Aren’t luxury goods more easily accessible these days than they were in the previous times? Yes, they are! All thanks to the ecommerce platforms that have made luxury shopping even more luxurious and convenient.
Many-a-brands have now shifted focus from traditional brick-and-mortar showrooms to online stores. They are either launching their own ecommerce websites or are partnering with leading multi-brand online retailers. Recently, Italian brand Prada partnered with e-tailer Net-A-Porter for introducing its ecommerce site, while Darveys.com served as a launch-pad for US-based Ralph Lauren’s opulent pet essentials. Other luxury brands using ecommerce are Burberry, Gucci, Hermès, Jimmy Choo, Tod’s, and Zegna. Success of e-tailing, or what you call- ‘online retailing’, is evident by the growth of e-stores like Nordstrom’s HauteLook and Nordstrom Rack, Bergdorf Goodman, Horchow, and Neiman Marcus. By 2019, the online retail market is estimated to hit $41.76bn, with a CAGR of 14.28%.
Listed are 11 reasons that pull luxury brands into ecommerce:
Luxury goods companies that focus more on physical stores face tough competition from brands trading online. Online retailing has wider reach and attracts more number of customers than physical stores.
2. Increasing population of tech-savvy customers:
A 2013 survey reveals that 98% of luxury consumers access internet on a daily basis, using three connected devices on an average. Such buyers see online shopping more convenient and less-time consuming.
3. To follow customers, wherever they go:
E-tailing helps brands stay connected with their customers by means of e-magazines, Smartphone applications, text messages and other mobile services.
4. Omnichannel sales approach:
Luxury firms have realised that offering goods/services via multiple-channels will help the business grow.
5. Interaction with a wider audience:
Online platforms help companies to interact with large number of customers and understand their feedbacks, preferences, and demands.
6. Gateway to new markets:
Partnering with online department stores, businesses can tap new markets, niche segments, and even enter foreign nations.
“To meet rising demands of luxury buyers worldwide, brands need to explore and expand new channels, one of them being e-commerce”
Emerging markets like Brazil and China encourage luxury firms to expand. These markets have a rising population of middle-income and high-income groups.
8. Promotion of physical stores:
By growing in the online segment, luxury brands can develop and promote their physical flagships, stand-alone stores, shop-in-shops as well as pop-ups.
Ecommerce platforms are also used for exclusive launch of products/services. For instance, Xiaomi entered India through an exclusive launch on Flipkart.
10. To offer customised, curated goods/services:
Through ecommerce sites, it becomes easier to offer bespoke goods and services like matching, monogramming, design selection, etc. Some even provide curated offerings.
11. To prevent sale of counterfeit commodities:
Many local retailers sell fake products under luxury brands’ name/logo. To avoid this, brands have launched their own e-stores or have tied-up with trusted retailers.
With these many benefits, who would not want to set foot in the virtual shopping-mall? The world’s big, so are the opportunities. Businesses just need to grab them right!