#Resilience


“Brands are starting to understand the mechanics of e-commerce”

STÉPHANE WASER

Español
December 2019


“Brands are starting to understand the mechanics of e-commerce”

In our latest report about the transformation of the watch world, we selected six major issues which are having a profound impact on the industry’s present and also on its future and discussed them with about forty stakeholders of the industry. Here is the take of Stéphane Waser, Managing Director of Maurice Lacroix.

ENTRY-LEVEL
“The race for market share with Apple is not achievable”

“It depends how you segment the offer you call ‘affordable’. The price points in competition with Apple watches are very competitive: the race for market share is not achievable, as the Apple offer is quite complete. At higher price points, the consumer does not need wearables or smartwatches and we enter the category of luxury goods and accessories. Craftsmanship, heritage, design, exclusivity and quality play a role. The consumer need is different and it’s toward this that we need to cater our product offering.”

POLARISATION
“The cycles are slow but the trend is clear”

“Watches, just like fashion, rely on trends. The cycles are slower but the trends for luxury watches are clear. Do you remember the end of the 1990s, when fully integrated steel watches with straps were so hyped? Today, the trend is for designs from the 1990s, integrated bracelet and cases, case and bezel shapes with straight lines, and non-functional design elements. The brands that have recognised this trend are the most popular ones today.”

"The race for market share is not achievable, as the Apple offer is quite complete."

Stéphane Waser, Managing Director of Maurice Lacroix
Stéphane Waser, Managing Director of Maurice Lacroix

DISTRIBUTION
“Transparency and accessibility are key” “Digitisation and improved logistics are creating a more connected and faster world. But we have new tools to manage it. For a retailer today, it is essential to operate a digital business alongside brick-and-mortar in order to increase customer satisfaction. Transparency and accessibility are key. I have seen retailers successfully managing their setup while running offline and online businesses simultaneously.”

PRE-OWNED
“Watch brands did not understand the potential at first”

“When e-commerce started a few years ago, watch brands did not understand the potential and the logic of digital. Some very smart people have seen these gaps and opportunities faster than the industry. The recent development of brands operating in the pre-owned market is a sign that they are starting to understand the mechanics of online and the importance of being to prevent uncontrolled brand activities through nonauthorised sales platforms.”

"For a retailer today, it is essential to operate a digital business alongside brick-and-mortar in order to increase customer satisfaction."

OPPORTUNITIES
“We are in the Asian century”

“China is not the only potential source of growth for Swiss watches. Emerging markets like India or Russia are very interesting markets. However, it is believed that by 2050, 50% of world consumption will come from Asia – the so-called ‘Asian century’. Even though consumption of luxury watches in China has faltered in recent years, it will continue to deliver growth in the future.”