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Burberry Nabs Top Spot for NYU’s Digital IQ Index

For the past four years, New York University has been conducting research on fashion brands and their “Digital IQ Index“. The Digital IQ Index converts a company’s E-commerce attributes into numerical values and then ranks them based on their online competence. For the second year in a row, British brand Burberry has proven to have the most competent online presence.  

Burberry Nabs Top Spot for NYUs Digital IQ Index

Since 2009, New York University’s idea company Luxury Lab or L2 has produced a list consisting of the top fashion brands that have the highest “Digital IQ Index“. Digital IQ measures a brand’s competence in e-commerce and the online market and this year’s report shows that British brand Burberry has topped the chart for the second year in a row.

Brands Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade, Tory Burch, Gucci, Coach, and Louis Vuitton fall after Burberry on the list with Spade and Burch tied for third place. While Facebook likes and Twitter followers are still a main factor concerning the online presence of a retailer, this year’s data is showing that e-commerce market share is becoming an increasingly important attribute to online fashion business.

In fact, the three brands that top this list have all grown their e-commerce significantly. Burberry, Ralph Lauren, and Tory Burch have all expanded 20, 23, and 90 percent of their e-commerce in the past year.

The second focal point that was revealed after conducting the study was that mobile and smart phone shopping is becoming an increasingly important venture. The mobile market for fashion brands is rapidly expanding and Scott Galloway of NYU revealed to Women’s Wear Daily that, “If it keeps growing this way, in 24 to 36 months, the majority of fashion searches will come from mobile,”

The director of research and advisory Maureen Mullen states that NYU withholds the thesis that the digital IQ indicator is an indicator of success. And if Burberry, Ralph Lauren, and Tory Burch have the highest scores, then, “they’re the icons in the making of fashion.”

Brands that have improved the most since last year are Balenciaga with their new found focus on social media and their newly compatible flash-free website causing their score soar 37%. The biggest disappointments were industry standards Hermes and Prada, who may feel secure due to their strong physical retail presence and consider venturing online not a priority.

So if there’s anything we can take away from this study it is that the internet is the uncharted territory of the fashion world and the majority of the industry seems to be moving west. Whether it be shopping online via your iPhone app or discovering new ways to reach customers through social media, the fashion world is rapidly expanding into the digital world. With mobile devices, we are no longer tethered to an office desk or a desktop, unless your battery dies. But in the case of e-commerce and online retailing it looks like their charge is one that will not fade out on us just yet.

Hermes was one of the brands with the lowest Digital IQ scores, but is one of the highest ranked fashion brands on the “World’s Best Global Brands” list. Read about how Louis Vuitton was able to become number one here. 


Written by Emily Draznik

Chicago transplant and aspiring gay icon. I hold the belief that puns are the highest form of humor and love writing about fashion and everything in between.