Historically, most luxury brands invested the main of their confidence in retail sales, internet sales were on the up, but traffic was still less unlikely to convert for higher-priced goods online. That attitude has now all but subsided, and circa £17bn worth of luxury goods are sold online – equal to 8% of all worldwide sales.
Smartphones have enabled this in part and research shows that sales are now far more influenced digitally compared to less so in previous years. Luxury brands are now far savvier when it comes to digital marketing than ever before and with the right strategy, great results can be gained.
Let’s start with search engine optimisation. Not all brands have the clout that a luxury brand does when it comes to advertising online but relying solely on how recognisable your brand is to drive your traffic will not provide an optimum result.
Focus on terms that match your product range for your keywords and don’t assume that the shopper will use brand terms when searching for products online. This gives a larger pool of people to market to, allows you to vie with the competition as well as hopefully convert those shoppers who didn’t know if your brand previously.
Content is king and ensuring your content strategy is robust is essential. Google and shoppers like content and it positions a luxury brand as an expert in their field. Ideally, the content will be linked to and will provide the shopper with both the knowledge they need to make an informed purchase, as well as confidence. Include relevant, high-res imagery and video, if possible, to engage your user once they reach your site. This content can where appropriate be re-purposed and used across your social channels etc.
Testimonials and reviews will further strengthen your offering, and this is a key reason people buy your product/service over another. Creating a community and capturing your shoppers’ details can become integral to your sales strategy. You spent a long time getting your customers to the site, now how do you make them return? Bombarding a shopper with email after email in a sales capacity doesn’t work for a lux brand and people will want to subscribe to a lifestyle rather than an email list. Loyalty rewards and online private members areas will help with this, but ultimately, it’s what works best for the band and company ethos.
Exclusivity and interactions
This ‘lifestyle’ concept allows the exclusivity of the brand to shine through and luxury brands have seen boosted traffic due to the increased awareness via the web of the quality of their products. More visibility equals more demand in many circumstances and luxury brands are a great example of this.
How people use and interact with your site is key and having a site that is highly functional on both mobile and desktop is the base minimum. With statistics showing that over half of traffic comes from mobile, however, for luxury products, the touchpoint pre-purchase tends to be higher unsurprisingly. It is likely in some cases that the customer’s journey starts on the mobile and then moves to the desktop when making a considered purchase.
As part of the strategy, you will need to draw on the wealth of opportunities available through social channels. More and more lux brands will turn to profile endorsing channels that further bolster the opulent image of the brand.
Studies have shown that clients in the luxury bracket interact socially online far more by posting twice as much and consuming five times the content. As luxury products are high quality and can offer beautiful imagery social media offers a platform to showcase the ‘lifestyle’ of the brand and raise the profile. Creating an engaged audience is a great way to ensure shares and make a community that loves your content and products as much as you do!
Ideally, all these channels can be used in assisting in generating excellent quality, returning traffic and arguably having those users on your site rather than a social platform will provide you with far more control of the user journey.