It is safe to admit that the luxury industry wasn’t terribly eager to embrace the eCommerce revolution. After all, many luxury brands were thriving with their traditional brick-and-mortar stores driving luxury consumption, and traditional eCommerce solutions just did not work for the luxury industry.
However, it wouldn’t be too long before a global pandemic and eCommerce gamechangers – like video shopping and live commerce – would upend the apple cart.
Overcoming A Catalog of Challenges
The luxury sector’s past ventures into eCommerce as a new channel have been fraught with numerous challenges, unique to the industry.
1. Lack of personalization
A hallmark of luxury brands is the highly personalized shopping experience offered to individual customers. With eCommerce solutions built around mass-market appeal, the lack of a personal touch was a major turn off for luxury brands.
2. Zero engagement opportunities
Buying a luxury product is more than just a transaction; it is an experience that thrives on engagement and interaction – something that traditional eCommerce simply fails to deliver on.
3. Insufficient product information
When considering making a luxury purchase, especially beauty products, customers need to have high confidence in the product – confidence that only comes from seeing the product “in action.”
4. Poor product recommendations
Consumers of luxury goods and services have highly discerning tastes, and this makes product recommendations challenging for algorithms – something that human salespeople are excellent at.
The Evolving Luxury eCommerce Industry
COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns forced luxury brands to shut down their brick-and-mortar stores. This combined with a lack of a solid eCommerce strategy ended up cutting off even the most loyal customers from their favorite brands.
Demand for luxury goods did not drop during the pandemic and luxury brands went scrambling to seek multiple channels and open up digital storefronts that would match up to their customer’s expectations. It may have taken some time, but online sales of luxury goods – across many brands – have been increasing steadily.
According to a study by Bain & Company, the value of the online personal luxury goods market worldwide skyrocketed from €27.4 billion in 2018 to an estimated €62 billion in 2021.
According to luxury marketplace platform Farfetch, by 2025, 25% of all personal luxury goods sales worldwide will happen online.
With luxury consumers more willing than ever to shop online, luxury brands are now competing against each other – and against luxury marketplaces – on a whole new platform. Not to mention the growing number of D2C luxury brands looking to crack the market.
Live Streaming is Helping Luxury Brands Drive Growth
For luxury brands, live shopping has proven to be a gamechanger on the eCommerce front.
Brands like Gucci, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton have successfully harnessed livestreaming – not just relying on third-party platforms but turning their own brand websites into the primary destination for livestream shopping events.
Luxury brands have turned to live commerce because it delivers impactful results on every step of the customer journey:
Acquisition: Attracting consumers with shoppertainment and dynamic product discovery in a way no other format can.
Engagement: Enriching the overall customer experience, including the personal touch that luxury consumers expect.
Conversion: Personalizing livestream events to bridge the gap between discovery to intent to purchase, thereby driving conversions.
Brand Impact: Increasing a brand’s long-term appeal and recall; critical for luxury brands that position themselves as aspirational, especially for Gen Z.
Solving Existential Problems for the Luxury Industry
Live commerce for luxury brands has enabled them to address two core issues for the luxury market that traditional eCommerce solutions have been unable to tackle.
1. Delivering Personalized Messaging
Luxury consumers are generally averse to generic messaging, finding it disingenuous. Hyper-personalization is key in order to deploy tailored marketing efforts for these audiences.
Live, experiential and shoppable videos have allowed luxury brands and retailers to not only offer personalized messaging but to do so at scale.
2. Attracting Gen Z Dollars
Every luxury marketer knows that catching audiences while they’re young is important for building brand loyalty.
For Gen Z, everything from brand exposure to actual purchase occurs on their smartphones. Livestream shopping events are engaging and interactive enough to break through to a younger audience that is constantly peppered with omnichannel experiences.
Five Key Growth Trends in the Luxury Sector
All luxury brands and retailers, big or small, have been riding key trends in order to grow and thrive. And live commerce is a tool they have been able to benefit from every step of the way.
1. Crafting phygital experiences
Phygital is more than just a buzzword; it is a critical component of omnichannel strategies in a digital era. Live commerce is helping brands turn their traditional brick-and-mortar stores into an extension of their digital storefronts.
2. Offering shoppable content
According to Schanel Bakkouche, Fashion Editor & Stylist, VOGUE International, shoppable content is not about just selling, but cutting through the marketing challenges for customer attention faced by luxury brands. Live commerce does so by bringing both loyalty from current customers as well as excitement from new ones.
3. Conducting livestream shopping events
Livestreaming has been widely adopted by luxury brands, and it’s not hard to see why. Diaa Elyaacoubi, CEO of luxury e-tailer Monnier Paris puts the success of livestream shopping in luxury down to the ability of the format to engage emotionally and tell a story, thereby boosting the desirability of luxury brands as well as the conversion rate.
4. Leveraging influencer & celebrity marketing
Leveraging the right influencers and celebrities allows a luxury brand’s unique story to be told in an authentic way, while still letting brands to exercise more control. With the greater engagement that live shopping offers, such influencer livestreams open the door to new, aspiring luxury consumers.
5. Collecting and owning first-party data
The data harnessed from the real-time customer engagement with livestreams pretty much nullifies any harm from third-party cookies disappearing. Building a pool of rich first-party data gives luxury brands and retailers a platform to connect with consumers on their own terms, with their consent.
Expert Tips to Guarantee the Success of Your Live Commerce Strategy
1. Stay true to your brand’s profile and values
This is especially important if there are influencers involved. Conducting livestream events that don’t comply with customers’ expectations is a big no-no.
2. Be authentic, be unique
The Gen Z audience puts great emphasis on authenticity. Luxury brands can’t just have great products any more – they also need to have brand personalities.
3. Seek out the right ambassadors
Collaborating with an ambassador – influencer or celebrity – who does not gel with or represent your brand’s values can be severely detrimental to the brand’s profile.
4. Leverage data as much as possible
Data gathered from live events is great for building and refining a customer database, but don’t let it stop there. Lessons from analyzing the data should be used to craft future marketing efforts.
5. Put livestreaming at the core of customer experience
Live shopping and storytelling are no longer ancillary marketing efforts. With livestreaming as a viable shopping avenue gaining traction, it will become the core around which all customer experience will eventually revolve.
6. Supplement livestreaming with shoppable videos.
Livestreaming maybe a key part of the puzzle, but it’s still one part of the big picture. Let video continue working its magic on audiences by adding short-form, shoppable videos across your brand’s website.
The Wrap Up
Luxury brands may have had their early struggles with eCommerce, but are in a prime position to take advantage of everything great that live commerce has to offer.
From delivering authentic, interactive experiences to engaging, personalized events, live commerce can do it all for the luxury industry.
Frequently Asked Questions