US fashion brands falling behind online

29 October 2012

NEW YORK: Major fashion brands from Europe are leading their US rivals when it comes to attracting the attention of web users in key emerging markets like Brazil, China and Russia, new figures show.

The Digital Luxury Group, the insights provider, tracked 31m entries on four search engines: Bing, run by Microsoft, and Google, as well as Baidu and Yandex, from China and Russia respectively.

In all, the 35 American brands featured drew 69.8% of such activity from the US, falling to 20.7% for Europe, plus 7.5% across Brazil, Russia, India and China, or the BRICs, and 2% for Japan.

When assessing five European brands, in the form of Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Hermès and Louis Vuitton, the study stated that they yielded a relatively modest 24.5% share from their home region.

This could be compared with totals of 30.5% in the BRIC countries, and 41.5% in the US, according to the analysis. Japan registered 3.5% here.

"While there are a few standouts, overall, European brands in the same sector do a far better job of marketing to and doing business with 'emerging' BRIC markets," it added.

Michael Kors was the premier US player on this metric globally, accounting for 19.6% of branded searches. Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Vera Wang followed next 

Completing the top ten in this area were Tony Burch, Kate Spade, Diane von Furstenberg, Betsey Johnson and Tom Ford.

Bags were the subject of 36.1% of searches, beating ready-to-wear apparel on 34.9%, wallets on 14.1%, shoes on 7.6% and sunglasses on 5.9%.

When breaking out the results for US brands in China, the study showed that Michael Kors held the top spot locally, while Tony Burch rose to second, four places ahead of its global ranking.

Hervé Léger claimed third in the Asian nation, ten positions better that its overall standing. Anna Sui, in eighth, also came in 11 spots higher in China than was the case worldwide.

Turning to Brazil, Calvin Klein was the top-ranked American brand, in front of Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren. Carolina Herrera, Marchesa and Oscar de la Renta proved especially popular in the country.

Data sourced from Digital Luxury Group; additional content by Warc staff