Watchmakers, in general, are not geeks. No longer dare not challenge the usefulness of a website, magical window to the world, but few of them, however, have an online shop. The movement was initiated in the United States, there are about five, where subsidiaries of watch brands have developed e-shops. The Americans soon became familiar with the Web. A question of culture, but also and above all a matter of size of the territory. Today, some houses have a commercial site in the US but not in Europe, like Breitling, Baume & Mercier and Longines. Hamilton, meanwhile, has just lifted the veil on the European version of its online store after having released the American side.
In view of the development of this use in the US, by extension, the most avant-garde watchmaking brands have sensed a good way to internationalize, like Bell & Ross was one of the first to open a e-shop in 2008 in France and in Europe. “We saw a way to reach new customers, recalls Carlos Rossillo, one of two co-founders. This was especially so when pure players were throwing, sometimes a little wild way. We soon became convinced that it was better occupy the land ourselves, rather than leaving them instead. ”
Some also see it as an effective way to combat counterfeiting, “one of the worst e-commerce plagues” insists François Thiébaud, President of Tissot, which has an online store in Europe since 2011. “Having e-shop officially makes a reference price, which allows Internet users to be wary of false bargains on other sites, “he explains.
“There are still a barrier to entering a luxury watch boutique. Internet is a formidable vector of information that reassures the customer. Once he knows, he feels less intimidated to push the door of a store ”
The sales are not mirobolantes. The best sites display a turnover comparable to that of a good store of a great capital, such as Cartier and Jaeger-LeCoultre. But watchmakers are quickly seen other benefits. Firstly in terms of attendance. “Our site displays a traffic 2 million visitors a year, an incredible and incomparable results even with the best physical shop that either,” said Carlos Rossillo, Bell & Ross. This channel is used to provide a service to the customer “which improves its vis-à-vis brand experience,” say in unison bosses. There is no better way to inform about the products, particularly on prices in local currency eventually, 7 days 7 and 24 hours on 24. “There are still a barrier to entering a high shop watchmaking. Internet is a formidable vector of information that reassures the customer. Once he knows, he feels less intimidated to push the door of a shop, “Estelle Vidal analysis, marketing director of Louis Pion and Royal Quartz, belonging to the watch industry Galeries Lafayette. “What our customers lack the most is time. They are seeking new ways to consume, more in line with their lifestyle. This is to accommodate this need we have developed our e-shop in 2011 in the United States and soon after in Europe, China and Japan, “it is added at Montblanc.
So many good points are that over the years the limit is becoming increasingly blurred between the online store and the consumer. Many customers come to shop after spending hours on the Internet and then materialize their purchase. This process has a majority. “The Web is a decision facilitator,” Has there been at Louis Pion, whose merchant site displays a higher than average basket made shop. But the reverse is also becoming more common. They just try and manipulate the store watches and decide later, at home, at their computer, taking their time, or rather in ten seconds, watch in hand. Some customers even make the round trip, as has been observed in Swatch, where “more and more people come to shop after surfing on the site, try the watch, and finally execute their shopping on the Internet,” says -t-on in this precursor that launched its first online store in 2006 (2008 in France) with a success that inspired some other group brands such as Tissot, Hamilton and Calvin Klein.
Watchmakers have long been reluctant, mainly in relation to their resellers. François Thiébaud, who works in the area for decades, agrees that culture and experience “based on relationships with retailers. The reluctance to e-commerce are the same as those it a few years ago with the opening of mono-brand boutiques, wrongly perceived as unfair competition.