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What are Luxury Brands Doing to Stay Relevant in the Age of Online Shopping?

Cartier. Van Cleef & Arpels. Louis Vuitton. These names, and the visions of glistening storefronts that they conjure, are synonymous with luxury.

While brick and mortar stores remain a staple of their brand experience, we’ve seen a shift in luxury good marketing tactics. In the past, luxury websites were just another way to generate brand awareness. However, ecommerce has recently become a significant revenue driver. From digital strategy to website layout, everything online is considered a branded extension of the boutique experience and expected to contribute to the bottom line.

In 2019, about 14.1% of retail purchases came from ecommerce sales. This is projected to grow to about 22% by 2023 and luxury is no exception to this trend. In 2017, it was estimated that luxury goods accounted for about 78% of online purchases. With this significant shift, luxury brands have been thrown into the ecommerce world and need to catch up to the digital savviness of successful DTC, or Direct to Consumer, brands.

With the help of digital partners, luxury brands have been able to expand their digital footprint without compromising prestige. We have worked with numerous luxury brands across our MarTech and AdTech channels and developed strategies that work well in the luxury market. These strategies help to emulate the in-store luxury experience while also providing a cohesive message across digital channels.

Personalization

Online buyers, specifically Millennials and Gen Zs, are constantly looking for a customized and personal shopping experience. Their expectations are even higher in the luxury market. In the same way that they expect to be greeted when they enter a Cartier boutique, they expect a virtual assistant to greet them when shopping online. Chatbots have been introduced to most top tier luxury brands to help to customize and add personalization to the online user's experience. Additionally, all customer touchpoints are expected to be personalized based on past shopping behavior and personal preferences.

We have introduced our email remarketing tool to numerous luxury brands to assist with the personalization that buyers expect. Through various email touchpoints, Cybba is able to recreate the user’s shopping bag and encourage them to convert at a time that is most convenient for them. Additionally, we are able to see what content users are viewing while they are on the website and serve them emails aligned with their journeys. For example, if a potential customer views women’s bracelets and then leaves in order to comparison shop, our email creative would feature imagery related to women’s bracelets. Our shopping bag abandonment strategies are designed to recreate the attention to detail that one would experience at a boutique in person.

Brand Consistency

One of the main reasons luxury brands have put off utilizing the ecommerce channel is the fear of diluting their brand. Therefore, it is crucial that partners of luxury brands uphold the same standards of quality and adhere strictly to brand guidelines. All brand touchpoints must have a consistent voice and image that echoes the experience on the boutique’s website. When working with digital partners, luxury brands expect them to act as extension of their team with a deep understanding of the company and its consumers.

Display retargeting is another crucial strategy for maintaining strong brand awareness and re-engaging users to complete a purchase. Cybba serves dynamic ads on various online channels to re-engage users with brand safe and consistent messaging. This tactic has been utilized by our luxury brands with additional parameters to ensure brand safety. Whitelisting and blacklisting have allowed luxury brands to use display retargeting to reach users after they abandon, but only on websites that align with the brand. This ensures that ads are never shown on websites that could compromise the brand’s reputation and preserves brand consistency even when the user leaves the site.

Engagement

A good digital partner should be able to leverage brand guidelines to create branded tools that enhance the overall digital buying experience while keeping the brand top of mind. Cybba’s onsite engagement tool has been used on various ecommerce sites to re-engage abandoning shoppers in a way that feels true to the brand identity. Luxury sites have begun to adopt this strategy to combat the aggressive 90% abandonment rates most ecommerce websites have faced for years.

Branded prompts, when properly executed, encourage conversion in the moment. Incorporating a brand’s existing video assets and animations into onsite engagements is a great way to feature engaging content that the user might not have otherwise seen. Onsite engagements that feature video yield a nearly 10% higher engagement rate than static images. Higher levels of engagement lead to more conversions and a more seamless user experience.

Ecommerce is a crucial and necessary space that luxury has slowly shifted toward in the last 5 years. In order to succeed, it is important for luxury brands to find a partner that understands the  space and can effectively mirror the distinct facets of a luxury boutique.


To learn more about how Cybba elevates luxury brands' ecommerce experiences, please contact our resident luxury expert, Senior Account Manager Julia Crawford at julia.crawford@cybba.com.

Julia Crawford
Julia Crawford
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