Luxury brands are moving with the times at last. But in the rush to appeal to a new generation of buyers, it’s essential to maintain the high standards for customer service and exclusivity that are the hallmarks of luxury shopping.
Traditionally, luxury sellers offered an upscale, intimate experience via salons that offered just a few ready-made items on the racks or shelves.
Legend has it that Louis Vuitton personally sent hand-written luggage picks to a customer planning trans-Atlantic travel, and sales associates at luxury ateliers were on a first-name basis with customers for whom they filled made-to-measure orders.
The rise of eCommerce and rising affluence worldwide have presented new opportunities to luxury brands — and new challenges. Translating intimate, exclusive shopping experiences into online transactions initially proved tricky for brands reluctant to appear too accessible or mass-produced.
Early luxury website designs were usability-challenged, with graphics-heavy interfaces that took too long to load and lacked calls to action. Flash sales exploded on the scene in the mid-2000s as a means to recapture the exclusivity of physical luxury shopping, but quickly declined, with the last major players standing, Gilt and RueLaLa, merged by 2018.
Now, though, several key developments have turned the tide to make truly seamless, personal interactions possible online as well as offline:
The Rise of Personalized Subscription Services
Companies like StitchFix and Trunk Club have normalized online personal shopping for everyday apparel, while for luxury buyers, personal shopping services like Threads help source hard-to-find top-tier items.
The Pivot to Mobile-First Shopping
More than two-thirds of brand interactions now occur on mobile devices, and with that shift has come a new emphasis on text messaging and chat applications for customer service.
Improvements in Artificial Intelligence.
Increasingly, machine learning isn’t just being harnessed to provide relevant cross-sells and up-sells on product pages; it taps into data from across the eCommerce site and mobile offerings to deliver one-to-one content covering in-store events of interest, adjacent categories, and new designer offerings of interest, as well as making on-the-fly predictions about shoppers’ browsing paths and likely next purchases.
Sellers must take advantage of these trends to deliver bespoke, elite experiences across touchpoints at scale — maintaining an aura of exclusivity while catering to the social media masses that represent the next generation of luxury buyers.
To achieve that goal, merchants must recreate concierge selling for a new era by putting the customer experience squarely at the center of every interaction, throughout the customer life-cycle.
If you are interested in learning more about CX Automation and specifically, how you can quickly implement an easy to use conversational AI experience as part of your CX strategy, tailored to your brand, please visit our website to learn more.
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