Luxury goods shops keepers have always been experts at cherishing their customers : customized services, warm welcome, ways of transcending reality and making people dream. However, up to now, customers had a direct relationship with sellers. So, how major luxury brands have innovated in the digital area?Luxury brands must keep being unique. Buying online must be surprising, marvelous, create memories like in a real shop. The magic of the purchasing must be the same, even if it is online. If luxury brands go on procrastinating about the adoption of the digital, they may miss the boat. They must go further and adopt digital as the extension of their selling experience in a shop, with the aim of being unique, magic and different from the other brands. Experimental is part of luxury brands’ DNA but it must exist in digital too. Up to now, luxury brands were the pioneer cutting edge companies in terms of innovation (watchmaking, car industry, etc.), so why would they remain stucked in the past centuries ?
They are discovering that their shops are no longer the only channels to generate strong emotions for customers. The experience must be polysensorial, even on digital. The characterization of luxury is scarcity. But what is rare on a digital experience now is the excellence of the level of service. Some brands such as Boucheron, don’t even own an e- shop. But others, like Cartier or Jaeger-LeCoultre have succeeded in creating experiential websites which are quite different from e-commerce sites. They have overcome a difficulty in creating a modern and authentically site.
How do they do that? They simply use storytelling.
In addition of their website, luxury brand rarely take full advantage of Twitter. However, it is what the famous Champagne House Krug did launching for the first time in the luxury history, a bot on Twitter. The brand had already invested the network in 2011, with Krug iD : code printed on the label of each bottle. After being scanned by a smartphone reveals us the specificity of the bottle.
This year, the Krug House and Proximity BBDO agency went further as they offered the internet users an amazing content via Twitter. Indeed, all you have to do is to tweet the Krug iD to be able to get one out of the 800 customized contents proposed by the brand (funny and creative tweets). A fun and compelling way to learn about a bottle while tasting it.
Furthermore, for the launch of his hast perfume Black Opium Nuit Blanche, YSL and BETC, invite us to live an inflated mise en abîme in double screen. It is the perfect way of entering the intimacy of Edie Campbell, the ambassador of the fragrance, by taking control of her smartphone. How is this possible? Using a special code which connects our smartphone to our computer, we can get all the model’s texts by this little twist of hand. We can also see through her camera screen and we can listen to her music. Sure it is a double experience which is really thrilling and immersive.
Another example is the Audi City, where the consumer enters into a real and virtual showroom using digital tables. Then, he can compose his dream car, which is projected in 3D and in augmented reality. To the virtual technology, physical reality, material touching and the testing of products are blended with the virtual. The luxury brands which are lag way behind the digital use, should throw themselves in the technological developments and innovation races.
However, luxury isn’t necessarily accompanied by novelty. The real luxury added value isn’t to chase the last technologies, but to stay sincere and faithful to oneself. It is in this way that Instagram is proving to be the social network which is the best to unveil the authenticity of the brands. With a well thought staging, and a fraudulent immediacy, Instagram has become « the place to be » for all the luxury brands which are in need of proximity with the consumers.
Communication on social networks seems to be an evidence. However, luxury brands are not playing on the same field as ordinary brands by creating differentiation. Such as with the « phygital » which is a mixture of physical and digital. For instance, they use the « web to store » to create experiences for the consumers.
Soon, customers will be able to live exclusive experiences on the Internet. The will have fun, they will be able to ship goods in an incredible way and even test some products without moving. So there is a need to think about the services a brand can propose to the customers before the act of purchase. Dior already made make-up stalls in which a mirror records all the steps while putting on make-up so that the customer can imitate at home with following the customized tutorial. It is a unique, convenient and customized shopper experience that the consumer can choose to adopt or not.
The customer can choose how to interact the the brand. It’s the end of the authoritarian brands. Site and e-shops must create emotions and give envy to the consumer to share, to comment and to relay them.
The next challenge to overcome will be to show their excellence in the digital system without following any predetermined rules. They will have to remain faithful to their authentic values while pampering their customers, online and offline. And all of that, especially via the proposition of services of high quality, of ultra personalized advice and of strong initiatives to emerge a human dimension in the digital as well as in a shop.