Title: Digital luxury retailing and the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative study

Authors: Giuseppe Colella; Cesare Amatulli

Addresses: Ionian Department in 'Mediterranean Legal and Economic Systems: Society, Environment, Culture', University of Bari 'Aldo Moro', Via Duomo, 259, 74123 Taranto, Italy ' Ionian Department in 'Mediterranean Legal and Economic Systems: Society, Environment, Culture', University of Bari 'Aldo Moro', Via Duomo, 259, 74123 Taranto, Italy

Abstract: Luxury brands are increasingly realising the central importance of digital technology in addressing consumers' needs and desires. In this context, several studies have focused on the role that digital technologies play in luxury brands' communication, but few of them have addressed luxury brands' digital retail distribution strategies. Understanding this topic is especially critical amidst changes in global economics - many of them spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic - that are reshaping how luxury consumers shop at and interact with retailers. Against that backdrop, this research pursues a twofold objective, namely: identifying the current effects of the pandemic on luxury brands' digital retailing and illuminating the challenges said brands will face in the near future. Given the sparse explorations of digital retailing (especially for luxury brands) and the extraordinary nature of the pandemic, this research uses a qualitative-exploratory approach based on semi-structured one-to-one interviews with experts from a leading digital marketing company in order to develop some initial insights. The limitations of this research are due to the cut-off period and the use of a restricted sample. In addition to discussing the theoretical and managerial implications of the results, the paper provides interesting guidance for future research.

Keywords: digital marketing; digital retailing; luxury marketing; digital luxury retailing; e-commerce; electronic commerce; pandemic; qualitative study.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEMR.2021.10036028

International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing, 2022 Vol.13 No.2, pp.157 - 189

Received: 14 Sep 2020
Accepted: 30 Nov 2020

Published online: 13 Jan 2022 *

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