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Mobile is the essential medium for 2013: Digital Luxury Group exec

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December 6, 2012

Bloomingdale’s Big Brown Bag mobile app

A Digital Luxury Group executive who spoke during a Luxury Daily webinar said that luxury marketers that do not incorporate convenience and speed on the mobile medium into a seamless marketing approach will likely miss out on wealthy, transactional shoppers.

Executives from the Luxury Institute, Digital Luxury Group and Morpheus Media discussed their expectations for the next calendar year as well as potential surprises that marketers will face during the “Luxury Outlook 2013: Up, Down or Flat?” webinar Dec. 4. It seems that the light at the end of a tunnel littered with global economic uncertainties is mobile.

“The numbers show that for transactional shoppers, valuing convenience and speed above anything else, mobile will become an essential channel in 2013,” said David Sadigh, CEO of Digital Luxury Group, Geneva, Switzerland.

“Trusted retailers with proven mobile platforms and strategies will be ideally positioned to take advantage from this growth,” he said.

To follow are each webinar speaker’s expectations for 2013 and possible surprises to come:

What can luxury expect in 2013?

Milton Pedraza, CEO of The Luxury Institute

Luxury Institute's Milton Pedraza

Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute: We believe 2013 will be a year of continued growth in the United States, with the fiscal cliff issue behind us.

Europe will continue to be a problem except for tourism’s positive effects, and we expect China’s conversion to a consumer-led economy to be steady while still being a major exporter.

Brazil will grow less rapidly, yet still be a source of growth for luxury.

The net effect is that growth will be solid, yet not as strong as it was in 2011.

David Sadigh, CEO of Digital Luxury Group: There are two important things: the growing numbers of Chinese travelers and the mobile commerce boom.

Shenan Reed, chief media officer at Morpheus Media

Morpheus Media's Shenan Reed

Shenan Reed, chief media officer at Morpheus Media: Consumers continue to love to shop for their favorite brands.  We are seeing stronger and stronger consumer demand for luxury as the economy begins to improve.

As younger consumers enter the marketplace, they will gravitate towards brands that are innovative and accessible.

What surprises should luxury marketers brace for in 2013? 

Mr. Pedraza: Europe may see Greece and others exiting the Euro since the current decline of the Southern European countries is unsustainable. It is that, or a complete bail-out of those countries, which seems unlikely on the part of Germany.

That exit from the Euro may create some short-term dislocation, but since they are not among the world’s high-impact economies, it will be short-lived and may help relieve the long-term crisis Europe faces.

On the other hand, we call them surprises because they are so difficult to predict.

The other issue that concerns us is if the U.S. economy stagnates and there is little more the federal government can do, then we would probably face a mild, but real global recession again as the slowdown affects China and other exporters. We think that is a low probability.

David Sadigh, CEO of Digital Luxury Group

Digital Luxury Group's David Sadigh

Mr. Sadigh: Taxes and regulation related to luxury goods in countries like China could change quickly.

If this happens, this could have a direct impact on both domestic and international luxury sales, especially in cities where Chinese travelers are spending $20,000 per trip on average.

In terms of social responsibility, with the evolution of social media, luxury brands are more than ever exposed to major reputational threats.

Social responsibility and more globally exemplary ethical businesses will be the only way to prevent the brands from such damages.

In terms of mobile commerce, the numbers show that for transactional shoppers, valuing convenience and speed above anything else, mobile will become an essential channel in 2013.

Trusted retailers with proven mobile platforms and strategies will be ideally positioned to take advantage from this growth.

Ms. Reed: Obviously, if it is a surprise then one cannot prepare.

However, one can prepare to be flexible and have an infrastructure that allows for quick, decisive action and a willingness to test and try.

Please click here to listen to the archived webinar

Final Take
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York

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Tricia Carr is an editorial assistant on Luxury Daily. Her beats are apparel and accessories, arts and entertainment, education, food and beverage, fragrance and personal care, government, healthcare, home furnishings, jewelry, legal/privacy and nonprofits. Reach her at tricia@napean.com.

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