Digitisation is catching on in more and more industries, not excluding unusual areas such as agriculture, professional football, and exclusive boutiques. Even luxury goods can be marketed on the Internet without losing their essence. What’s more, it’s about being able to and not can do, because the millennials are definitely here.
Online retail for luxury goods is booming
Luxury is mainly associated with exclusivity, differentiation, and sophistication. Top quality goods are carefully selected and presented in a visually appealing way in the store. Customer service is personal, first-rate, but also time-consuming. The price is justified. The requirements and features are fully met in the business, as there was no need to jump into the digital business so far.
The generation change, however, is accelerating the digital transformation in all industries. With the luxury segment, a new group of buyers is moving in, who have a lot of money and would like to spend this beyond the luxury shopping district. For this new, primarily young customer group, the brand is more than just a status symbol. They also want to enjoy their favourite label in inspirational and rewarding digital experiences.
That’s why e-commerce is currently a big focus for luxury brands. In fact, the global luxury market grew by five percent to an estimated €1,200 billion in 2017, with online sales rising 24 percent to a total market share of nine percent.
What should brands, retailers, and manufacturers pay attention to in order to transfer these tendencies to the online shop and attract this digitally-affine elite group? The first inspiring examples of this already exist.
The new customer group: Children of rich parents or young, successful entrepreneurs have digital DNA and demand corresponding shopping opportunities on the Internet, that at least have the same experience as the stationary stores have to offer.
In this context, it is a must to provide multiple delivery and pick-up options. Thus, customers will stay in the sales funnel, regardless of the channel. In addition, the number of online purchases were exhausted.
The Swiss luxury watch brand IWC brings convenience to the next level with a comprehensive range. For example, each product page has the option of contacting a consultant who can assist customers with their purchases. In addition, customers have the option of making an appointment online or storing their desired products in a shopping list during the customer journey.
Emotional and valuable content
When it comes to luxury, every detail is important. Wealthy clients want to know more about the materials and are often inspired by detailed and high-quality information. Good content, like product descriptions, grabs a customer’s attention before they even decide to make a purchase. The first step is therefore to provide the customer with added value and then discreetly draw attention to a product.
Luxury e-commerce shop Mr. Porter does this extremely well. The product descriptions are complete and evoke positive feelings and moods. In addition, customers will find a “journal” in which the links to the clothes are seamlessly integrated.
High quality and unique usability
All online stores should follow at least some basic usability principles. Among other things, navigation should be clear and consistent, customer questions should be answered, and products should be easy to find. However, in the context of look and feel, images are the linchpin for luxury e-commerce sites.
It’s about recreating in-store experiences, online. But how? Putting yourself in the shoes of the customer is the name of the game. What would I like to see as a luxury customer on site? How is a piece of clothing, or even a diamond cut? What do I want to touch? What do I want to feel?
In the end, it’s about communication and understanding the customers. This definitely includes the following aspects: a clean design to reflect a minimal storefront and bring the products to light, as well as high quality images and information that the customer needs to make a purchase decision.
An industry in which the stationary channel has priority can only benefit from the link to the online world, as every stage of the customer journey can be completed anytime, anywhere. The key phrase: Omnichannel experiences.