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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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6. Theory and Hypotheses – Effects of Online Accessibility


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6.  Theory and Hypotheses – Effects of Online Accessibility

6.1  Introduction

The marketing of luxury goods is directed towards balancing sales growth against the brand’s fragile perception of exclusiveness. In particular, while selling luxury goods online represents a potential source of additional sales it is generally believed to harm a luxury brand’s appeal of being reserved for the happy few. Business press (Chapter 1.1), literature (Chapter 4.5), and interviews with luxury industry experts (Chapter 5) leaves us with mixed results on whether or not and, if so, how to sell luxury goods online. In the following Chapters 6 to 8 we are interested in deepening our understanding of the effects of online accessbility of luxury goods. Specifically, we address the third research question (see Chapter 1.2):

RQ3: How does the online accessibility and price display of luxury goods affect consumer perceived scarcity, desirability, convenience, and willingness-to-buy?

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