Sarah Bush, of online shopping aggregator ShopStyle, explains how the online market place has delivered new opportunities for luxury retailers.
One needs only to look at the queues at Selfridges for the Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Prada concessions
to demonstrate the importance of physical stores in the marketing of luxury goods. Yet in recent years, the
rise of online shopping and e-commerce has grown to the point where last September, according to the Office for National Statistics, £1 of every £10 is spent online. Along with young start ups, high street stores and online boutiques, luxury brands and retailers are successfully cashing in on the new opportunity online delivers.
Increasingly luxury giants, which populate the likes of Bond Street and King’s Road, are replicating
their offline store experience and in some cases have extended and improved their brand experience online.
Through videos, elegant competitions, and collaborations with style bloggers and celebrities, fashion houses
such as Burberry and Gucci invite shoppers further into their brand lifestyle. Slow to the table at first, these
brands have now embraced the digital evolution as the chance to build and share a persistent image to those who aspire to luxury as well as regular shoppers.
Louis Vuitton’s recently released video series “Louis Vuitton Express” with lifestyle photographer The
Selby allows viewers to explore the brand’s culture of travel and elegance, while also serving as a promotion
for a larger competition. Burberry - arguably the luxury forerunner online - is another example of how the
web can add new dimensions to a campaign. Their live runway streaming a few seasons ago allowed both
casual and serious consumers to experience a Burberry show in realtime, an experience which previously was restricted to a tiny number of guests actually at the show.
While the web opens the brand to a larger market, it also gives opportunities to target and focus on
specific audiences, which can lead to snagging new users and increase conversion. Sites like ShopStyle offer luxury retailers the opportunity to reach new groups and experiment with ideas that sit outside of their
ons-site activity. By collaborating with ShopStyle on social media projects, retailers get the opportunity to
introduce luxury brands to a new audience. A great example of this was our recent Twitter ‘takeover’ with
Selfridges, where the Selfridges’ womenswear buyer was able to introduce the key looks and new brands for
next season in an hour-long dialogue.