The COVID pandemic drove a shift in thinking around how consumers purchase watches, Tissot ANZ GM Scott Jungwirth contends.
Speaking to Ragtrader, Jungwirth said that locally, the pandemic accelerated the brand’s digital strategy, helping it to drive 50% of its revenue from online.
"A few years ago, I remember having conversations with retailers and some in the industry didn't feel people bought watches online," he said.
"But the pandemic drove a mindset shift.
"We really changed our whole distribution strategy to be more digital.
"We got our D2C eCommerce up and running, we expanded to be available on The Iconic, and we enhanced what we’re doing with David Jones and Myer," he said.
Changes the brand made to its distribution strategy included ensuring the operations were set up to handle the volume of orders coming from customers directly, rather than a smaller number of key wholesale accounts.
"What this allows us to do is build a better relationship with the customers directly," Jungwirth added.
"When we sell through wholesale there's a bit of a gap between us and the end buyer, whereas with the growth of eCommerce, we're now building direct relationships," he said.
Further enhancing this direct relationship with customers was the brand's use of virtual shopping, where shoppers could have a live interaction with a Tissot team member to get advice, styling and shopping help.
"We were able to show the watches and have an interaction with the customers but there was some challenges with that," Jungwirth said.
"It was difficult for the customers to get a really good feel for the watch, but we were still able to make quite nice sales out of that.
"I think the learning is that there is of infrastructure and technology still to evolve - not only in our industry, but just in general - to make it even better," he said.
Looking ahead, Jungwirth said that the business will focus on enhancing its sustainability credentials, continuing its push in the digital space and re-emerging itself into the physical world again through store and event experiences.
"Sustainability is still something that we've certainly got an eye on," he said.
"We want to do things better, like our packaging and coming out with more sustainable solutions in that space.
"We'll still have a very big digital push, that's here to stay.
"But we also want to get back into some activations and experiencing the brand.
"We've got a really good involvement with a lot of sports sponsorships like the NBA, Tour de France and the Moto GP.
"We want to get back experiencing and touching product, having events and immersing people in a real world rather than just a virtual world," he said.