Is the internet having a positive effect on offline luxury sales? According to a report released by WBR Digital, 45% of luxury purchases are influenced by what customers are learning online.
While digital sales from powerhouse online retailers like Amazon have wreaked havok on traditional brick and mortar stores, It seems that the experience of buying a luxury item from a swanky boutique can’t be replicated with a mouse and keyboard.
“[Luxury] consumers demand the best possible shopping experiences, and great customer service,” said Megan Kessler, executive director of Luxury Interactive, New York. “Fulfilling those expectations is extremely important in an industry that commands the highest price points for their products.”
The rise of digital has clearly had a big effect on the shopping experience, and luxury brands have been working to get more information in the hands of consumers. Just this year, Louis Vuitton launched an interactive advertising campaign that pointed potential clients towards a wealth of information about their Spring 2015 line of luggage and travel accessories. Even retailers like Nordstrom are developing services that make it easier to learn about products.
Once consumers learn all about their next purchase through digital means, many are going into boutiques to make their final purchases. 13% of online luxury sales are being generated from digital activity. In order to prosper in the digital era, brands are scrambling to ensure that “research online, purchase offline” is a viable option for consumers.
Luxury brands are also starting to accommodate customers that seek to solely buy products online without going into a store. Nearly all brands now allow some degree of e-commerce. For example, French fashion house Chanel bolstered its e-commerce platform by partnering with Net-A-Porter.
While online sales only account for 5 percent of the industry’s total $270 billion gross, luxury e-commerce is growing at a rate of 30 percent a year.
Some brands are even attempting to introduce digital elements to the in-store experience. French fasion house Christian Dior has introduced virtual reality headsets to their boutiques. The technology gives the wearer an immersive 3D tour of the brand’s various products.
(Via Luxury Daily)