How To Spend It is entering a glittering new era

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After its initial launch back in 2009, the Financial Times is set to re-launch howtospendit.com. Launching in September 2012, the new site will allow users to immerse themselves in the multi-award winning content both faster and easier.

Key to the sites development has been the implementation of greater functionality, browsing functions and social sharing.

The re-launch has come at a very interesting time in the luxury goods industry. A new research study conducted by Mckinsey and Altagamma has shown that luxury brands really have to embrace digital channels if they want their brands to prosper.

The luxury goods industry in renowned for being timid about using the internet. Many executives believe that consumers wish to touch and try goods before they choose to purchase them. However, the recent report has shown otherwise.

The study surveyed more than 300 luxury brands, including French giants LVMH and PPR as well as over 700 websites and 2.5million online comments from both Twitter and Facebook. 2,500 interviews were also conducted across the US, China, UK and France.

The finding is that digital luxury is a much more important market than many executives acknowledge.

Worldwide online sales in 2011 reached €6.2bn, growing three times faster than the total personal luxury goods market with an estimated worth of €190bn. The study estimates that digital sales will reach about €15bn by 2016.

A number of key findings are detailed below:

  • About 15% of €25bn of total sales in the luxury goods industry is directly generated by digital media.
  • Altagamma and Mckinsey estimate that as much as a fifth of store sales (a market worth €34bn), could be indirectly influenced by the “online experience”.
  • Despite luxury goods brands having millions of Facebook fans, the strong following has little direct affect on sales as few of those millions of fans car afford to buy the objects of their desires.

An important finding to note is that consumers are looking at more than four sources of information- from company websites to fashion blogs in order to make informed choices about what to buy.

With the above in mind, the revised howtospendit.com may prove to be an excellent opportunity to positively influence the HTSI audience which generally consists of high-net-worth discerning individuals.

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