Last week we talked about the benefits and drawbacks of turning the retail businesses into e-commerce. This time, I want to focus a special aspect, which is how this trend affects the high-end retailers. Oftentimes, we see that the high-end brands rely on the third party retailors often like Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or Saks Fifth Avenue. In the past few years, we gradually see the high-end brands started to sell their products through e-commerce on their own website. Today, almost all the best known brands have e-commerce channel link them with the end consumers.
New Customer Behavior
An article, Luxury Consumers Value Products, Not Buying Experiences, by Ariel Adams on Forbes, once talked about the changing of consumer behavior on those luxury products. He mentioned that the consumers nowadays no longer value the importance of the in-store purchasing experience over the actual product itself. As the more luxury brands focus their marketing campaign on direct-to-customer strategy, we can see that many of them start to pull the distance of the brand and the customers closer by make the brand more accessible for the customers through online channels.
It almost became common for the customers to sign up on those luxury brands’ official websites for exclusive offer and promotions. Some of the brands even offering online exclusive products, which only sells through their online retail channel to create a limited edition atmosphere to stimulate the customers’ purchase through their online channel. Uri Minkoff, the CEO and co-founder of Rebecca Minkoff once said, "Our site is really the only place where we can capture the spirit of the brand." The official website is now a window for people to take a peak of those high-end brand's story. The brands’ official websites often feature blogs and videos with the brand stories, trendy style news, and so on.
For those who signed up, they will receive newsletters from those luxury brands monthly, or sometimes daily. those e-mails often include promotions such as discounts, private sales, online exclusives, and sometimes the links lead to the videos on official websites. All those acts helps to increase the exposure to the brand's official website. It is surprisingly easy for those promotions to hook the customers’ attention toward the brand, and further, making the purchase online.
New Customers--The Younger Generation
In fact, the research shows that the age of the customers who buys those luxury goods through online retails are often younger than those who go to the local stores. The new generation is the most tech savvy generation. They are more used to the new type of shopping, the online shopping experience. For some them even prefer this type of shopping experience over the traditional. To them, shopping online is easier and pressure-free. With the purchasing power of the younger generation increases throughout the couple year, many of the luxury brands started to position themselves as younger and more wearable in order to target those younger audiences normally aged between 25-35.