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Marketing Luxury Goods Online


Philipp Nikolaus Kluge

The marketing of luxury goods faces a fundamental challenge: balancing sales growth against exclusiveness. In today’s digital world, this trade-off has become even more challenging. A luxury brand’s fragile concept of exclusiveness is seemingly incompatible with the ubiquitous availability provided by the mass medium Internet. The author addresses this trade-off both conceptually and empirically. First, the author conceptually examines the specific marketing-mix for luxury goods in terms of product, price, communications, and distribution management. Second, this marketing-mix is applied to the online environment. Third, the author empirically tests the effects of the online accessibility of luxury goods on consumer perceptions of scarcity and desirability.

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4. Online Marketing-Mix of Luxury Goods


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4.  Online Marketing-Mix of Luxury Goods

Having conceptually examined the specificities of marketing luxury goods in Chapter 3, we are now interested in the benefits, concerns, and approaches to marketing luxury goods online in terms of product management, pricing, communication, and distribution management. Particularly, Chapter 4 addresses the second research question (compare Chapter 1.2):

Prior to conceptually discussing the marketing-mix elements and how they may be adapted to the online world in Chapters 4.2 to 4.5, the general suitability of the Internet for marketing luxury goods will be described first in Chapter 4.1.

4.1  The Internet and luxury

The digital revolution has changed society and economy. With the advance of the Internet speed and reach of communication has increased. Individuals and firms exchange data and information through Internet applications like the World Wide Web (WWW) and electronic mail (e-mail). The Internet (interconnected net) refers to a worldwide system of computer networks sharing a common standard that can be accessed through a desktop computer, mobile phone, digital TV etc. via wired or mobile networks in order to exchange information (Fritz, 2001, p. 21; Internet Live Stats, 2014a; Kollmann, 2013b, p. 27).

The number of Internet users has grown dramatically over the past two decades at 29 per cent p.a. reaching nearly 3 billion users worldwide (see Figure 35(a); Internet Live Stats, 2014a). As of July 2014, about 40 per cent of worldwide population has access to...

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