L2’s inaugural study of European fashion brands reveals that the digital competence of the continent’s niche fashion brands lags that of their larger, more established global fashion peers. The ranking measures the digital aptitude of 46 European niche fashion brands with annual turnover between €25 million and €250 million. Brands were measured on 350 data points across four dimensions: Site, Digital Marketing, Social Media, and Mobile and assigned a Digital IQ and a corresponding class of Genius, Gifted, Average, Challenged, or Feeble.
No brand in the inaugural European Niche Fashion Index nabbed Genius status—a L2 Digital IQ Index® first—and a staggering 70 percent of brands were characterized as Challenged or Feeble. One-third of brands are still not selling online, and less than half are participating in paid search. Adoption and community size on popular social media platforms Facebook, YouTube and Twitter lags global fashion players.
“Digital could be the differentiator for brands that become iconic, and those that become irrelevant. Establishing direct relationships with end consumers through e-commerce and social media provides an opportunity for European niche fashion brands to punch above their weight class.”
1. Agent Provocateur
2. Ted Baker
3. Stella McCartney
8. Emilio Pucci
9. Jean Paul Gaultier
10. La Perla
* One-third of the brands in the Index do not support e-commerce. Brands with e-commerce averaged a Digital IQ scored on average 35 points higher than those not selling online.
* Brands headquartered in the UK register higher Digital IQs than those from other countries. Replicating the findings of the Digital IQ Index®: Fashion, Italy and France continue to lag behind their British peers by a considerable margin.
* Mobile adoption lags. Only 33 percent of the brands provide any mobile experience—18 percent have developed a mobile-optimized site and 17 percent have developed applications.
* European niche fashion brands trail on every platform. Adoption of digital platforms among European Fashion brands is limited compared with the 49 brands included in this year’s Digital IQ Index®: Fashion.
* A bifurcation exists between Gifted brands and those that are Challenged or Feeble, suggesting a subset of European brands have made competent (yet still undifferentiated) forays on digital platforms, while many have largely ignored the digital phenomenon.
L2 is a think tank for digital innovation. We are a membership organization that brings together thought leadership from academia and industry to drive digital marketing innovation. Drawing from original research, best practices, and emerging trends, L2 distills this intellectual capital and makes it actionable for our partners.