Yesterday I visited the website of an upscale department store brand to order my favorite Chanel blush. Everything started perfectly. The brand’s logo was displayed elegantly across the top of the page. Its signature black and white color scheme was set off by striking, high resolution images. The ordering process was easy and I was even offered three free samples upon checkout—just as I would have been had I purchased the product in the store itself. Perfect! Almost… As I completed the transaction a final message appeared on the screen: “We’re on it!”
After reading through the list, some of my key takeaways are:
- There is over saturation in the luxury sector. Brands will need to do an even better job of differentiating their products and services. Customer service, relationship building and social outreach are critical.
- Leaders must strive to inspire, empower, measure and reinforce best practices.
- It’s all about developing relationships, particularly across channels. (See my previous post What the Luxury Sales Associate Needs to Know in an Omni-Channel World).
Also, and very importantly, look for luxury brands to empower store sales associates who have multi-channel clients to reach out and build human relationships after the client purchases in any channel.
In an article originally written for Retail Week, Martin Newman complains that he does not receive the same level of luxury service when purchasing an expensive Balenciaga handbag online as he would in the store. To be clear, Mr. Newman purchased the bag through fashion etailer Matches Fashion, which guaranteed him next-day delivery within a three-hour window. Mr. Newman wanted the handbag to be delivered within a one-hour window and felt he should be accommodated considering the price he was paying for the handbag. (I’m not sure who quickly he’d have received the bag if he’d purchased it at www.balenciaga.com directly.)
What are your thoughts? Do you feel you receive better service from a luxury brand when you visit the physical store than when you buy online? Please add your comments below.