Closed shops, stopped trips: the pandemic forces luxury brands to put double bite on sales and online services, a vital but perilous strategic turn to reach a maximum of customers without diluting the proper exclusive to the sector.
"There was a real accelerator on e-commerce: in eight months, we took eight years!" Summarizes Eric Brones, co-founder of the Paris School of Luxury fashion school."The urgency now for brands is to be in contact with the customer, to create a digital thrill and make each sale on the Internet a real experience, so that we do not buy online only because it isis practical, "sums up this expert.
In a context of fall in global luxury sales in 2020, e-commerce benefited from confinements and travel restrictions, its share in total turnover from 12% to 23% in one year, according to aBain-Altagamma study.
The COVVI -19, by its magnitude and its duration, pushed the big names of luxury to invest more and faster than expected - financially as technologically - in a sales channel not always deemed a priority.
In November, the Luxury Richemont group (owner in particular of Cartier) and the Chinese giant Alibaba thus announced to inject $ 1.1 billion into the high -end fashion platform Farfetch and its new Chinese market place.For his part, Amazon-King of e-commerce hitherto shunned by ready-to-wear-launched in September a luxury space to make a place alongside the large platforms in the sector that are Farfetch, Yoox Net- à-Port or the Luxury Pavilion of Alibaba.
"Small or medium brands cannot capture only enough visibility on the Internet and have no choice but to go through a platform," highlights Delphine Vitry, co-founder of the Consulting Cabinet.Live or via intermediaries, selling online cannot be improvised: "There is a margin of progress on the immersive side: products in a basket when you are alone in your living room, it is not very exciting"sums up Delphine Vitry.But new services are emerging: "Because of the COVVI-19, for Christmas, several major brands offer, for example, to welcome a home seller".
Thus, for example, the Village Valley, which brings together major luxury fashion brands, has unveiled its remote shopping service: on its site, just choose your favorite brand and then contact a seller, which sends photos, videosand advice.
Hermès thus offers "many tools" to "meet the desires" of its customers: "distance selling by phone or visio, making an appointment in store, tailor-made concierge service for home deliveries, bookingProducts from the site "du Sellier-Maroquinier.A brand from which Chen Rui Rui, 32, is lived in Beijing.She says she has changed her habits little and continued to buy "a lot of luxury items during the pandemic", saying that she had spent the equivalent of 4,000 to 5,000 euros each month at Gucci, Prada, Fendi, Louis Vuitton orDior."I bought both on the internet and in stores: most of the time I buy shoes and clothes in store so that I could try them, and for bags and other types of items I go online", says the young woman.
China will be the only country in the world to complete 2020 on increased luxury sales (+48%), local consumption that has jumped in the face of the impossibility of traveling, indicates a recent bath report and Tmall (Alibaba) published,highlighting the fact that Chinese millennials fuel "an ever larger base of consumers buying online".
Brands should not save a broad presence on social networks "which are often the very first point of contact of a consumer" with a claw, wishes to emphasize Delphine Vitry for Mad."But above all, all this is not just a story of luxury digitization, it is the battle of data: to have good personalization, you need good customer data", summarizes the expert Eric Brones, forWhich "everything changes, but nothing changes: the characteristic of luxury purchase has always been to have a special relationship with the customer, and we are just witnessing an upgrade in front of a global market".