. Though the top five jewelry brands in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Watches & Jewelry account for 80% of sector site traffic, even these top players are now competing for share against digitally-native disruptor brands that have been able to excel in a sector that’s notoriously far behind.

The nine disruptor brands identified in the study over-index compared to traditional brands across dimensions, barring the exception of site & e-tailer scores for watch brands and social media scores for jewelry brands. However, these come with caveats, at disruptor brands cannot compete at the same level as some of the namesake watches in this sector for e-tailer visibility. Furthermore, genius brands like Cartier, Tiffany & Co., and Bulgari hold outsized followings on social media that push the limits of newcomers, particularly Bulgari, which dominates interactions on Instagram, the most important social platform for this sector.

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The on-site experience illustrates the gap between disruptors and traditional brands, with innovators like watch brand MVMT setting the bar much higher for the on-site experience. MVMT leads in offering services like live chat and surfacing on-model imagery on product pages, offered by just 25% and 36% of brands in Gartner L2’s study.

The brand even features an entire See It Styled gallery on product pages, pushing the limits compared to the limited imagery many competitors provide. Product pages feature visual sizing information through “See the Fit” and cross-selling of complementary watch straps. For high price, high consideration products in this sector, this level of customer service and merchandising makes all the difference in pushing the purchase on-site.

Even after you leave the product page, MVMT maintains its presence in your consideration set by continuing the conversation through an integrated Facebook Messenger feature. These triggered messages save your cart and push conversion by highlighting free shipping.

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With traditional brands increasingly claiming that digital is a priority, it seems that they’re beginning to wake up to these threats and trying to take back control over the consumer journey. Yet digitally nimble disruptors show that there’s still a long way to go in the “MVMT” forward.