With around 90% of luxury goods still being sold in stores, the move towards online has always been slow in this industry, with fashion being more forward than categories like interiors. With digital transformation projects underway as retailers all try to grab more market share, how can retailers offer the same service online to drive their overall online revenue percentage up to more like 25%, where audience reach is greater and profit margins higher?
A recent Telegraph article quoted Jose Neves the founder of Farfetch, a Shoreditch based ecommerce site, 'that the ‘magic of bricks-and-morter shops can never be fully re-created. But that doesn’t mean the share of the overall revenue can’t go up.' There is a definite need for luxury consumers online to experience the same personalization and unique service from yesteryear that they get in a store; the greeting by name as they walk in, the offering of size fit and style that perfectly suits them, the ease of payment, delivery to car/work/home and simplicity of returning after a change of mind.
How to replicate that service online involves a look at the way ecommerce retailers can use tech to find solutions for the way their customers want to shop, when and where is convenient for them. There is a new trend on the horizon for fast-thinking retailers to start using IM to offer easy customer service such as updates on stock and deliveries, with WhatsApp trialing business services and Farfetch securing investment from JD.com and immediately accessing 900m users of the IM and shopping service WeChat, this direction could be implemented far quicker than we think.
Couple this with AR in stores and the success of Charlotte Tilbury offering customers a chance to preview the looks on a designated AR mirror in-store before they meet with the make-up assistant and delivery services like Toshi which will deliver, wait and try with different sizes and alterations at your door in Central London at a time to sit you and same-day services, we can see that tech is offering a unique service for retailers to start appealing to their time-poor, cash-rich demographic.
The next step is how to combine all of this into the experience that a store can offer you, there is a rise in offering more than just the product but becoming a destination in its own right, Apple are now calling their stores ‘town squares’ to embody the meeting point of like-minded individuals to access the services they require. How does luxury fashion or interiors do this online? This is where content and UX come into play to see how the site can work like a publishing house and retailer in one, drawing the audience in with content that’s relevant, interesting and engaging whilst offering tailored selection of products that is totally unique to the customer. Ensuring an ease of purchasing and delivery that is so swift and seamless that the customer has barely noticed it in their absorption and excitement of being part of the brand. Achieve that and you have a business with at least 25% of sales online.
We have experience of driving traffic and increasing online sales for luxury brands, delivering a strategy that is perfectly tailored to the resources and demands of your business. For more information about how we can offer you consultancy on increasing your share of the online luxury market get in touch.