Exclusive, elite, rare and sublime, these are just a handful of words that many luxury companies hope will emulate in a consumers mind when they hear a certain brand name. Yet these companies also feel that should they unmask their brand image online that they are at risk of falling from the luxury pedestal. The fear is almost palatable and doesn’t come without deep understanding.

The online world of commerce has long been associated with lower prices, swift availability and an easy shopping system that goes against the luxury grain. Luxury brands work hard to build intricate heritage stories, rich buyer experiences and to soak their status with being selective as opposed to all-encompassing and it seems that translating this to the online marketplace is a tricky feat.

Hermes wants you to feel the slip of their scarves in your fingers, Chanel wants you to sip champagne in their opulent temples like stores and Baccarat wants you to breathe in the fragrance of myrrh in their crystal sculptured bottles before you buy.

Luxury companies are well aware that they are selling more than a product, that they are selling a luxury lifestyle and a visage that taps into our subconscious urge to be special. How can you carry that prestige to the online world where everything is up for grabs and the whole platform reeks of impersonal clinical cut style? This may be the very reason why Chanel, Hermes, and Dior have chosen to keep their wares strictly housed in brick and mortar.

Yet the reality is they could also be falling short when it comes to opening the door of opportunity.

Luxury brands that don’t sell online may be keeping the valuable retail experience alive, they may be placing themselves far from the maddening crowds and they may be retaining their exclusive playing hard to get appeal, but they are also alienating many of their own potential buyers.

The reality is that not everyone with a six-figure income has the time, the patience and the drive to swing by the Champs-Elysees or Rodeo Drive in search of the latest trends. Wealthy people, like everyone else, are busy and also adore shopping from the comfort of their own home. Add into the mix the fact that many highbrow fashion boutiques have a bad rep for scrutinizing customers as soon as they step in the door and you start to see why the trends of luxury online shopping can seem attractive.

There’s little doubt that luxury brands not adapting e-commerce are losing out on sales and kicking their own revenue in the teeth. Of course, increasing sales isn’t always the aim of high-class brands who tout retaining their integrity and protecting their image above all else.

Luxury branding is a creative entity there’s no doubt about it, building a beautiful brand, telling a story that inspires, showcasing the best of your talents and keeping the desire alive in consumers is an art form and why can’t that art form be applied to the online world? Just because a company chooses to sell online doesn’t mean it needs to lose its integrity.

The very essence of an online luxury presence can be a remarkable challenge and can be controlled in the most exclusive fashion.  Beautiful online stores can be created much in the same vein as a brick and mortar set up and high spending clients can gain access to otherwise limited wares. In short, there is a way for luxury brands to sell online without compromising their image and lowering the bar.

Building an incredible online presence through social media is also something that luxury brands cannot ignore as this is where you lay the foundations for future clients, interact with customers and deliver innovative selling techniques to drive your revenue and reputation up.

Of course, all the social media interactions will drive traffic to your site and without anything to sell you are leaving the table bare and essentially turning your own customers away.

It’s not even all about money and loss of sales when it comes to the benefits of building an online marketplace, it’s about the future. The internet is here to stay and future generations are being raised to barely need to set foot in an actual store as everything is so readily available online.

Luxury brands who continue to tread water rather than rising above the tides are sure to get left behind by not embracing the technological change.

If you want to know more about how to perfect your digital luxury experience, consider taking our “Luxury Touchpoints & the Experience of Luxury” online course.

 

 

 

Roxanne Genier
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Roxanne Genier

Co-Founder at AgenceLuxury
Roxanne is the Co-Founder of LuxeInACity and AgenceLuxury. An Avid sailor and traveler she stumbled into luxury in 2005 while working aboard superyachts. Since then she has been a private concierge for UHNWI and has helped several luxury brands with their digital needs.
Roxanne Genier
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