14 thoughts on “What is a luxury retail experience?”

  1. A true luxury experience is when the customer enter the shop or the e-shop and feel like he / she is part of the dreamy atmosphere of the brand. The customer must have the feeling that he is unique and taking care of without the impression of being push to buy.

    One brand that managed to give this unique experience is Ralph Lauren is it’s shop in Saint Germain. The shop is built and decorated like an old and traditional American Mansion giving us the impression of entering the upper American Society with wooden furniture, a fire place, old leather sofa… A website is even dedicated to this shop and allow the customer to extend the experience.

  2. To me a luxury retail experience is the ability to share the the values and the history of the brand through one visit in the store, on the website or via an app.
    The clients must have the impression of uniqueness when they enter the store. Their first step in the store (the doorman who opens the door to the clients) is often a key point in the retail experience of the brand.
    With the multiplication of the digital tools, luxury brands have to learn how to keep their heritage of craftmanship and human relationships with the clients by also using digital as part of the retail experience (Ipads in the stores, digital screens…).
    All the communication tools have to be used in the same direction in order to write a new story together with the clients, inviting them to be part of the history of the brand.

    Here is a good article about luxury retail experience and digital :
    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/11/18/business/inside-louis-vuittons-townhouse/

  3. I felt a luxury experience when I bought my first Apple MacBook . From the entering in the store, the welcome was personalized. A salesman came up to me, asked for my name and asked me what I was looking for. He asked me several questions to know my client profile and he offered me a product perfectly suited to my needs.
    Once the product was purchased, he was not just telling me goodbye. The seller made me sit at a table and he told his manager that I bought my first mac. The manager asked me my name, he shook my hand and then, surprisingly, he applauded and congratulated me for my starting in the mac community.
    After, the seller placed the box of my new mac in front of me and asked me to open the box as if it was a gift.
    Finally, the seller gave me training in the use of my new MacBook. When I left the store I was in a good mood and I really felt like I was belonging to the Mac community.

  4. A luxury experience acts when we have the feeling to enter in a magic world, in a world where we feel special, where everything is beautiful, seems nearly unreal. Another criteria for me is the finesse, even in tiny details, and that requires every senses.

    I use to have this experience in a luxury restaurant : the Bristol where the service was exceptional, the food unbelievable and I have the surprise to see a little garden inside.

    Every senses are required : the sight with the beauty of the place, the beauty of the dishes, the beauty of the decoration. Through the taste, I could admire the quality of the food, through the smell I could be seduced by the smell of the flowers, of the food, of the perfume. I could also touch the quality of the dinner-set.

    It’s important to associate a good moment in a luxury experience, that’s why the service is unique and try to make it unforgettable. A little present is for instance a good way to think about this moment again and again…

  5. To me, a luxury retail experience is associated to:

    – A perfect store design / website design
    – Great products
    – High-quality services
    – Personalization

    The Guerlain flagship « le 68, Champs-Elysées » is a perfect example of a great luxury retail experience. With its luxury perfumes & services, Guerlain invites its clients to explore their senses, to share a dream between beauty and luxury.

    http://www.guerlain.com/fr/fr-fr/explorer-guerlain/68-champs-elysees-lesprit-boutique#le-68-champs-elysees

    You enter in a luxury universe and a « savoir-vivre à la Française », one room is displaying exclusive collections & the other one is dedicated to personalization: perfumes & bottles are tailor-made. Also, a spa & a restaurant with a menu created by a starred chef opened their doors.

  6. Not only retail proposes luxury experience; restaurants can also do so, as the “Ciel de Paris” shows.
    No sooner have I opened the door that I had a sensation of luck: I was on the top of Paris, and I was on the spur of eating there.
    Everything in the spot was upscale: waiters in suit, design refined and fashion, few tables, and an amazing complex and original menu.
    Moreover, the whole environment was organized to please the customer: professional, helpful and smily staff; background music, pleasant seat, in a luxury atmosphere.
    Of course, all those elements were just the decor, aiming at emphasising the perfection of the meal.
    In fact, the latter was a mix between rare ingredient, original flavors, and subtlety.

    All in all, eating luxury can be even more exciting that buying it.

  7. I think sales associates is a critical part of luxury experience. First, the image of sales associates is also very important. A luxury store will only recrute sales associates which could properly represent the brand.

    Then, the service of sales associates should also be in the same class of the brand. In luxury business, it is key to keep a long-term relationship between sales and customers. In addition, customers do not want general recommandation (of products), they need customized recommandation which could fit in their need.

