E-commerce enters the luxury sectorAccording to estimates, younger generations are expected to be the main actors of the luxury goods market by 2025, with millennials accounting for half of the value of the luxury market. There is little doubt that with such big demographic shifts in the consumer base, the luxury shopping experience is bound to move towards a more digital future and cater to the needs and habits of the generations born into the digital world. For many brands that had to shut down their physical stores temporarily amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic restrictions, e-commerce sales have already taken off. The Kering Group, which owns the brands Gucci, Saint Lauren, Balenciaga, and Bottega Veneta, doubled its e-commerce sales in 2020 compared to the pre-pandemic figures. Richemont Group, which operates the e-commerce platforms for luxury personal goods like Watchfinder and Yoox Net-a-Porter, reported sustained sales revenue for its online distributors segment in 2020 and 2021.
It is fair to say that online sales of luxury goods are greatly helped by e-commerce platforms and marketplaces where luxury shoppers are offered a coterie of luxury brands. Farfetch is among the popular online marketplaces for luxury goods with more than 10 million active customers in 2020. The UK-based luxury marketplace was among the industry's leading brands based on revenue, ranking side by side with luxury conglomerates like LVMH, Kering, and Richemont. Farfetch’s online popularity placed the platform among the fastest growing luxury retail websites in the United States in 2020.