Keeping Exclusivity in An E-Commerce Environment: The case of Farfetch.com and the market of luxury clothes.

Irina Balasyan, Beatriz Casais

Abstract


Brands are facing the challenge of using mass marketing strategies and simultaneously accentuating the exclusivity dimension of their products in order to get a higher market value. This fact rises the need of a better understanding about the presence of luxury brands in the electronic commerce. While some luxury fashion groups have already launched their e-commerce websites, most of luxury goods’ companies still lack guidance on how to preserve luxury brand identity within the ubiquitous digital world. This paper is focused on e-commerce in luxury clothes industry and analyses how companies may overcome the ambivalence between the importance of exclusivity in luxury brands and ubiquity allowed by the Internet. Farfetch.com was used as a case study. Based on secondary data from Farfetch.com, a luxury fashion company, the authors discuss eight propositions created based on literature review. Findings show that it is possible to keep the sense of exclusivity in online platforms, providing appropriate service related to the concepts of luxury. Other factors that enable the existence of luxury in ubiquitous environment and differ luxury e-commerce platforms from mass market are product range, the web design, delivery and return policies. The paper explores challenges for the theory and practice of e-commerce in luxury brands.


Keywords


E-commerce, luxury fashion industry, exclusivity and ubiquity, luxury marketing, omnichannel retail.

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