  8. For me, a luxury experience is about making the customer feel special.

    When I think of luxury experience, the first brand that comes to mind is Nespresso. That might be a surprising top of mind answer considering that Nespresso coffee is not a luxury product. However, the great visual identity of the stores, the thoughtful assistance, the testing bar, the packaging of the products and the club membership to name a few indusputaby are elements of a luxury experience. I think it is even more relevant: you feel special when buying coffee.

    The strategy of offering a luxury service for a basic product has broken the idea that luxury experience was only meant for a luxury product. I think it is simply brilliant!

  9. A customer experience in retail can become a luxury experience only if the customer feels unique throughout his presence in the store, from the time when he came in the store until the time he went out.
    But if we go deeper into details, other criteria should be respected to provide a luxury experience. And we might use 5 mondes, a SPA institute that sells beauty products, as a telling example. 5 mondes provide a luxury experience in the sense that it offers to customers a peaceful moment, thanks to relaxing music and much space. On top of that, the salespersons make the customer feel unique thanks to dedicated time and customized advice. Besides, a luxury experience is synonymous with dreamy moments, made possible thanks to the product layout. The latter must emphasize the products beauty, design, and uniqueness. For instance, in 5 mondes store, the products are laid out as if they were exceptional, scarce, and highly valuable.
    All these above elements are necessary to any brand so as to deliver a luxury experience to its customers.

  10. People buy clothes and accessories not only by need but for the moment of pleasure. For example, I would like to tell you about my work experience in the Ralph Lauren Flag store at boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris.
    Ralph Lauren is an American brand. The style is inspired by the British and New-York lifestyle.
    Clients of luxury stores come in to buy a product, a legend, a myth, a tradition and a savoir-faire.
    The visit of the store becomes unforgettable because it turns into a moment and an emotion of pleasure, travelling into the brand’s world.
    To achieve this atmosphere, marketing department and merchandisers use different techniques to stimulate our visual, hearing and smelling senses.

    The Ralph Lauren Store is located in a hotel particulier in the “old” but luxury style. There is always a smell of genuine candles “Pied à Terre” and the music is selected specially for the store.

    Clients feel themselves as comfortable as at home and as well as important. That is why the client’s fidelity is highly developed in the luxury stores. Clients come back to the store in order to get this feeling of importance and exclusivity.
    For example, recently Ralph Lauren opened a super-exclusive luxury club in Milan : http://fashionista.com/2015/09/palazzo-ralph-lauren

  11. A luxury experience appears when marketing and merchandising is replaced by an interpersonal exchange. The customer needs to feel valued, be someone special.

    I experienced a luxury moment at Topman, London. Actually, the brand is not a luxury one. However, they managed to bring a unique and personal experience to their customers, called “personal shopping”.
    When I was shopping in the store, an employee came to me and proposed me to join her upstairs to try on clothes. She proposed me a free drink and asked me what I was looking for. The experience was really special as upstairs, there was no other customers. Therefore, I felt priviledged and valued. I tried on several clothes and bought some. The employee left me her professional card and was particularly polite. As a unique employee takes care and propose clothes corresponding to one’s style, the moment is quite unique.

  12. What is a luxury experience ?
    A luxury experience is the fact to take the best of the products/services you like and to adapt it to your personal wishes. I found the Rolls Royce service Bespoke remarkable as it enables to create his own luxury car. Everything is done to satisfy the Customer and to make him feel unique. It shows that the brand really cares about its customers : it’s a unique experience, everything is done toperfectly match with the personal wishes of the customer

  13. I consider a “luxury experience” a unique, surprising and magic experience. People who pay a high price for a luxury product deserve to feel like they are priviledged before, during and after the purchase of the product.

    For instance, at Printemps, customers can make an appointment with a fashion expert for a personnal shopping session. When a customer calls to make an appointment, he is asked the purpose of the shopping session (special event, everyday outfit) and some information about the style and image he wants to reflect. Finally, he gives his measurements so that the fashion expert can pick by advance some items for him.
    On the D-day, the customer comes in-store and is welcomed as a VIP (coffee, private fitting room). Then, he tries the different items chosen by the expert and he is given some advice about his morphology, about colors and fabrics. Finally, the expert propose him to be perfumed.
    This service is completely free but generally reserved to a wealthy clientele.

  14. I recently bought a bag at Lancel.
    It was the first buy I bought that kind of item from a luxury brand. The first thing I remember is the smell inside the boutique. Then comes the texture of the leather of the different bags, the different rituals of the sales persons and even their sense of service…
    Moreover, the other interesting fact is that I was even impressed by the quality of the shopping-bag where my bag was put in order to be carried. Every single detail should be a proof of the product quality.
    You can watch a video about a Lancel store just here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6d4eluJCIDA

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