Burberry's Apple and WeChat partnerships pay off as mobile drives most traffic

Burberry: tie up with DreamWorks just one aspect of fashion brand's digital investment
Burberry: tie up with DreamWorks just one aspect of fashion brand's digital investment

Mobile is fast becoming Burberry's most important digital sales channel, accounting for the 'majority' of traffic to Burberry.com.

The fashion house reported a 1% boost in like-for-like sales during the last three months of 2015, with digital outperforming "in all regions". 

Burberry name-checked its partnerships with tech players including Apple, DreamWorks, Google and WeChat.

In a statement, the company said it had benefited from its "investment in mobile" adding that "conversion improved year-on-year in this, our fastest growing digital channel, which now represents the majority of traffic to burberry.com".

In July last year, Burberry said mobile accounted for 40% of digital traffic.

The results follow Burberry's partnership with Asian messaging app WeChat to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

The firm also strengthened its relationship with Apple this week, when it signed up to Apple TV. It already had a partnership with the tech giant, after it became the first luxury brand to sign up for a dedicated channel on Apple’s Music subscription service.

The company has also been using technology to enhance its marketing output. 

In December last year it tied up with DreamWorks Animation for an interactive 3D campaign that allowed consumers to personalise and animate scarves, with the results appearing live on Piccadilly Circus' Curve screen.

Today's results saw Burberry credit its £603m revenue to strong European demand, with the 1% increase comparing favourably to its 4% sales fall in the previous quarter.

But the UK, which accounts for more than a third of the company’s EMEIA retail revenue, proved more challenging than other European countries due to a decrease in the number of travelling customers from China and the Middle East.

Its performance in mainland China saw a return to growth.

Christopher Bailey, chief creative and chief executive officer, said: "In a tougher environment than expected, our sustained focus on growth and cost control drove a number of positive results over the quarter, including the outperformance of digital and a return to growth in mainland China.

While Burberry was impacted by the ongoing challenges facing the luxury sector, headwinds in Hong Kong and Macau masked an otherwise stronger performance in many markets."

He added that the outlook for the sector "looked uncertain".

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