The omni-channel strategy of incorporating brick-and-mortar and online shopping proves ever more essential—through the closure of more than 18,000 traditional luxury stores last year in the U.S. and the U.K., to say nothing of the present temporary closings of stores globally due to coronavirus. Luxury brands and retailers must have fully integrated online and real-world channels to keep pace with a world increasing fluent in e-commerce yet demanding more from time spent in-store.
Milennials and Generation Z are widely projected to account for more than 40% of all luxury goods sales by 2025. And while they do spend an average of 3 hours a day on social media alone, their smartphones, tablets and laptops are hardly the only place they shop. For luxury, physical spaces still provide that crucial opportunity to interact with a product—to examine, feel, and see the quality and value firsthand. Customers across all demographics may switch between visiting brick-and-mortar and digital spaces multiple times before making their purchase.
Omni-channel is the opportunity for your brand to interact with your customers in the ways that best suit them, to personalize the journey, and create a seamless conversation at every turn. Here are 6 keys to a successful strategy.
Form a Unified Brand Presence
For customers to fully trust your brand across multiple channels, they must sense that they’re connecting with is a solid presence. Brand elements like logo and color are a small part of the story compared to creating integrated content for your channels with a consistent brand voice and purpose.
Create an Experience
Luxury consumers are hungry for a heightened in-store experience. We’re seeing more and more luxury stores merging lifestyle elements with retail—from drinks and dining to art and music—creating blended environments that emphasize experience. Retailers should be asking: what experiential offering would truly immerse customers in our brand?
Vamp Up Customer Options
Shoppers expect greater range and flexibility in shopping and purchase options. Stay current with online features like live chat assistance, and in-store features like touchscreen displays that allow customization and instant ordering. Many stores are getting rid of the cash wrap desk in favor of tablets.
Leverage Your Channels
Thinking that online exists to drive traffic in-store is outdated and a sure recipe for stagnation. In some way, an online touchpoint has influenced 40% of all luxury purchases, according to research by McKinsey. A true omni-channel strategy drives traffic from online to in-store, and from in-store to online. You want your channels to continuously enchant, mesmerize, and tantalize—compelling people to continue shopping.
To not lose the luxury essence of your brand, remember to resist being drawn into mass marketing and the loss of exclusivity. Customize experiences and communications, and be exceedingly targeting in your digital marketing spend.
Find the Balance
There is a balance out there for every business between being too online-centric and too offline-centric. Find the right balance for your customers by actively listening to their feedback and integrating lessons learned to fill gaps, and create a more craveable experience.