By Hannah Connorton
New York--When it comes to watch and jewelry brands with a digital presence, Tiffany & Co. took the cake last year.

Rated in benchmarking company L2’s 2015 Digital IQ Index as a “Genius” company, Tiffany was No. 1 in terms of digital performance out of the 66 watch and jewelry brands L2 ranked, beating out Cartier, Alex and Ani, David Yurman and Pandora, which ranked second through fifth, respectively.

Tiffany has ranked first in the Watches & Jewelry category of L2’s Digital IQ Index since 2011, except for in 2014, when David Yurman took that spot over, pushing the iconic blue box-brand into second place.

Rounding out the top 10 in 2015 were Shinola, Swarovski, Chopard, Van Cleef & Arpels and TAG Heuer.

All of the 66 watch and jewelry brands ranked by L2 were evaluated on 12 digital components, among them mobile search, mobile site, Instagram, email marketing, brand search and store locator. The higher each brand scored on each component, the higher up the list it appeared on the Digital IQ Index.

The score also determined what “class” each company was. Out of all the brands in the top 10 slots, only Tiffany and Cartier earned a “Genius” designation; the other eight companies were dubbed “Gifted,” the second-highest accolade, which is followed by “Average,” “Challenged” and “Feeble.”

Rounding out the bottom of the list with a Feeble ranking were brands Girard-Perregaux, Glashütte, Jean Richard, Wellendorff and Giampiero Bodino (62nd to 66th, respectively.)

Of all 66 watch and jewelry brands listed, the majority did fall under the Feeble ranking (18 companies), followed by Gifted (17), Challenged (16), Average (13) and Genius (two, Tiffany and Cartier.)

Factoring into the Tiffany ranking is its “unparalleled” search engine optimization efforts, L2 said. The brand secures first-page organic search results against more than 30 percent of more than 100 unique category terms specific to jewelry; for example, if a user searched “engagement ring,” Tiffany & Co.’s website would be among the first 10 results delivered.

In addition, its “New York Minute” campaign video, highlighting the debut of the CT60 watch collection, earned more than 3 million views on YouTube, comparable to a holiday ad campaign.

Notable digital feats by Cartier last year included extensive product imagery coupled with “sold online” filters, which drive consumers to the appropriate sales channels based on price points, as well as the brand’s investment in its Cartier Catalog mobile app, which helped to secure the company a high download rank, specifically #135 out of the top 200 catalog apps.

Conversely, the brands at the bottom of the list had their flaws pointed out by L2. Jean Richard “fails to send email correspondence despite extensive information capture found on (its) brand site,” L2 said, while Giampiero Bodino lacks any digital footprint beyond its website and Instagram account.

L2 noted in its 2015 Digital IQ Index that watches and jewelry “face a stark reality: brand equity that took decades (if not centuries) to build does not transfer proportionately online.”

For example, L2 said 10 brands control more than 40 percent of global sales in this market: Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Rolex, Omega, Bulgari, Longines, TAG Heuer, Boucheron, Van Cleef & Arpels and Graff.

Online, however, these 10 brands control nearly 75 percent of all traffic to destinations: Tiffany & Co., Alex and Ani, Pandora, Swarovski, Shinola, Rolex, Omega, David Yurman, Citizen and Montblanc.

“Only three brands (Tiffany, Rolex and Omega) appear on both lists, signaling a reshuffling of the deck favoring challenger brands attracting a disproportionate share of the online equity,” L2 said.

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