China Is Now the Leading Source of Traffic to Luxury Watch Websites


Dino Auciello | March 24, 2018

Insights from the latest WorldWatchReport™ Benchmark show how luxury watch brands focus their digital investments in China. However, optimising the user experience remains a major challenge for them.

Chinese consumer interest in luxury watch and jewellery brands has been growing significantly over recent years. Last year, however, marked the first time that China dethroned the US in terms of user visits to luxury watch websites. According to insights from the WorldWatchReport™ Benchmark that was released a few days ago, the total number of visits from China accounted for about 21% of global traffic, while numbers chalked up by the US weighed in at about 13%.

Image: WorldWatchReport™ Benchmark 2018

These figures emphasise the healthy state in which Swiss watch exports to China are in. According to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, exports have experienced a growth of 44% over the course of one year – valued at 177 million Swiss francs.

“The destiny of the Swiss watch industry is now tied to Asia, and China specifically,” says David Sadigh, CEO and Founder of DLG (Digital Luxury Group), the digital marketing and communications agency that conducts the Benchmark every year. “Global watch brands that do not manage to generate desirability in China will find it hard to sustain their businesses in the long run,” he adds.

For the past 10 years, DLG has been publishing the WorldWatchReport™, the leading market intelligence study in the global luxury watch industry. Launched in 2017 and based on 120 million online visits across more than 20 markets, the WorldWatchReport™ Benchmark analyses the performance of luxury watch brand websites. It explores topics ranging from the role of a brand’s website, to the impact of social media on drive-to-store, as well as the importance of balancing owned and earned media. The study helps brands leverage their digital strategies to create a seamless customer journey that will result in measurable business results.

Key takeaways from the 2018 Benchmark:

  • China has, by far, the highest advertising exposure in the world. Poor quality traffic is consequently a major challenge.
  • In order to improve the quality of traffic to websites in China, luxury watch brands need to optimise their advertising investments and the experience proposed on their  websites.
  • Brands should not think of WeChat merely as a social media platform, but as a full eco-system. 

WorldWatchReport Insights 2018