Due to growing consumer expectations for immediacy, luxury retailers are under considerable pressure to make it easy for consumers to shop both online and in-store.
According to Luxury Society, a luxury retailer’s ecommerce presence now influences over 40% of all luxury purchases. Luxury retailers need to ensure they are stepping up their ecommerce game and providing customers with an easy website to use, fast delivery, beautiful packaging and an engaging in-store experience.
Despite the challenges, many luxury retailers are currently following astute strategies when it comes to their multi-channel approach. Luxury retailers such as Selfridges, Burberry, Joseph, Farfetch and Harvey Nichols rate highly when assessed on their multi-channel offering, according to our Multi-Channel Retail Report: 2015 Luxury Edition. At the other end of the scale, retailers such as Bottega Veneta, Tiffany & Co and Miu Miu fall short when compared to other luxury retailers on multi-channel services.
In order to provide customers with a fruitful luxury ecommerce experience, luxury retailers need to consider a range of features, including delivery options, web browsing experiences and mobile optimisation.
With 40% of online sales now made via mobile devices, according to the IRMG, mobile is clearly essential for retail competitiveness. Despite its importance, 14% of luxury ecommerce websites are not mobile optimised, according to our recent research.
Many mobile issues such as connection speed and security are out of the hands of luxury retailers, however, there are areas ripe for a proactive approach. One recent example of a luxury retailer pursuing a mobile-first approach is the loyalty scheme app launched by Harvey Nichols. Replacing the more traditional loyalty card, the app allows customers to redeem rewards each quarter with customers earning a point for each £1 they spend in store. Rewards on offer include Botox and a champagne dinner at the Oxo Tower. Innovative loyalty initiatives like customer apps not only build brand loyalty amongst customers, they can also strengthen a retailer’s CRM.
When thinking about mobile strategy, retailers need to make it easy for consumers to easily pick up where they left off when interrupted. For example, if a customer browses while commuting and loses signal or gets a phone call. In order to facilitate this, retailers should consider features such as a persistent cart – enabling users to drop items into a basket on one device and complete the purchase on another and real-time stock information, currently only offered by 27% of retailers. Luxury retailers need also to consider faceted navigation, something which allows shoppers to narrow down options, from the many to the few, with minimal clicks.