|E-tailers and department stores lead the rankings and Jewelry & Watches and Accessory brands lag behind in their digital IQ. Image source: Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail, L2|
E-tailers have the highest digital IQ, department stores saw the largest gain in their digital IQ during the past year and the digital IQ of home furnishings brands fell from the prior year. However, it is jewelry and watch brands who rate below every category with the exception of accessories.
The good news is that with a score of 68 the jewelry and watch category “vastly improved (over 2010 results) as brands began making investments in social media,” according to L2, a digital think tank, which published the ranking of 64 companies in eight specialty categories.
For its second annual survey titled, Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail, L2 based its ranking on the following criteria:
* Website functionality, content and brand translation, 30 percent;
* Digital marketing, 30 percent;
* Social media 20 percent; and
* Mobile, 20 percent
This year’s rankings placed a stronger emphasis on the explosion of mobile purchasing (m-commerce) and the exceptional growth of facebook as both a social media marketing tool and as a newly minted e-commerce platform, known as f-commerce.
Based on the criteria, a scoring methodology was created and rankings for the brands were based on the following categories.
Genius, 140 and above;
* Gifted, 110 - 139;
* Average, 90 - 109;
* Challenged, 70 -89;
* Feeble, 70 and below
The only jewelry and watch brand that made the Gifted” category was Tiffany, which ranked 19th overall with a score of 118. “A jewel of a mobile app and smart digital cross promotion,” the survey noted.
Even e-commerce diamond jewelry standout, Blue Nile, took a hit in the survey, ranking 38th overall, which places it in the “Average” category with a score of 98. “Dated site for a child of the medium,” according to the L2 survey. Ouch.
Others getting an average grade are
* 43 Cartier, score of 96, “Good-looking, but faulty site mechanics;”
* 45 Swarovski, 94, “Social media properties shimmer, but site has lost its sparkle;” and
* 47 Swatch, 92, “Multi-site e-commerce navigation lacks intuition.”
Zales Jewelers, which ranked 52nd, was the only watch and jewelry brand in the “Challenged” category with a score of 83; “Enhancing mobile and YouTube offering would help.”
Then there’s Tourneau, which ranked dead last in the survey at 64th with a score of 43. It is one of only two brands to place in the “Feeble” category for failing to have an e-commerce site. “Clock is ticking before getting completely left behind,” the survey states.
No jewelry and watch brands made the Genius category.
“On average, users spend more time on brand sites with higher Digital IQs,” L2 said in its survey. “This uptick in site visits also translates to more site visits per user and higher frequency visits.”
There is some good news in the survey for jewelry and watch brands. It includes:
* Tiffany & Co. is among those considered a facebook overachiever based on its facebook page popularity;
* Swarovski facebook page attracted nearly 1.3 million "Likes," the ninth highest among those surveyed.
* Cartier has one of the fastest growing twitter accounts, ranking eighth overall;
* Cartier ranks third and Tiffany ranks fifth among brands with the most upload views on YouTube; and
* Cartier's Calibre de Cartier, Mechanics of Passion, (Short Version) Youtube video is among the most popular brand videos, ranking eighth, with more than 1.3 million views.
Other survey highlights after the page break:
* The top three companies in the survey and the ones only earning a spot in “Genius” category are Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret and Nordstrom. Rounding out the top five are Sephora and Urban Outfitters.
Apart from search engines, facebook is the leading source of both upstream and downstream traffic to and from nearly every retailer’s site.
* Examination of retailers’ facebook walls reveals that fans are most receptive to product-related messaging.
* Thirteen percent of brands surveyed are on the cusp of breaking into f-commerce, offering heavily curated product catalogs with live links from their facebook page to product pages on their e-commerce site.
* The most profound shift from the 2010 Index was the pace of mobile adoption across platforms. In last year’s study, less than 30 percent of brands were optimized for a mobile platform. This year 67 percent of brands support a mobile site, and nearly 45 percent have an iPhone app. Adoption of the iPad is nascent, but rapidly gaining momentum, growing six-fold since 2010.
* “A missed opportunity for retailers in mobile is Android adoption,” L2 said in its survey. Android users’ ad impression share surpassed that of iOS mobile users in December 2010. In April, Nielsen reported that more consumers plan to buy a smartphone powered by Android than any other OS.8 Gilt Groupe, Rue La La, and Macy’s were the only brands in the study to offer any type of Android app.