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The Future of Luxury Retail is Online

Luxury's Ecommerce Opportunity

· Digital Marketing,Luxury Fashion,Personalisation,Technology

In a recent report, luxury corporation LVMH launched its investment plan in Lyst, a London-based fashion platform which works as a search engine and connects consumers to other sites that sell the items they might want to purchase. For many, the investment is a clear indicator that the luxury world is beginning to take e-commerce seriously. In fact, according to Bain & Co, online luxury sales are expected to triple in growth by 2025, bringing a total of $91 billion USD increase worldwide. On the other hand, brick-and-mortar stores are slowly turning stale because e-commerce sites are growing faster than predicted due to simple inventory optimization systems, reduction in labor costs, and overall efficiency. Luxury brands were notoriously the late-boomers of e-commerce; however, luxury brands are starting to sell products on their in-house website or partner with global luxury e-commerce platforms in an attempt to attract their increasingly younger customer base.

Large percentage of online shoppers are Gen Z and millennials, and they are increasingly interested in purchasing via social media directly because there’s more availability and interactive shopping experiences, leading to a quick online buying process. Omni-channel has made it easy for consumers to search for the best possible options and compare prices. With that being said, consumers are no longer hesitant about shopping online or offline.

The Online Opportunity

As mobile usage rises, consumers will continue to utilize online platforms as their first point of contact before making any purchase, whether from home or while shopping in store. Consumers expect fashion companies to cater to their interest and create convenient seamless ways to discover and purchase items, irrespective of where they are in the customer journey or the channel in which they engage with the brand. A study done by Harvard Business School shows large percentage of purchases are somewhat influenced by online experience. In order to take an advantage of this opportunity, luxury brands must uses innovative technologies like artificial Intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and voice command to meet consumers’ expectations.


How can luxury brands secure their premium shopping experience by using AI, AR, and voice command?


At the heart of any luxury brand is delivering premium experiences. Luxury consumers admire sophisticated craftsmanship, uniqueness, and quality of items & services. In order to remain competitive, luxury brands are now creating in-house e-commerce sites and making strides to recreate their in-store luxury experiences online. The customer journey for luxury brands occurs in-store when consumers interact with the sales associate(s). These transactions consist of sensations, emotions, and conversations that are representative of the luxury brand. Technologies like AI, AR, and voice command can help fashion retailers create simple and effective customer journeys, as well recreate the luxury brand's shopping experience for online customers.

AI can be used to learn a person’s style and purchasing habits in order to create computer-generated images of products that match their style and make relevant recommendations. By tracking consumer preferences and applying it to predictive algorithms, retailers can create personalized online shopping experiences that luxury brands typically offer in-store their personal shopping associates.

See Fashion’s inline recommendations provide new ideas for your consumers to mix-and-match their wardrobe. You can also use this raw data to empower design teams as they create pieces for future seasons.

With AR, shoppers will immerse themselves in premium experiences that connect the physical and digital. During an AR customer journey at luxury brands and retailers, consumers will be able to try on products before entering the store as well as have an in-store digital shopping experience through scanning and interacting with products through their phones or devices. With body recognition technology being built into mobile phones and apps, consumers will be able to scan a 3D avatar of themselves which they can use to visualize multiple garments without trying them on physically. Within the past few years, Reality-try-on technology has gained popularity in the fashion industry. The technology collects data from 3D scanning systems and simulates how textile would behave when it lays onto the human body. For example, many fashion brands use this technology to create prototypes before the real production. With the implementation of this technology, luxury brands can show their consumers how they will look with their product on through their e-commerce site before they buy a lifetime investment piece.

Voice commerce will enhance a human-like interaction via online experience by simply telling Alexa, Echo or Siri your searches. Data shows that 22% of voice assistant owners reported that they do online shopping with the use of voice commands such as re-orders or adding on items to your shopping lists. Luxury brands can adapt voice shopping methodology to create a personalized premium service for their customers such as checking up after the purchase is made and providing lessons on how to maintain the best quality of the product. It is a great time for luxury brands to adopt the advantage of technologies and enable better user experience.

A tentative approach to e-commerce by luxury brands is over. Luxury retailers have finally seen the opportunities created by improving their digital offering, such as getting better connected with their younger more digital saavy audiences and learning more about their customers in ways that weren't possible before. Moving online doesn't mean compromising on their premium service. If applied correctly, AI, AR and voice technology will not only help luxury brands to maintain their high-quality service online, but also increase customer satisfaction and drive revenue. However, any service they provide will only be as good as the data they are able to collect; and this can only come when luxury retailers take greater ownership of their digital channels.

If you would like to learn more about how technologies can change the ways of online shopping, stay in touch with See Fashion to get more insights into how your brand can prepare for the digital transformation of luxury retail .

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