Luxury watches are a staple for high-income customers. (http://www.cityam.com/272637/watch-space-chronext-revolutionising-luxury-watch-market)
In an era of rapidly changing technology, the increase of consumer demand for smartwatches and wearables are on the rise. What is interesting to observe is how the traditional luxury watch industry comprising of big brands like TAG Heuer, Rolex and Swiss watches interpret this invasion of smartwatches into their market space.
The responses are varied. On one hand, a whopping 72% of Swiss watch executives remained positive and did not see smartwatches impacting their sales in 2017, while on the other hand, TAG Heuer recognized the rise of the smartwatches, but remained true to its heritage and style of a luxury watch.
At a time when the very essence of a luxury product is under metamorphosis, it is important for companies that produce luxury watches to ascertain the altering trends and be dynamic to incorporate these changes for their products.
Some of the following points should be kept in mind:
1. The Millennial Customer: Reports have shown that at least 58% of millennials currently browse products online to compare prices, or read customer reviews before engaging in buying a luxury item. This makes it extremely important for luxury watches to have a digital store or an online presence to impact the young target group who are often seen browsing through social media to discuss products or find out about discounts and offers. However, a simple online store is not enough when it comes to a luxury watch company, as people would still want to physically try on the luxury watch to understand the best fitting, weight, and style. Most companies, therefore, should opt for both a virtual as well as a real store to sell their products.
2. Expensive materials: Earlier watches were categorized into luxury or non-luxury items based on the material they were made of. For example, a watch of gold, steel, velvet or leather would have a higher price than that made of glass or plastic. Thus, the physical appearance of the watch decided it’s price and value. These days, however, the inclusion of high-end technology or functions over-ride the material a watch is made of. For example, an Apple watch is made up of a plastic strap, but it’s highly valued as a luxury item.
3. Adopting Technology: Luxury watch brands must keep up with the times by adapting to the inclusion of technology in their products. This can be done without diluting their unique offering and expertise that has been around for decades. An amalgamation of the brand name of a luxury watch and new technology such as GPS tracking, chat-bot platforms, NFC payments, and even UV rays tracking will secure the future of the luxury watch.
Notwithstanding all these fluctuations, the luxury watch industry is set to enjoy a secure future in these changing times.
Edit: One reason for the sky-high price of luxury watches, for example, those watches that boast of a “Swiss Made” label, are because they are supposed to be manufactured in Switzerland, where the production cost of commodities is rocketing. However, there are very few watches that are made 100% in Switzerland. Most companies outsource their labor and material to developing countries and this, in a way, means that a customer ends up paying a lot for something that is misleading.
Today’s customer needs to be made aware of ‘smart luxury’, or a product that doesn’t compromise on either quality and service and is also not taxing on the pocket. Muse Wearables aims to avoid the unnecessary price that comes along with a ‘Swiss made’ tag, delivering cutting-edge technology, customer service and quality at affordable prices. Check out www.musewearables.com for more information regarding our hybrid state-of-the-art Analog Smartwatch!
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Times are Changing: The Future of Luxury Watches – Muse Wearables