CX strategies to borrow from luxury brands
Luxury products. We have a pretty good idea of the names – Chanel, Coach, Burberry, Rolex, Cartier, etc. What’s more – these brands are increasing their prices every year and still not losing customers.
According to a 2017 study by Deloitte, the annual sales growth of the top 100 luxury companies stands at 6.8%, totaling more than $2.1 billion USD.
However, we don’t often think of these brands as having websites for online purchases. Instead, we visualize specialty shops and sections of high end department stores, where these goods are showcased and where shoppers receive amazing personal experiences.
But think again. The new luxury consumer has forced these brands to digitize their sales and marketing, considering that they are in emerging markets (China, Russia, and the UAE) and that there is often not a physical store nearby. Add to that the increasing millennial luxury consumer who makes 42% of their purchases online, and the luxury goods sectors have had to make the digital transformation or suffer demise.
An additional more recent factor has been the hesitancy of people to travel to places where luxury shopping has traditionally been done, given unstable global politics and terror threats.
Luxury Retailer Tactics in a Digital World – What Other Retailers Should Note
Making the digital transition has not been without its challenges for luxury brands, but many are doing a great job of “blurring” the lines between physical and digital by giving their customers an amazing online experience. Here are some of their strategies and tactics that all retailers can focus on to give amazing customer experiences.
Create a Clear Brand Positioning
Luxury retailers are careful, with their design and their content, to uphold the “image” of that luxury. Their colors, their visuals, and the words they use are all meant to convey “high-end.”
How about your brand? What is the image you need to convey? Quality, durability, fun, excitement, practicality? Your design and content should reflect that in every way.
Choose Your Target Market and Stick With It
You know your customer’s demographics. Just as your site must “scream” your brand image, it must also scream it in a way that your target audience understands and loves. Just be certain that you have targeted the right market and that the market will sustain you and allow growth. When Burberry rebranded itself, it dumped the middle-aged former customer and determined to focus on a millennial audience instead – a larger group with purchasing power and a heavily digital lifestyle. It has worked very well so far.
Personalize Customer Experiences
Connect with your customers as they visit and navigate around your website. engage them in conversation, determine their needs, and make recommendations. Many online clothiers now have a virtual shopping assistant. Customers can enter their desired clothing styles, colors, hem length and more and then be shown items that match those elements.
Leo Hamel Jewelers, a retailer in luxury jewelry items, immediately offers a personalized experience to its online visitors with a pop-up offer to chat with a live person and the ability to utilize a personal shopper.
Still other brands have gone further. Some wine retailers have embedded videos in their labels which, when scanned by a smartphone, will provide the history of how a wine was produced.
Highlight Customers and Their Experiences With You
Social media is a great place to accomplish this. Solicit selfies from your customers using and enjoying your products or services. This provides what we call “social proof,” and it is powerful. Each posted photo or video serves as brand ambassadorship for you and serves as a recommendation to anyone else viewing it.
Add “Special Effects” That Will Engage
Rolex has a video on its landing page titled, “Rolex in Cinema.” Visitors can view scenes from well-known movies featuring actors and actresses wearing Rolex watches. Its engaging and entertaining. Videos can be powerful. Dollar Shave Club, with an entirely different target audience, has a hysterical video on its landing page, explaining the value of its razor subscription “club.”
Still other sites utilize music that will appeal to their targets or support causes that they know are important to their customers.
Keep Innovating and Experimenting
New jewelry designs are crafted all the time; Coach offers new collections with each season. And this is one way in which they retain their customers. Luxury consumers are always on the lookout for the next, trendy thing. And if a luxury brand develops an entirely different product, it is immediately desirable.
Consider how you can expand the products or services line you offer. If your brand is trusted, there will be a market for anything new you add to that line.
Luxury brands have had to transform their business models for the digital age. They have to appeal to new consumers who cannot visit their physical locations; they have to appeal to a growing demographic that engages with retailers online. Many of them have made this transition quite successfully, and actually have designed customer experiences that others can find valuable too.