4 best practices for luxury retailers to engage their customers

The luxury industry is built on legacy, heritage and craftsmanship. This industry has long been skeptical when it comes to implementing its business strategy online. Retailers did not want to risk neglecting the often high-quality positioning they maintain in their physical stores. Therefore, their main challenge on the internet is to offer the same quality of service online and offline. 
Luxury retailers have specific sales characteristics: the premium priced products are aimed at a particular type of customer, who need reassurance. Let’s see how luxury retailers can engage their prospects and customers online via 4 best practices: 

#1 New technologies help you provide high-quality customer experience online and offline

There is a contradiction between the physical limits of eCommerce and the enthusiasm generated by the product. But many solutions exist for retailers to bridge the gap between online and offline. For example, Spencer Mandell, Creative Strategist at Facebook and Instagram, explains that “retailers can experiment with new technologies like virtual reality that can transport users to events like the Met Gala in real-time or get behind the wheel of a Bentley for a test-drive”.
No matter which solution you may choose, the key to unlocking the potential of your eCommerce website is to cater to customer needs through a a 360° engagement plan, re-designing a customer-centric strategy which will manage the relationship through all touch points, enhancing the role of the experience’ when buying a luxury product” says Federica Levato, partner at Bain & Company. 

#2 Bring content where your customers are, on their favourite device and channel

Mobile devices are now a corner stone of our daily lives. We spend an increasing amount of time examining our smartphones not to miss a single notification: according to Statcounter, 51.3% of pages were loaded on mobile devices in October 2016. Thus, brands now need to know which device their customers use when but also how they use their different devices. 

As the luxury sector is still mainly focusing on the in-store experience, retailers don’t automatically have the reflex to identify their consumers on online touchpoints. Yet, it’s crucial for them to know which touchpoints their customers are using in order to engage them on the right channel, at the right time with the right message. To engage your customers, you must know where they are. Karin Tracy, former InStyle publisher and now Facebook beauty industry lead says that 20% of time spend on mobile is directed to Facebook and Instagram. Your brand can be there every time to bring content to your prospects and customers. For example, House of Fraser and Rabat have included Facebook Messenger in their online customer service strategy to get closer to their customers and keep in touch with them on the channel of their choice. 

#3 Make connections with influencers and build a community

Influencers are true businessmen and businesswomen, manage to establish an intrinsic link with web users. Thus, they take up position between consumers and brands with a strong engagement potential. Their content is more accessible and it speaks to online shoppers who find it more authentic than marketing content. As true opinion leaders, influencers have a strong impact on online shoppers’ purchasing behaviour: 71% of consumers are likely to buy an item based on social media referrals. Even more importantly, they master the art of managing the omni-channel strategy. 

Just like when they are in stores, online shoppers need personalised tips. Because they have access to tutorials in just a few clicks and other expert advice, consumers demand feedbacks about products with a proven efficiency. Beyond that, luxury products are purchases which require strong reinsurance and interactions. eCommerce shortfalls in this matter explain the purchase pregnancy in brick-and-mortar stores. 

#4 Offer premium online customer service experience, be available at any time 

Brands like Adamence or Rabat don’t consider the digital trend as a risk but as an opportunity and premium products require assistance during the customer’s decision-making process. Substantial expertise is required, and an agent should always be available when consumers have questions. In order to be always available for your customers and prospects you have different options thanks to conversational commerce platforms like the iAdvize platform

  • You can use chatbots to help agents handle very basic conversations for them. This combination of chatbots and human assistance can help your brand handle more queries: chatbots can transfer conversations on to human agents when needed allowing agents to focus on questions which require their expertise.
  • To be available outside opening hours, you can ask highly qualified experts to support customer service teams. Thanks to savvy enthusiasts from the ibbü community, your brand can cover time slots when your customer service teams are not available or respond to a maximum of queries during peak traffic when all your customer service agents are busy. They can support online shoppers with cutting-edge subjects. It allows your brand to be everywhere, at any time.

Read more: During the Christmas holiday season, Le Petit Ballon’s customer service is supported by on-demand ibbü experts and converts 33% of their visitors into subscribers.

French and Belgian born in France and interested in everything related to Marketing, Foreign Languages and the Web.

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