Luxury retailers are not only selling a luxury product, but also the luxury shopping experience. Upon entering the store, you are often welcomed with a glass of champagne and are given one-on-one attention with a sales representative. This spa-meets-shopping experience is exclusive to luxury brands. The allure of luxury shopping drives revenue and sales.
When COVID hit, customers could no longer get this exclusive luxury experience within a store. All purchases now had to be made online, losing part of the luxury appeal. Customers are wary of making these purchases online because they are unable to receive personalized selections, feel the material and quality, and visualize the product on themselves as they would be able to in-store.
Covid-19 uprooted millions of people’s lives and shifted them into a difficult financial situation. The uncertainty of the pandemic caused many people to save rather than indulge in luxury purchases. According to McKinsey & Company, luxury retailers’ sales were down more than 70% from 2020 to 2021.
Sales have definitely made a comeback as restrictions have loosened and stores are able to welcome customers again. However, Covid-19 revolutionized the e-commerce industry and demanded retailers to enhance their customer experience. Currently 37% of luxury sales are being completed online.
Consumers from all around the world can now participate in this luxury experience without making an appointment or potentially traveling a great distance to a store. However, online stores present challenges to luxury retailers, including:
Luxury retailers with online stores have to offer an entirely different experience than a mainstream e-commerce site. According to Luxe digital, there is a need for large-scale, high-quality personalized content. Luxury retailers also pride themselves on tradition; therefore, they don’t just want to buy into the next tech trend, but rather invest in solutions that will withstand time with their brands.
The purchasing trend is not only shifting online, but it is also shifting generations. The wants and needs of the Millennial and Gen Z generations are strikingly different from those of the generations before them. The younger generations’ lives are highly interconnected with technology and they are more comfortable completing large purchases online.
Below are a few of the methods that luxury retailers are implementing to create an authentic online shopping experience:
The biggest drawback to online shopping is the inability to try on the product prior to purchase. However, through augmented reality technology consumers are able to try on products or use interactive models to visualize the product.
For example, Tangiblee client Fashionette, a luxury fashion accessories retailer, offers consumers the ability to visualize products with interactive models. These models can be adjusted to match the height and size of the customer to best suit their body type. Fashionette saw an increase in open rate, revenue per visitor, and conversion rate after implementing this feature with Tangiblee.
Luxurious stores and exceptional customer service, both strengths of brick and mortar luxury stores, are difficult to deliver online. However, through technology solutions, retailers are now able to offer virtual store tours and consultations. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technology allows customers to browse the store collections and gain an immersive shopping experience that rivals in-person experiences.
One of the world’s largest jewelry retailers has implemented Tangiblee into their virtual consultant (VC) experience.Qualified VCs can show customers various product recommendations on the customer’s own hand. They can then offer complementary selections and guide customers through the purchase process. This provides a personal touch and allows VCs to upsell and cross-sell their products.
Another way that luxury retailers are providing customers with product transparency is through comparison mode. This feature allows customers to compare products to various lifestyle items including a passport, iPhone, and a coin. Customers are able to have a better understanding of what exactly will fit into their new bag. This helps to reduce returns and increase buyer confidence.
As a luxury retailer, it’s important that you maintain a sense of exclusivity, both online and offline, creating a differentiated shopping experience for buyers, regardless of channel. Highly interactive features, such as VTO, virtual consultants, and Comparison Mode (among others) have allowed luxury retailers to maintain revenue without compromising their customers’ experience.
Interested in learning more about how you can create an immersive shopping experience for your luxury business? Schedule a demo here.