Great roundtable on June 29th on the Future of Luxury Retail in a digital world organized by Bettina Fröhlich (Luxe Partenaires) at Digital Luxury Meeting 2017: Avak Der Boghossian (Deloitte partner) introduced the market trends of digital experiential and personalization (Deloitte report Global Powers of Luxury Goods 2017,https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/consumer-industrial-products/gx-cip-global-powers-luxury-2017.pdf); Béatrice Querette (Merchanfeeling) provided insights from the field; Hortense Sauvard shared her perspective as a co-founder of OuiAreMakers.com.
Marie-Cécile Cervellon (EDHEC Business School) shared her research outlook on luxury etail and retail: The boundaries between retail and etail are blurred. The customer is the focal point of the omnichannel strategy. On one hand, online brands make their online presentations concrete, tangible and humanized through pictures of human models, zoom on details, 360 spin rotations, videos and the possibility to interact with human advisors. This strategy decreases the perceived risks associated to the online purchase. The chances to purchase online are multiplied by 1.5. The consumer is encouraged to pick up his purchase in the physical store (click&collect), creating traffic to the store and cross-selling opportunities. On the other hand, the digitalization (or phygitalization) of the point of sales is a major stake. From connected windows that allow purchases 24/7 to order and payment through mobile apps, the store becomes a replica of the e-boutique as much as the e-boutique becomes a replica of the physical store. Yet, in this digital world, let us NOT forget the BASICS… the reasons why clients go to the store: living an amazing in-store experience. Particularly the Millennials who will represent 40% of the personal luxury goods market by 2025, look for experiences that they can share. Unfortunately, 1/3 finds monotonous the experience in the store. Even more worrying, the service is bad, to extremely bad, in half of the visits. Our research shows that a young client activates a stereotype which makes him/her an unprofitable potential client and might lead to discriminatory treatments (Cervellon, Poujol and Tanner, 2017). Training to avoid stereotype-based behaviors is key.
What should the Luxury Store of the Future look like? Marie-Cécile said “A DESTINATION in the customer journey, a place for experimentation and a source of inspiration”.