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Luxury shopping is one of the largest ecommerce markets, including computer electronics, apparel & accessories, furniture & furnishing, auto & parts, luxury and beauty & cosmetics. The most effective solutions that encourage luxury shopping blend digital and human interaction.
In a recent webinar, “Reimagining Ecommerce: Solving the Considered Purchase Sales Problem,” leaders in the ecommerce industry discussed how to approach considered purchases, and make customers feel comfortable completing complex purchases online.
What we learned:
- Create highly personalized interactions online.
- Make recommendations that go beyond repeating previous purchases.
- Allow customers to easily save high consideration products to come back to visit online.
- Emilie Maunoury, Chief Technology Officer, Clarins UK
- Ken Fenyo, SVP Digital, E-Commerce and Consumer Insights, Coresight Research
- Denise Cheung, EVP of Marketing, Vee24
- Joan Abrams, GM Loyalty, Dorel Home
- Moderated by: Allan Dick, Co-Founder, CommerceNext
Watch the replay here, or read the recap below.
What’s Emerging This Year?
According to Coresight Research, this is the year of emerging technology including: virtual selling, livestream shopping, expert advice and AI-driven advice. Virtual selling via video chat allows retailers and brands to provide personalized advice and recommendations for luxury shopping. Livestream shopping allows brands to feature founder stories, offer tutorials and share product information. Shoppers can use the chat function to engage with the host and other viewers, ask questions and get more info on the items for sale.
Additionally, there is a future in which the metaverse is a popular tactic in marketing, but we aren’t quite there yet. This would combine the best of online and in-store retail. For example, retailerForever 21 has dabbled in the metaverse with their Shop City, which allows Roblox users to own and manage a Forever 21 store online.
Finding The Right Customer Experience Mix
Several startups can now connect shoppers to independent experts who provide customized product advice and recommendations, while artificial intelligence and machine learning can provide relevant recommendations in an increasingly conversational manner to either augment or replace human experts.
Coresight research found that with “More complex purchases, people are looking for advice and guidance in terms of figuring out “What’s the best product or item for me?’” In practice, some of these brands have tried answering that ask for help with: “how to” videos, personalization, extensive review of customer feedback and human expertise.
Per the above chart, consumers are now relying most heavily on digital tools to make a purchase decision, but still expect a mix of human interaction within the entire consumer journey.
Luxury Meets Virtual, While Staying Personal
Highly personalized interactions are required for highly personal purchases, such as an engagement ring, or couch. In 2021, Vee24 learned three key lessons while helping create seamless buying journeys for their clients:
- Customer education during project discovery leads to sales, customer satisfaction and LTV.
- Person-to-person video consultations consistently score higher CSAT.
- Customers are ready to purchase during ad hoc personalized consultations.
Dorel Home has learned quite a lot from selling furniture, which are high consideration purchases. Connecting the consumer with a sales representative who can discover what the customer is looking to achieve is vital. Additionally, customers “visit” the furniture up to 15 times before making a purchase, so brands should use their data to encourage them to revisit their favorite items. This could be through bringing that item back to their screen or allowing them to save or favorite that item.
Luxury shopping depends primarily on price point and commitment, according to Dorel Home. They have found that 360-degree photos and videos can help customers visualize the furniture in their own homes.
Skincare is a luxury shopping good, because many customers have various needs and may consult various sources to decipher what is best for them. At Clarins, customers can watch “how to” videos, learn where the product may fit into their skincare routine and read instructions on product application, such as quantity. They’ve learned to be one step ahead of their customers, because “there’s always something missing for the consumer. There’s always something else they want to consider.”
It’s Time To Bring Personalization Into The Future
Personalization is often a powerful way to encourage purchases, with complex products being no different. Coresight recommends adding in artificial intelligence and doing more than simply requesting previous purchases. Instead, retailers should make product recommendations based on traits of each purchase to match a customer with a brand they might have never tried before.
Pushing luxury shopping requires increased effort from retailers to make an ecommerce journey more satisfying and less frustrating. While changing technologies will create even more opportunity in marketing, emerging technologies such as virtual selling and livestream shopping are hot. To learn more about 2022 marketing, check out our blog posts, including: 2022 Valentine’s Day Marketing Tips, Cyber Week Recap: Lessons Learned and Advice for 2022 and A New Year, A New Ecommerce Reality: Differentiating Through Digital Experience.