The luxury industry has undergone significant changes in its customer interactions in recent years in response to the growth of digital communication. To engage with consumers more effectively, brands have had to adapt and discover new ways of communicating, which is the real of conversational commerce. Conversational commerce enables luxury brands to connect with customers through personalised, real-time conversations, creating a more intimate and memorable experience.
But how are brands leveraging this emerging form of communication, and what results are the luxury industry seeing?
In this article, we will cover the following:
What is conversational commerce?
Conversational commerce is the ability for retailers to interact with their customers through online conversational channels. But what are conversational channels? Consumers can use live video shopping, live chat, and social media channels to communicate with retailers or brands. Conversational commerce is important for e-commerce because it lets customers and retailers talk to each other and builds relationships over time.
Conversational commerce gives e-commerce companies a one-on-one sales channel to provide personalised customer service. This transforms what can be a stagnant online shopping browse into an immersive digital experience for customers; in fact, 91% of consumers globally want real-time assistance, and conversational commerce is the enabler of this.
Importance of conversational commerce in the luxury industry
“As traffic for luxury retail continues to shift online, replicating the in-store experience consumers have come to expect may provide challenges. One differentiated strategy to digitize luxury retail is through conversational commerce.” (Gartner)
One of the key advantages of the luxury industry implementing conversational commerce is the personalised and engaging shopping experience it offers its clients. Selling luxury to customers is not just about the physical product; it’s about selling an experience. Luxury customers are looking for an exclusive shopping experience that caters to their individual tastes, and conversational commerce allows brands to gather information and curate such personalised recommendations. When the retail expert engages in real-time conversations with a customer, it creates a sense of trust and, in turn, leverages customer lifetime value.
This VIP service places brands in a healthy position to retain high-spending customers, as they are acting less like advertisers for the brand and more like personal shopping assistants. A study by Salesforce found that 88% of customers believe that the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services, and conversational commerce can help to deliver such an immersive and memorable experience.
Furthermore, conversational commerce creates culturally relevant experiences, particularly when a customer is in contact with a human being over live chat or live video as opposed to AI-driven responses. As luxury is all about creating an experience, conversational commerce furthers this beyond greeting customers in their native language. It also takes into account: culture, interests, passions, and morals of the customers for different markets, to make the shopping experience more personable.
That being said, all of these advantages are seen to drive revenue, conversion rates, and average order value in the luxury industry. Conversational commerce allows luxury brands to sell across multiple channels, including both online and offline, offering a seamless and convenient shopping experience for customers. A report by Juniper Research found that conversational commerce will be responsible for $290 billion in retail sales by 2025, highlighting the enormous potential of this approach.
Luxury retailers embracing conversational commerce
Many luxury retailers are implementing conversational commerce as part of their virtual clienteling strategy. Below are just a few examples of this:
- Emma Shipley is a British homeware and accessories designer using Confer With’s live one-to-one video shopping platform to connect with their online customers and create an immersive digital shopping experience. Customers can initiate a live video call on their website and speak to a sales associate in real-time.
- Nigerian sustainable luxury brand, Torlowei, is using conversational commerce to bridge the gap between consumers and their brand. They reach their consumers via messaging, such as WhatsApp Business, and are seeing more complete purchases.
- Burberry are also embracing the WhatsApp messaging innovation, this time with an AI-powered virtual assistant before transitioning to a live sales associate. A unique feature of WhatsApp Business is that should the original expert be off the next time the same customer wants to communicate with them, a colleague will be there to pick up the conversation.
- Taking Torlowei’s and Burberry’s use of conversational commerce one step further, Gucci offer live chat and one-way video services directly on their website. They have developed a faux luxury store to showcase the products, finished off with camera and TV-style lighting.
Live video shopping in the age of luxury e-commerce
Live video shopping can take two forms: one-to-one and one-to-many. In terms of the luxury industry, one-to-one live video shopping is the best form of conversational commerce, ideal for considered and larger purchases. Let’s have a look into why this is the case.
One-to-one live video shopping differs from Gucci’s one-way video service as it is a bespoke video call experience that allows both parties to interact in real-time. The dedicated sales associate can assist with product recommendations, answer questions, and provide styling advice in a one-to-one video call, as opposed to just showcasing the product in a one-way video call.
By providing a personalised shopping experience, brands can gather valuable information about their customers’ preferences, needs, and interests, which can be used to tailor future marketing efforts and build long-term loyalty. Live one-to-one video shopping is also a valuable tool for brands to differentiate themselves from their competitors. By providing a higher level of customer service and attention, brands can create a unique and memorable shopping experience that sets them apart from other luxury brands in the market.
- Conversational commerce has become an increasingly important trend in the age of luxury e-commerce
- Live video shopping, particularly one-to-one, is an effective way for luxury brands to provide personalised, high-touch shopping experiences
- Brands should leverage live one-to-one video shopping to build customer relationships, increase customer loyalty, and differentiate themselves from their competitors