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Apparel and accessories

French luxury brands draw growing online interest in SE Asia: study

August 6, 2020

Louis Vuitton's cruise 2021 collection is playful in its presentation on Instagram, which substituted for a live runway presentation as travel restrictions persist for fashion industry executives. Image courtesy of Louis Vuitton Google searches for Louis Vuitton have grown more than 500 percent in Southeast Asia. Image courtesy of Louis Vuitton


While luxury groups have seen their revenues fall drastically as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, a new study hints at a recovery in Southeast Asia.

According to a study from Malaysia-based iPrice, Google searches for luxury brands actually increased in Southeast Asia after the onset of the pandemic. French fashion house Louis Vuitton was the biggest beneficiary, seeing its search volume grow by 555 percent.

iPrice compared the search volume from Jan. 1 through Mar. 1 and May 1 through Jun. 30 originating from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and Hong Kong.

Growing on Google
Luxury brands have been impacted by widespread and prolonged store closures, as well as dramatic falls in tourism.

French luxury brands saw the most interest in from consumers in Southeast Asia, according to iPrice.

Search volume for Louis Vuitton jumped 555 percent, followed by Saint Laurent at 306 percent and Chanel at 274 percent.

Swiss watchmaker Rolex also saw its search volume increase by triple digits, at a rate of 161 percent.

Italian fashion brand Gucci saw 70 percent growth in search inquiries, while French label Hermès saw an increase of 66 percent.

Italy’s Prada saw the most modest growth in Google searches — only 27 percent.

Strengthening digital engagement, including search volume, is key for luxury brands as they look to recover from COVID.

The importance of switching to online is becoming abundantly clear — sales of apparel and footwear are set to shrink by 27 to 30 percent in 2020 year-on-year, according to McKinsey & Company (see story). And while overall luxury spending has stumbled during recent months, e-commerce sales have grown exponentially for many luxury groups, including LVMH, Kering and Richemont.