Nearly 20% of luxury goods sales will be online by 2025 (McKinsey). The digitalization of the sector is on a long -term basis. Very attached to authenticity and personal relationships with customers, the luxury sector has reinvented itself by using technological innovations without distorting the relationship that is so special to the brand. During this period of recovery, some trends tested by major brands are unique and will shape the future of luxury e-commerce.
VIP treatment, even online
No other sector gives 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 seeing these relationships disappear has divided the e-commerce sector. But shopping for luxury online does not mean giving up on this experience.
Brands are competing with intelligence to expand the spirit of the online store, whether by creating personalized content, presenting themselves on social networks or offering benefits.
Prada, Balenciaga or Dior offer free delivery on all orders as well as personalized and free gift wrapping as if the sale ended in the store. As for Burberry or Moncler, they have developed native applications focused on new products, exclusivity and VIP access to private events.
As the salesperson is always available in stores, online commerce communication tools have proliferated. Luxury chatbots should be able to answer questions as specific as the unexpected; on what fabric a piece is made of, what are the exact dimensions of a garment … via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or a dedicated chatroom.
Louis Vuitton and Prada have set up a programmed chatbot to answer some specific questions related to purchases, deliveries and returns. What’s more, a sales assistant took over with product photos and advice. Burberry designed Lola, an app -based virtual assistant. French boutiques Céline and Yves Saint Laurent have invested in WeChat, the super Chinese application. This approach is more than just the website and finding its way into social networks.
“See and buy” is an element of cross-platform strategy. No need to connect to the brand’s website to discover new products and buy them.
Instagram has become a showcase, the smallest publication is commercial content, WeChat mini-sites are extensions of official stores. Even the brand’s blog or online magazine, which maintains its primary function of editorial content, makes it possible to buy the products worn by the models in the photos.
In addition to offering virtually effortless shopping, this type of “buyable” content builds brand loyalty by providing style tips, seeing the people you track wear the same piece. This multi-platform approach is a key axis of development, particularly suited to the luxury sector.
Luxury brands should seriously consider live shopping, with an experience comparable to that offered in a store. Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs are already exploiting the Chinese market using Bilibili, a social video platform. By 2026, McKinsey predicts it could have 10-20% of global e-commerce.
Live shopping is largely based on the ability to show customers the first truly dynamic catalog, allowing them to have a realistic product overview, to appreciate the quality, the cut, the overall look . from his sofa.
Move the physical store to the virtual
- Traveling the cyberworlds
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 makes fashion items for League of Legends video game characters, which players can buy with real money.
Faced with health restrictions, questions raised about sustainability in fashion, virtual environments will certainly increase, which will provide free restraint to the imagination of designers and the escape of customers.
More conventional but just as unreal, virtual fitting is also evolving. It is true that this solves a huge advantage so far reserved for in -store purchases. Seeing if a garment suits your body type, your skin color … is now possible thanks to Instagram and Snapchat filters that unify the social and buying experience.
Luxury platform Farfetch has partnered with Snap Inc. to create a filter with the awesome Off-White brand. They also use voice recognition software that allows users to change clothes by speaking. Not to forget the “buy now” button that is smartly integrated into the interface.
Unite to lead better
Despite huge investments to optimize online sales, the luxury retailer – and its customers – can’t do without in -store experience. The two channels are compatible and their integration is important, to offer a homogeneous experience and control customer identity and knowledge.
Thus, omnichannel strategies are put in place, such as free in -store exchange policies, after an online purchase, 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 what collections are available depending on the store, make an appointment with a tailor, etc.
In London, Tiffany & Co. is more focused on concept and connected stores. With multiple screens and the ability to design your own jewelry on a tablet, this store uses digital technology to enhance the on-site experience.
The second hand … in luxury too
Second-hand sales do not always respond to poor quality. Cartier was even able to take advantage of the concept of vintage to illustrate luxury watchmaking: the rarity, the history of the pieces that made the house’s golden age and above all the authenticity, in a sector so prone to counterfeiting.
The smart approach is also visionary: the global second-hand luxury market alone is estimated at more than $ 21 billion by 2020, with annual growth of 8% (BCG).
All luxury brands initiate these changes in more or less advanced stages. In a universe where everything is a question of details, the countless possibilities offered by technology must be expertly thought out and fully realized.