Since Covid-19 has hit the global economy the trend for online shopping has massively increased. While online sales have sky rocketed it was a difficult for retail stores to make any profit in the last few months. Most stores were closed and the ones that could open up faced immense downfalls in visitors and money spend. Even the famous Harrods store in London had to close for 2 months. That store stayed open during WWII, but this pandemic decided otherwise.
But with the online sales soaring, new opportunities where only one click away. Not only online shopping has increased, online auctioning and real estate viewings have gone up. And not just in the middle-class neighbourhood. Even properties above €10.000.000 have seen an increase in online viewing. But what if you don’t have a stable online presence? What if your sales channel is merely based on physical and high-end stores? What if you sell exclusively through your own stores?
So how can a brand position itself online in these difficult times? It can, in three different ways.
1. Use third-party marketplaces
When it comes to online marketplaces luxury brands are hesitant to sell their products on these platforms. They fear it devaluates their brand. But on many online marketplaces you can show the same level of exclusivity as in your physical stores. By making sure you are the only one and the official representative of the brand you make sure no one can mess up your prices or dilute the brand.
Make sure you deliver the same level of service when you sell through online marketplaces, set up a customer loyalty programme or offer exclusive benefits.
An example is 24 Sèvres, LVMH’s eCommerce portal that was launched in 2017. With multiple brands under the LVMH label it can feature it’s stunning brands with visual merchanidising in it’s own way.
Other marketplaces such as Net-a-Porter and FarFetch are also established places where luxury retailers can show their wares.
2. Set up your own e-commerce store that can deliver globally
Some brands are so exclusive that they won’t make any partnerships. So then the option rises of making your own global e-commerce store that can deliver wordlwide. The key factors in making this a succes are:
– Optimized website with logistical availabilities to deliver worldwide through trusted partners
– Personalized user profiles with benefit tiers
– Global coverage with logistics, marketing and website content
3. Engage potential customers with content marketing or stellar customer experience
When you can’t or don’t want to sell online you can make use of your current customer base.
Inform them with new product launches, excite them with special benefits or organise an online event to showcase new products.
With educating your customers on how to use your products in the best possible way, perhaps with videos, you can increase the engagement of your customers.
Another great example of excellent customer serivce is is Net-a-Porter’s “Try before you buy” option, where a personalised shopper will deliver your online order, and then wait while you try it on, then bring back those to be returned.
Data has shown that the travellers most willing to spend on luxury goods post-COVID19 are from India, China, and South Africa. With travel expected to be suspended until the pandemic is over, it is estimated that the effect on luxury retailers will be up to a 30% loss in sales.
In these uncertain times it is more challenging to increase sales when you are selling more exclusive products. But if you apply any of the above tips you might be able to increase the customer satisfaction and turnover rate. Be creative, keep it exclusive and go for it!