In 2011, retail was still a viable marketing channel for most luxury brands. Internet sales were on the rise, but at this time online shoppers were reluctant to purchase expensive items they had not seen on the Internet.
This reluctance has now all but disappeared. Around Â£ 17 billion of luxury goods are sold online, which is equivalent to 8% of all sales worldwide.
The cellphones most of us used 10 years ago have nothing to do with the black panel touchscreen laptops we carry on which we can find and compare luxury items and everything in between. a few seconds.
In a new report called âThe Future of Luxuryâ written by students of the International Master in Luxury Management (IMLUX) program, 80% of sales are now âdigitally influencedâ, up from 45% just seven years ago.
What does it mean? Four out of five shoppers have accessed âdigital touchpointsâ at least twice on their personal shopping journeys before purchasing a product or service. Brands have no control over some of these touchpoints – they’re bloggers, influencers, and social media peers consumers turn to for advice.
Luxury brands are investing much larger sums of money in these new forms of marketing in an effort to increase sales and forge meaningful online connections with more of their target population.
In this article, we reflect on the most successful approaches luxury brands have taken to digital marketing, with a special focus on their websites and social media campaigns.
Search engine optimization
Established brands have an intrinsic advantage when people search for them or search for their best-known products online.
Take the examples of Pandora and Tiffany’s, two very successful brands.
For terms like “Pandora bracelets”, “Pandora charms”, “Tiffany engagement rings” and “Tiffany necklaces”, both brands end up first in organic (unpaid) search results on Google.
Neither company fell into the trap that many well-known companies make of relying on the power and recognizability of their brands to drive traffic to their sites.
Pandora’s keyword-based SEO strategy and tightly structured URLs allow them to finish first for non-brand specific terms such as’ promise rings’, ‘earrings’,’ bracelets’ and ‘ charms â. Likewise, Tiffany’s finished first for “women’s jewelry”, “store jewelry” and “real pearl necklace”.
Your keyword strategy should focus on winning terms that match your product line, but don’t rely on a customer using your brand name as part of their search query. This gives you the opportunity not only to compete with other luxury brands, but also to sell to consumers who can afford your products and for some reason would not have used your brand name when they were. willing to buy a particular product.
Tell your brand’s story through great content
Google prefers sites that are constantly updated and enriched, just as Pandora and Tiffany’s add to theirs with regular blog posts.
Ideally, much of your written content should be mainstay content – content so comprehensive and generous with its information that others tie into it.
Articles about your products, articles about the history of the company, articles providing visitors with the information they need to make an informed purchase. Share with visitors why your business exists as well as what you do and why.
Video marketing also offers exciting opportunities. For example, a luxury tour operator may want to create in-depth articles about the destinations they take their clients to – articles about a destination’s history, its best restaurants, local opportunities to appreciate art, and more. still with 2-3 minutes to immerse their visitors even more.
Whether it is text, images or videos, additional value can be extracted from content over and over again by promoting it through your social media channels and email newsletters.
Generate enthusiasm for your products
Some brands want to sell online, but others require additional contact with a prospect before a sale can take place.
When someone visits a page where a sale can take place, or when they can leave their contact information for follow-up, assume that might be the last you see them.
Use persuasive text, beautiful images, and engaging videos to showcase your brand and explain why the product or service someone is interested in is the right choice. Back this up, if possible, with customer and reviewer testimonials to show the visitor why others think your brand and what you are selling was the right choice for them, too. After all, part of the appeal of a luxury brand is âsocial proofâ.
Apple may or may not be a luxury brand – the debate continues. However, it might just be a phone, but the way they present the iPhone 13 Pro on their site is one of the reasons many consider their products to be high-end, beautiful and luxurious. .
Build your mailing list
See every visitor as an opportunity to establish a lasting connection by inviting them to subscribe to your email newsletter.
Email marketing offers a very high return – up to 2,500%. Many businesses use email marketing as an opportunity to send promotion after promotion to their subscribers, but email marketing for luxury brands should be different. With all of the luxury products and services, one of the reasons people buy them is that they subscribe to a lifestyle while enjoying the benefits of the product or service.
The emails your customers receive should feel like they belong just as instinctively to your business as any direct mail campaign you send out. The layout of the email, the choice of words (especially in the subject line) and the overall aesthetic should be an intrinsic part of your overall approach to external communication and communication.
Create a feeling of exclusivity
Early concerns that an online presence would somehow dilute the exclusivity of luxury goods and services have proven to be unfounded. Some argue that the opposite may in fact be true.
If one of the functions of owning luxury goods is to display status to others, it could be argued that owners of luxury goods now have a higher perceived status than ever before.
Indeed, the Internet has considerably sensitized the public to the quality of these products and their exclusivity of individual brands. This new visibility has created a new demand for these products and services but, because the price at which they are offered is often an insurmountable barrier to entry for most, this demand remains unmet. This lack of satisfaction creates a feedback loop where, over time, perceived exclusivity increases.
For your real customers, you can experience a sense of exclusivity online through a blend of:
- loyalty benefits,
- concierge services (such as those offered by luxury magazine SWM to its customers), and
- private member groups online.
If your business has the branch network to support it, combine the online and offline worlds by inviting your most important customers to events such as launch parties where they can meet and interact with other like-minded advocates. ideas will further develop their existing loyalty and increase the likelihood of selling more often to this large cohort.
Attractive and functional UX
Consumers now demand that all businesses’ websites be accessible on any device they use.
For a standard website, 55% of their traffic comes from cell phones. People visiting the desktop version of a website stay 4 minutes and 50 seconds longer on a site than those visiting the mobile version.
Mobile users appreciate how easy it is to navigate a website, and they don’t expect to have to work particularly hard to find the information they want.
Luxury brands social networks
According to the Business of Fashion, luxury shoppers post twice as much as the average user, interact three times as much, and consume five times as much content. Gen Z will be responsible for 45% of luxury brand sales in 2025, spending up to six hours of their weeks shopping online.
Visual social networks
Many luxury products are admired for their physical appearance as well as for the materials they are made of. Likewise, luxury service providers offer their customers moments and experiences that they can share with their friends and followers.
Instagram gives brands the opportunity to tell their story through images and videos. You can encourage your followers and customers to share their experiences with other followers and customers through user-generated content to build community.
Pinterest’s 460 million users deserve to be targeted for luxury brands.
Use social media to drive sales and website traffic
For luxury brands comfortable with the idea of ââselling their products and services through social media platforms, Facebook Ads can deliver highly targeted ads to your key audiences who they can take immediate action to order from you.
Social media offers all businesses, including luxury brands, the opportunity to connect on a personal level with new and future customers. While the vast majority of your content shouldn’t be purely commercial as long as it’s there to drive new sales and traffic to your website, some of it should be.
While you reach out to new and future customers on Facebook and Instagram, your business is a guest on a platform where you have no control over how it works or the rules that govern it. Encouraging social media subscribers to come to your site where you have full control gives you the ability to capture their direct contact details either through the newsletter subscription or when they buy from you.