The impact of technology on luxury's customer experience
Even if luxury's customer experience follows its own rules, technology can improve it
The luxury's customer experience differs from the common customer experience. In fact, what makes luxury so attractive is, first and foremost, exclusivity. This exclusivity is seen not only in the products but also in the way the purchase journey is experienced.
Fortunately, today’s luxury brands can rely on technology to give their customers a premium shopping adventure, both online and in physical stores. Let's find out more!
Why is luxury's customer experience different?
What makes luxury's customer experience different is that customers are looking for more than just a product. No matter whether they are wealthy rich people or students, luxury customers want something that makes them feel special along the whole path to purchase, from the first contact to the post-sales.
Moreover, they are willing to spend more money on a purchase if they feel it is worth their while. For example, they may be willing to pay extra for luxury packaging, bespoke services, or to be treated like royalty.
Luxury brands have always been successful in creating a premium customer experience. In the past, this was done through brick-and-mortar stores with knowledgeable sales staff and high-end fixtures and fittings.
Nowadays, they are using technology to take it to the it to the next level.
How technology is transforming the luxury's customer experience?
Technological and digital innovation are offering luxury brands new tools and channels to reach, convert and pamper their customers:
- Websites and online shops allow them to reach a wider audience, offering them the benefit of shopping from anywhere, anytime.
- Thanks to social media and push notifications brands have the opportunity to talk directly to customers.
- Through apps and smart labels, they can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and social responsibility.
But this is only the beginning. For example, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality allows a user to see how a particular outfit would look on them without trying them on. And then, the Metaverse is opening up new opportunities, such as digital fashion shows, NFTs, and digital clothing.
The luxury customer experience today is multichannel, untethered from time and place, and is bidirectional: the customers interact with the brand without always requiring a provocation. But most of all, it is an experience that goes far beyond the sale and includes creating a world around the brand. Through sharing content, brands feed consumers' desires, transporting them into a fantasy world. They create an intense emotional connection to the consumers that fulfills them and propels them to purchase.
However, many of these digital channels are open to all kinds of users. So where is the exclusivity that distinguishes the luxury's customer experience?
Isn't technology taking exclusivity away from luxury?
The answer is no.
While technology offers new ways to stay in the mind of the consumer, it also enables the collection and analysis of a great amount of data about them. For example, brands can rely on data analytics platforms on websites, social networks and apps, but also surveys, and Artificial Intelligence software.
By gathering data on their customers' behavior, preferences, and demographics, luxury brands can create a profile for each shopper and use it to offer a tailored luxury's customer experience. They can send targeted emails with exclusive deals, invite them to special events, or share exclusive content. In this way, luxury brands can make sure that their customers feel valued and appreciated, which is essential to maintaining loyalty and driving sales.
Nowadays, the luxury's customer experience should be built on a wealth of data that allows luxury brands to offer their shoppers the most personalized service and communications possible. Because nothing is more exclusive than a personalized experience.
And the benefits of technology affect not only consumers' online behaviors, but also the in-store customer experience. As an example, customers could use the brand app to book an exclusive appointment, receive a notification when their favorite items are back in stock, or get recommendations based on their preferences while they are browsing the store.
Will online shopping wipe out physical stores in the future?
Absolutely not. Online sales are also increasing in luxury retail, and it is expected that by 2025 one-third of luxury goods will be sold online. However, buyers of luxury brands still want an in-store customer experience.
Why brand should turn to technology to ensure a better luxury's customer experience
As Deloitte suggested in a 2015 study, there are different reasons for luxury brand to invest in digital innovation:
Many brands struggle to innovate, so those who do have a twofold advantage. On the one hand, they outperform competitors; on the other hand, they have more control over reputational risks. In fact, a brand that does not have a presence on social networks has no way to monitor conversations and intervene in case of bad reviews or misunderstandings.
- New customer habits
Traditional marketing channels, such as magazines and store browsing, are still relevant for consumers. However, almost 1 in 2 consumers search online for information. This is particularly true for Millennials. Millennials are important for luxury brands because of their increasing purchasing power. To target them, luxury brands need to understand and adapt to their shopping habits, which include technological tools and modalities.