Digital challenges for Luxury brands
Like in any other industry, luxury companies have to face several challenges. The quality of the service is the most important aspect for luxury brands. In a normal and real store, customers are pampered and valued. One of the biggest challenge is then to be able to reproduce the quality of the service online. And it is really hard.
With the rise of the internet but also all the new social media and technologies, customer’s expectation are evolving and changing a lot. I am not a big fan of calling us (and by ‘us’ I mean my generation) generation Y, but we have to admit that we grew up with the rise of internet and our behaviours pushed all the brands to modify the way they communicate and sell.
One of the most known, used and effective digital strategy for luxury brand is the brand content.
The brand content is something different from ads. Brands produce brand content themselves and the main objective is not selling but attracting people, making them dream and distract them. It can be web series, short movies, reports, magazines that will bring the customers into the heart brand’s atmosphere.
But creating content costs a lot of money to companies. In fact, shooting and producing really high level videos or photos is extremely expensive. The user experience has to be perfect to value the content and be sure that it will impact the consumer’s behaviour.
Companies providing great user experience:
One of the first luxury brand to appear online was Hermes. In fact, they opened their online store in 2002. Hermes managed to develop an original digitalisation with its contents and the ability to create a magic and enchantment atmosphere to its online shopping experience.
Almost all luxury brands are present online: Burberry uses digital as a Hollywoodian blockbuster, attracting thousands of fans. They also are famous for creating a whole atmosphere and experience around their trench. Myboucheron.com is offering an augmented reality experience in order to “e-try” the jewellery or Dior made a huge buzz with the Second Life experience…
All those brands are investing a lot online but they do respect their values and images. This shows that Luxury and digital can work together perfectly.
Digital allows improved services both online and offline
Digital allowed luxury companies to significantly improve their customer relationships by giving them the opportunity to have access to several services. For example, here are a few that make our life easier and much better:
- Some brands offer the possibility to check on line and in real time the availability of products in store. It Makes the whole ordering process faster and easier. Real time data and information are exactly what we, as customers, are looking for!
- Geolocalisation helps the clientele to spot where the stores are or the special services they offer (for example one can knows in which store it’s possible to drop the used Nespresso capsules)
- It also helps enhancing and improving the distance relationship with their customers: For example, Longchamp, Gucci, Cartier, Louis Vuitton take care of proposing an ultra personalised service via a phone assistance or by email or even plan in store’ meetings.
The idea is not to make customers buy more but to improve their experience.
For example, that’s exactly the case with Nespresso and their automatic cashiers. It won’t make the customer buy more coffee or a new machine but it will improve the in-store experience significantly. It’s extremely quick and as Nathalie Gonzalez (Marketing and Communication director @Nespresso) said: “the concept of freedom belongs to the luxury’s values: digital reinforces it. It contributes to improve the experience before, during and after the purchasing act”
In 2017, online and offline must be more than complementary and compatible:
In store, digital will have two goals: make the customers willing to share its experience on the internet and improve significantly the purchasing act.
Online the digital has to provide a smooth user experience either to encourage customer to buy online or to provide impactful and useful contents in order to develop the ROPO ( Research Online, Purchase Offline )