Luxury is beginning little by little to take over the net. While this sector may not be hit by the financial crisis, it’s nonetheless behind in terms of e-commerce. The largest luxury brands often use the internet as a medium of communicating their image, but not necessarily as a potential source of revenue. According to a study by Forrester & Walpole, only one out of three luxury brands have an online store.
Nevertheless, the demand exists; buying a luxury product (either new or second-hand) online is becoming more accessible. 71% of online consumers have already bought a luxury item and 50% of Internet users buy between 1 to 3 luxury items every year (according to a study by InstantLuxe.com).
Selling luxury calls for lots of work. We generally buy a luxury item for the brand that it represents—its universe, its values, and also for the buying experience. So, how does one reproduce this experience on the Internet?
Offer your clients special, unique, and extremely-attentive services
Luxury loves differentiation. Thus large luxury brands like to distance themselves from others by their originality and by their universe. This pleases consumers, who feel special and unique as a result. They buy products for the brand that they represent, as well as for the top-of-the-line services they expect in return. This principal also functions for online stores: consumers expect customized services that go above the ordinary. With this in mind, for example, Louis Vuitton offers handbag customization only through its online store. Another example is Boucheron, who offers an experience of heightened reality (making it possible to superpose a virtual image over a real image on the spot) to let clients virtually try on rings with the use of a webcam. These exceptional services represent the brand’s values and universe, which sets them apart from their competition.
If you want to sell luxury items from top brands, don’t forget that your clients expect a lot out of you and your services. Try to be original, and offer them unique, detailed, and attentive services. This will let you develop loyalty with your customers and respect the world created by the brand.
Offer exceptional packaging and perfect delivery
Our second tip for ensuring your customers that you’re part of the world of luxury: the packaging. When you send products bought on the Internet, you can set yourself apart from competitors by providing them with a perfect delivery service or by packaging the product in a way that goes above the ordinary. Make sure that your product is safe and secure, but also make the package look attractive, and not just like a simple box. Try to send your clients a dream while you send them a product. Hermès, for example, has well understood the needs of its clients and thus currently offers a delivery in less than 3 hours by courier! Their clients are, without a doubt, enthralled by this service!
Have an extraordinary website broadcasting your brand’s values via videos, advertisements, and look books
It is, of course, very important to have a highly-professional website that transmits the atmosphere of your brand. The client must feel at ease navigating the site and must be able to distinguish it from other stores. Thus, work on your site’s user-friendliness, product files, visuals, and don’t forget the importance of online marketing. Concerning communication, take advantage of everything that can go viral—videos as well as advertisements. Create a buzz while simultaneously maintaining and respecting your brand’s image; for example, Cartier has made a short movie called « L’Odyssée de Cartier » which made a great buzz.
Now you understand that selling luxury products online requires a lot of hard work. You must sell your brand’s universe through your website; thus don’t be afraid to be original and pay attention to your clients’ particular needs. Make the buying experience extraordinary for your customers!