In a year when a strong e-commerce presence was critical for brands, Luxe Digital found that Gucci searches comprised 15.2% of all search queries for luxury items, making it the most sought-after luxury brand online. Coming in second and third place were Chanel (11.6%) and Hermès (10.2%), per the report.
Versace and Hermès have seen notable growth since last year. However, Balenciaga descended to number 12 on the list, which the report partially attributes to the decline in popularity of its sneakers.
Luxe Digital predicts that China will become the largest luxury market in the world by 2025. Brands have been using Tmall's Luxury and WeChat boutiques, the most popular platforms, to connect with Chinese consumers, according to the report.
The luxury industry is not immune from the trends the rest of retail has seen for the past year, with Luxe Digital citing premium loungewear and home collections as critical for luxury brands to reach homebound consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. That includes the likes of Versace's bathrobes and Nike-Dior sneakers.
Sustainability is also a common trait among the high-end brands on the list, according to Luxe Digital, as consumers continue to look for environmentally friendly products despite the pandemic. Luxe Digital reviewed more than 3,000 data points from various sources, tracking search interest and social media reach, to pinpoint the most desired luxury brands.
Though the federal government has provided consumers some financial relief and more people are getting vaccinated, shoppers are not exactly returning to stores right away, meaning e-commerce remains critical for retailers. Plus, Adobe's Digital Economy Index estimated that online spending will reach between $850 billion and $930 billion this year and could grow to $1 trillion by 2022.
Besides the health concerns sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, many middle-class consumers aren't spending as much due in large part to unpredictable financial circumstances. Though apparel has faced some difficulty before the pandemic, experts predict that the demand for fashion will return and push casual clothing to the side.