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Boucheron and e-commerce

Ddasfag_2 In a interview published today by the Journal du Net, Jean-Christophe Bédos, CEO of Boucheron, revisits the past 6 months of their new e-commerce site, which was launched last September.

Even though the site’s performance is satisfying in terms of revenue, sales income isn’t its prime objective:  Mr. Bédos considers it primarily to be a means to generate traffic to the boutiques and to offer additional online services to costumers.  Still, the site registered an increase in visitors of over 400% since its creation.

Although he voluntarily admits that he wasn’t expecting to embark on an e-commerce adventure when accepting his new role, these results gave way to new aspirations.  For the actual site, for which a new version will be launched within days, an e-commerce site dedicated to the American market should appear in the course of this year.  Eventually, Japan will also be served with its own virtual Boucheron boutique.

Beyond Boucheron, Mr. Bédos’ vision concerning the luxury goods market on the Internet is extremely compelling.  As he ties the rise of e-commerce with the improvement of security and logistics, he suggests the rise of luxury e-commerce is in part due to a sociological evolution; as 10 years ago companies were predicting the Internet would be the death of the brand, a completely different scenario has been playing out as the Internet “has amplified the impact of brands on consumers, mostly because of e-commerce”.

For Mr. Bédos, this first e-commerce site confirms that brick-and-mortar boutiques and virtual boutiques are complementary, not substitutive.    Hence, the e-commerce site welcomes visitors (even buyers!) that would not have otherwise passed through the doors of a “real” boutique, a phenomenon that Mr. Bédos calls the “phobie de pas de porte”.  However, this does not keep actual boutique customers from visiting the e-commerce site for additional information.

The luxury industry has immense e-commerce growth potential.  After Boucheron and Bedat & C°, other brands are sure to follow.  In a virtual world that rids consumers of physical contact with the products, the power of a brand will have an even larger role to play.

By IC-Agency | March 05, 2008 | E-Commerce , Luxury Watch Special , Sectorial Analysis


I think Mr. Bédos's vision is not exclusive to himself. There must be other luxury watch brand executives who understand the rising importance of the online channel but find it difficult to embrace it and implement changes in their businesses. I know Linde Werdelin launched their e-commerce site back in 2007 before other luxury watch brands. The way they use the online channel to complement their retailers really show they know how to connect with their customers of the modern generations. I guess a lot of the times it's not just about having a strategy, but how you can sucessfully execute a strategy...

# Posted by: Faye from Hong Kong, le August 21, 2009

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