In the first of two posts, we explore ways you can help your luxury brand stay relevant in a digital world.
When your luxury brand is built as much on the experience that surrounds your product as the product itself, technology can look rather threatening. After all, how can ecommerce deliver luxury? How can a robot make an experience personal? And how can celebrity influencers keep a luxury brand feeling luxurious?
Yet as we’ll see, exploiting the latest advances in CRM systems and other technologies is more than an opportunity for prestige brands; it’s an imperative.
We’ve looked at the latest advances in four core areas of the premium experience to create 15 elements that need to be finding their way into your next marketing plan. In this post, we explore the first eight.
1. Take the direct path to consumers
E-commerce growth continues to accelerate and outpace growth in the brick-and-mortar channels with holiday periods such a Christmas seeing the biggest step change in retail habits (online vs. in-store). So if your growth plans are based entirely on the physical space, chances are you’re growing in the wrong areas.
2. Challenge the luxury disruptors
New online retailers may not have the brand awareness, pedigree or quality of prestige brands, but they are first to challenge the status quo and quickest to adapt to everchanging consumer behaviour. If you’re a luxury brand seeking to protect your market position, the choice is not whether you should respond, but how.
3. Embrace e-commerce…
The average age of luxury shoppers is decreasing (48 to 34 years, Feb. ’17). Millennials are the new rich. So if you want your luxury brand to remain relevant with this new audience, you have to be marketing to a younger, more diverse, tech-loving clientele.
4. …and use your CRM to support e-commerce
Even the shiniest new e-commerce platform can’t (and shouldn’t) stand alone. Luxury brands should support the digital shopping experience with content that tells an engaging story and connects to the brands’ heritage; exclusive offers, personalisation choices throughout the purchase process and more follow up, driven by the CRM system. Consider how you can mirror your instore experience online by incorporating live chat, reservations, free shipping/returns, call back and other options into the online consumer experience.
5. Omni-channel challenges will impact traditional retailers the most
Retailers who seek to plug marketing shortcomings with omni-channel will have to find efficiencies in basic, routine operations, whilst maximising digital/technological capabilities, creating compelling consumer experiences, and remaining profitable.
6. One in five visitors to your site will come from other shopping sites and social platforms
Google accounts for nearly all search traffic to luxury brand sites (more than 9 of 10 search referrals) – considerably more than other retail or fashion categories. So continued optimisation, together with growing social media followers – is a must.
7. Harness social influence
Not just with customers, but between them, social platforms can help you leverage user preferences and historic activity to build relationships. Highly-visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram seem best equipped to exploit the eye-popping visuals that luxury marketers are famous for.
8. Multi-brand stores will represent most revenue for luxury brands
Convenience, in terms of time-saving and ease of comparison, makes multi-brand stores a vital part of the luxury brand strategy. Combining retail with complementary activities and services will prove a further competitive advantage.
CRM Divisional Director