For decades, luxury retailers have embraced clients with bespoke experiences and personalised suggestions that encapsulated their brand’s utmost passion and style. To achieve this, personal stylists would deliver clienteling services to embody the luxury customer experience. However, replicating virtual clienteling services is complex in nature; D2C brands must uphold core values in their digital strategy. From delivering a personable and unforgettable journey, to keeping a VIP customer-centric journey, luxury brands must rethink their positioning among the eCommerce environments. So how can brands ensure virtual clienteling is a success?
Striking the balance between digital and grandeur
With fiery competition coming in from Amazon, who seem to have their fingers in all the right pies, this is causing high-value brands to question their authority on the eCommerce environment. In September 2020, Amazon launched ‘Luxury Stores’ in response to luxury brands’ point-blank refusal to sell on the platform. From an underwhelming beginning of hosting only one luxury brand, Oscar de la Renta, to a more fruitful promise with nine other brands added to the mix, it’s yet to strike a tone in the luxury market.
With the absence of infamous names like Gucci, Channel and Louis Vuitton, even the likes of Amazon struggle to fight through the noise.
But what does this mean for luxury brands? Well, there is now a strong opportunity to utilise the awakening of the luxury digital eCommerce and reinvent the online customer experience. Nevertheless, luxury brands must strike a balance between digital and a high standard of service to win new customer segments and keep existing ones interested. Personalisation, superior one-to-one customer service, and unbreakable payment security serve as the core pillars in ensuring a luxurious standard of quality.
When asked about the challenges in eCommerce, Freddie Briance, CEO at gentleman’s outfitter New & Lingwood, said:
“The challenge for us has been to build out expertise rapidly in digital while also making the significant changes to our product mix and operational model that enable to be successful online”
“For us, personalisation is central to the luxury experience”
Freddie Briance continued to say that New & Lingwood offered a new online service where customers can design their own bespoke dressing gown. It received such a fantastic response that they will be deploying this service across additional categories.
Virtual clienteling and the luxury sector – a match made in exquisite heaven?
Luxury brands have made a firm statement on not entering price wars. Unlike Amazon’s “pile high” mentality, brands like high-end shoemakers Crockett & Jones are looking elsewhere to entice their customers to their websites. eCommerce and Marketing Director, James Fox, believes this would have a “negative impact on our reputation” if they became another discount brand.
To uphold impeccable standards and invite experiences to a refreshingly new unique experience, virtual clienteling can help bring the store to the customer.
Virtual clienteling empowers a brand’s concierge team with customer insight tools built on historical data and customer profiling. Like in-store clienteling, it uses technology to help cater an experience personal to them. This is particularly important for high-ticket items that require time, patience, and superior customer service.
To leverage such a compelling tool in a brand’s sales channel can be achieved with Live video shopping.
Overcoming common technological barriers for retailers
A survey of retailers attending the World Retail Congress 2017 summit highlighted that 95% of CEOs say personalising the customer experience is a strategic priority of their companies. Yet, the same survey expressed that only 23% of consumers believe that retailers are doing a good job at personalisation.
What could be the issue with this? To execute clienteling well, personalisation has to be placed at the core of its strategy. Even so, a further 67% admit that they do not have the correct tools in place to execute personalisation at scale; another 41% say finding the right solution partner was a struggle.
So, to summarise that rather pessimistic paragraph – the theory is there but the practice is not.
This is why at Confer With we use headless commerce technology. This enables luxury brands to essentially attach live video technology software to their storefront. Whilst a lot of technology cogs are moving in the background, designers have full control over customisation and branding for the storefront. Giving luxury a unique identity, which is true to them.
This ensures that once the live video shopping software has fully integrated with the eCommerce store, the concierge team can focus their time and expertise on what matters – the customer.
Final words on virtual clienteling
The luxury sector is more than just selling a product. It’s about selling the experience. Luxury conveys a narrative and paints a compelling experience that entices customers to immerse themselves in a fairytale setting.
Before, the move to eCommerce meant sacrificing the in-store haven that people would travel across continents for. Nevertheless, the pandemic served as a catalyst for customers to make that jump into luxury online spending – encouraging superior brands to do the same.
Live video shopping enables virtual clienteling to scale in size, increasing conversion rates, average order value and most importantly, customer loyalty.
To find out more about how we can help your brand achieve new heights, book a demo with us today.