4 Things small businesses can learn from luxury brands selling online

For years Luxury brands have struggled with the concept of eCommerce.  However as times have changed and eCommerce has become largely impossible to ignore, the Luxury brands have been forced to get involved with selling online.

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We recently covered how some luxury brands are making the move into the eCommerce marketplaces.

In doing so they have done their best to bring across the feeling of luxury and premium quality to their respective online spaces that appeal to their target audience.

This raises the bar for eCommerce websites and as such there is a lot that other eSellers could learn from the big luxury brands.

So below I have outlined the 4 ways that online sellers can learn from the luxury brands such as Burberry and Louis Vuitton when it comes to eCommerce.

Story Telling

When you are dealing with luxury brands one of the first things that sets them apart is their history and journey to get to where they are now.

The likes of Burberry and Louis Vuitton both have multiple pages and micro sites dedicated solely to telling the story of where the brand originated from in humble beginnings, and how they have grown into the luxury brands we know today.

Sharing what sets them apart from other fashion outlets and focusing on the premium nature of what they do.

While you may not have a heritage as long as the luxury brands, you will have your own story to tell, so why not share what makes YOU stand out with your potential customers?

Customer Service

Customer service is perhaps the key element of the luxury in-store experience.

Bringing that into the online realm to the same degree is something which no website has fully managed to accomplish yet.  There will always be an advantage to being physically there in store.

However in an attempt to bridge that gap, luxury brands really do place an emphasis on their customer service throughout their websites.

While as an eCommerce seller you may be tempted to make it more difficult for potential customers to get in touch as one on one time can be seen as expensive and time consuming.

The luxury brands know that it is the one on one contact which their customers are used to in-store.  They make it prominent on every page and even offer a call back service where Burberry will call you to answer any questions you might have about their products.

Luxury brands encourage that one on one interaction as they trust their staff to match the customer with the right product for them and reduce the risk of a customer getting lost online and bouncing off the site without making a purchase.

So how can you do your best to encourage that level of customer service in your business?

Driving to Stores

A follow on from the one to one piece that high end shoppers have come to expect is encouraging buyers to come to a physical store.

Now if you do not have a bricks and mortar store this point won’t apply to you, however if you do, are you making it as easy as possible for your potential customers to come and get the one on one experience?

The in-store experience is such an important component of luxury retail, luxury brands use their eCommerce website design as a means of promoting their stores and boutiques as much as promoting the checkout button.

Burberry features two calls-to-action, one to add to bag, and one to find in store. Both buttons are given equal prominence as Burberry know that if a customer comes into a store they can give them the luxury brand experience they are accustomed to.

Remember that people like to buy from people, and good sales people are key to this.

Attention To Detail

Finally we have attention to detail.  The buyers of luxury products have some of the keenest eyes for detail and luxury brands have recognized this and brought that same level to their eCommerce stores.

Even just small word changes can make a huge difference in the perception of quality.  Such as “complimentary delivery” instead of “free shipping” and “place in cart” as opposed to “add to basket”.

While only subtle differences in language, they are deliberate changes that help convey the high-end nature of the brand.

Get someone who doesn’t visit your site often to look over the site and ask them how they feel about the wording used and what sort of feel this gives them as to the quality of the products you sell.

This could highlight to you some of the key areas which might benefit from a word change.

Luxury brands have had to work hard to differentiate themselves in eCommerce and have invested in finding new ways to communicate their value and heritage.

But you could use these same strategies to help grow your online business and encourage your sellers to hit that ‘Place lovingly in cart’ button.

Don’t forget to let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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