Consumer Discretionary

Dotcom Can Deliver The Luxury Brand Product But Can It Deliver The Luxury Brand Experience?

<p>High-end retail is still pivotal for delivering a luxury brand experience. The luxury business has a long history and tradition. The elegance, mystery, and opulence of an in-person encounter made premium companies stand out. Luxury buyers want the brands to go above and beyond for them, in developing a brand experience that inspires without putting pressure on them to buy might be one way to meet that expectation. After all, luxury isn't just about what you purchase or how much it costs; it's about living a well-balanced lifestyle.</p><p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" /></p><p>Since my undergraduate days, luxury fashion retail has piqued my interest, and as a Fashion Retail student, I've studied different cult luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Carter, Tiffany, and others. The value proposition for a luxury brand that a buyer acquires for a premium price is the rich legacy, exclusive design, good quality and the individuality or differentiation that they can create for themselves through these brands.&nbsp;</p><p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" /></p><p>Luxury Brands, unlike department stores or fast-fashion merchants, promise a full Luxury shopping experience, which subsequently reflects into the consumer's mind. So, what makes a luxury brand's in-store shopping experience so exclusive? The entire journey, from the moment the doorman welcomes the customer into the store until the customer makes their final purchase, the customer feels pampered at various touchpoints, whether it's the interaction with store clerks or the luxuries ambience with perfectly displayed products, all contribute to the customer experience with a luxury brand&nbsp;</p><p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" /></p><p>A hard time has been experienced by Luxury Retail, 2020 global market saw a 23% drop when all physical stores were forced to close under lockdown. Post-Covid, the growth of eCommerce and the constant closure of stores has forced Luxury Brands to rethink their strategies.&nbsp;</p><p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" /></p><p>Luxury brands were usually hesitant to make their entire range available online to retain the air of exclusivity around them. Traditional luxury brands have been cautious about eCommerce fearing that it would dilute their image and weaken their sense of exclusivity. With the move to digital, how can luxury companies express their distinct identity and make customers feel like part of an exclusive community online? Having an eCommerce channel is no longer a hypothetical topic, nor is it a fresh experiment or competitive advantage, but rather a commercial requirement. Luxury clients will undoubtedly demand the same personalised care in their online buying experience as they do in their offline purchasing.&nbsp;</p><p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" /></p><p>Traditional luxury firms are now evolving their businesses models and selling their items through online eCommerce platforms. At some point throughout their purchasing experience, 90 per cent of luxury consumers use online platforms. Even if a transaction isn't completed directly through a website or app, internet channels nevertheless play a key role in guiding clients through the buying experience.</p><p>Despite this, if we are to say that majority of sales for luxury brands will come from online channels alone I would be very doubtful. Luxury retail is all about price, recruitment, and&nbsp;storytelling.</p><p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" /></p><p>Luxury products are viewed as an investment rather than a commodity when it comes to price. If you're looking for a long-lasting item, you might want to check it out in person. More significantly, in the majority of the main luxury growth areas &mdash;first-time buyers. Would you really want to purchase a designer handbag or watch for the first time over the internet?</p><p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" /></p><p>Storytelling is a term in the luxury industry that refers to a company's efforts to create an emotional bond with its customers. But, in my opinion, the bigger narrative is the tale a customer tells their friends about when and how they went to the store, the feelings it produced, and then the goods they bought... post-Covid 19 as well... "Hey, I looked online for an hour, found this, clicked twice, and it was delivered a day later," I don't see this narrative telling altering substantially. How dull!</p><p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" /></p><p>If this is your first time purchasing a brand, you may certainly begin by researching its history and designs online. Nothing, however, can substitute a store clerk guiding you through a collection.</p><p>The importance of internet sales should increase as the luxury business transitions from a recruiting market to a repeat buy market. Customers may feel less compelled to visit stores as they grow more acquainted with the brands.</p><p>If you feel that the internet is the future of luxury brands, I would advise you to give it some time. Although the online experience will complement and enhance the physical store experience, Brick and Mortar stores will continue to be critical to the success of luxury brands.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Siddharth Kumar

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