Style / Fashion

Luxury retailers slow to embrace the web

Luxury brands make sure they look after their customers, at least in the high street. Online, it is another story. A recent article in the Financial Times shows that some of the smartest names in retailing struggle to work out how to use the web to interact with their clientele. On the whole, luxury brands […]

Oct 21, 2008 | By Luxuo

Luxury brands make sure they look after their customers, at least in the high street. Online, it is another story.

A recent article in the Financial Times shows that some of the smartest names in retailing struggle to work out how to use the web to interact with their clientele.

On the whole, luxury brands have neglected the potential of the Internet.

Many luxury brands still prove poor at offering personalised custom service online, a keystone of what makes their brand high-end instores.

Are these brands underestimating how new technology and social networking tools can help build personal relationships and loyalty between visitors and the brand across global markets?

A missed opportunity for global connectivity or protection of the luxury brand? Therein lies the tension inherent in an online outlet: how do you expand your brand to mass consumers while retaining high-value buyers?

For high-end luxury brands known for exclusivity, does an online presence make a brand too accessible?

Even if luxury brands aren’t prepared to sell online, there’s no reason not to use the Internet as a means to disseminate information and create desire.

Many of the people who buy products such as Prada, Versace and Bulgari will want to buy from a shop that feels exclusive, but may want to use the Internet to find out where the shop is and what products are available.

They may want to go online to make an appointment with a personal shopper. Most importantly, it could be an opportunity to reinforce the brand as it exists in- store.

That’s a pity, because, according to research, affluent consumers are prepared to buy luxury goods online. Luxury brands could benefit in three ways from having successful sites: ability to sell to a far wider audience; offering customers the indulgence of convenience; and providing a space in which potential customers can do research and develop desire.

Many observers believe that it’s time for the luxury brand owners to start taking the Internet more seriously !

Source : Financial Times / Janus Thinking / internetmarketingsolution


 
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