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the Apple website uses background blur and has giant scroll-animated images. The store page has drop shadows and CSS transitions.

We weren't talking about "just shadows" though. While one of the sub-pages of one of four brands is really using shadows at least somewhere:

  /* https://www.apple.com/store */
  .rf-ccard-content {
    box-shadow: 2px 4px 12px rgb(0 0 0 / 8%);
... it just supports the point made at the root comment.

PS. And gucci not having an https certificate is another example how "premium brands" often have completely unusable or simply non-functioning sites. Still sells.

Gucci was an established brand long before having a website. Unfortunatly, most people don't start their business at that level, so they need to do whatever they can to stand out (or at least look half decent)

Their 1998 website probably used tables with celllpadding, and it was “good enough” at the time. But I suspect they’ve benefitted by changing it. However, since neither of us have data, it’s all subjective.

For those that do have data, they’ve decided spending millions on it is worth it.

I disagree, please don’t tangentially deny my data points as “no data”. Four random vendors of “premium brand <something>” not doing today what was spoken about in this thread (properly casting shadows as described in tfa has zero business value for premium brands) is not no-data.

OK good point, instead of "no data" I'll say "an insignificantly small amount of data from which it's impossible to draw any conclusions as you could use the same data to say pretty much anything".

At least I wasn’t drawing from pure imagination.

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