What a luxurious e-commerce takes benefit of

Nearly 20% of luxury goods sales will be online by 2025 (McKinsey). The digitization of the sector is on a long-term basis. Highly tied to authenticity and personal relationships with customers, the luxury sector has redefined itself by adopting technological innovations without undermining the relationship that is so special about the brand. In this recovery period, several trends tested by major brands that will shape the future of luxury e-commerce stand out.

VIP treatment, even online

No other sector attaches more importance to the so-called “luxury” experience. Privileged welcome, personalized advice, product presentation ceremony… VIP treatment before, during and after the sale. Fear of the disappearance of these interactions has alienated the e-commerce sector. But buying luxury online does not mean giving up this experience.

Brands compete in ingenuity to expand the spirit of online shopping, whether they produce personalized content, reveal themselves on social media or offer benefits.

Prada, Balenciaga or Dior offer free shipping on all orders, as well as personalized and free gift wrapping as if the sale was over at the store. As for Burberry or Moncler, they have developed original applications focused on new products, exclusivity and VIP access to private events.

Like the retailer that is constantly available in stores, chat tools have multiplied online. Luxury chatbots must be able to answer questions that are as precise as they are unexpected; what fabric the piece is made of, what are the exact measurements of the garment… via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or a dedicated chat room.

Louis Vuitton and Prada have set up a programmed chat bot to answer certain questions regarding purchase, delivery and return. In addition, the sales assistant takes photos of the product and tips. Burberry designed Lola, an application-based virtual assistant. French boutiques Céline and Yves Saint Laurent have invested in WeChat, a super Chinese app. This strategy goes beyond the website and finds its way to social networks.

“See and buy” is one element of a multi-platform approach. You no longer need to link to the brand’s website to discover new products and buy them.

Instagram is becoming a showcase, the smallest post is commercial content, WeChat mini pages are an extension of official stores. Even a blog or online magazine of the brand, which retains its primary function of editorial content, allows the purchase of products that models wear in photos.

In addition to offering effortless shopping, this type of content that can be purchased builds brand loyalty by giving style tips, watching the people you follow wear those same pieces. This multi-platform approach is the main axis of development, especially suitable for the luxury sector.

Luxury brands should seriously consider buying live, with an experience comparable to that offered in the store. Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs are already entering the Chinese market with Bilibili, a social video platform. McKinsey predicts that by 2026 it could account for 10-20% of global e-commerce.

Live shopping is based primarily on its ability to present customers with the first real dynamic catalog, allowing them to have a realistic overview of the product, to appreciate the quality, cut, general appearance…. from his couch.

Transpose physical trade into virtual

  • Traveling through cyber worlds

For its Fall / Winter 2021 show, Balenciaga distributed Oculus VR equipment to 30 members of the press to attend a 100% 3D show, with virtual models and clothing. Louis Vuitton also created fashion items for characters from League of Legends video games, which players could buy for real money.

Faced with health constraints, questions about the sustainability of fashion, virtual environments will surely multiply, giving freedom to the imagination of designers and the escape of customers.

More conventionally, but also unrealistically, virtual equipment is also flourishing. It is true that it solves the great advantage so far reserved for in-store purchases. Seeing if an item of clothing suits your body type, skin color… is now possible thanks to Instagram and Snapchat filters that combine social experience and shopping.

The luxury platform Farfetch has partnered with Snap Inc. to create a filter with the sensational Off-White brand. They also used voice recognition software that allows users to change clothes by speech. Not forgetting the “buy now” button intelligently integrated into the interface.

Unite to rule better

Despite significant investments in online sales optimization, a luxury retailer – and its customers – cannot do without retail experience. These two channels are complementary and their unification is essential, in order to offer a homogeneous experience and control of customer identification and knowledge.

Therefore, omnichannel strategies are applied, such as the policy of free replacement in stores, after online shopping, for almost all major luxury brands (LVMH group, Prada group). The services offered in the stores are adapted to the web, where it is possible to find out which collections are available depending on the store, make an appointment with a tailor, etc.

In London, Tiffany & Co. focuses more on the conceptual and connected store. With multiple screens and the ability to design your own tablet jewelry, this store uses digital technology to enhance the on-site experience.

The other hand in luxury

Used sales do not always rhyme with poor quality. Cartier even managed to use the vintage concept to characterize luxury watchmaking: a rarity, a history of pieces that made the golden age of the house and above all authenticity, in a sector that was highly exposed to counterfeiting.

The transport approach is also visionary: the global market for second-hand luxury products alone is estimated at over $ 21 billion in 2020, with annual growth of 8% (BCG).

Luxury brands have started these transformations in more or less advanced stages. In a space where everything is a matter of detail, the myriad possibilities offered by technology must be professionally designed and perfectly executed.

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