It's likely no surprise that the e-commerce is still running behind brick & mortar stores for luxury item purchase. A poll of 1,003 adult consumers conducted between November 29th and December 1st found that 39% plan to buy from a physical store while 26% favored the web to make their purchase.
While that gap will likely continue to narrow, there's still a lot to be said for that luxury buying experience. Isn't buying something at Tiffany's almost as cool as buying something from them? Who wouldn't enjoy tea and croissants while picking out that perfect anniversary gift?
What's more interesting here is how the numbers break down when looking at what influences these luxury buyers. Only 9% of these shoppers said an online ad is most likely to sway them to buy. Print still rules with 12%, TV comes in at 6% and news articles (the society column perhaps?) has 3%.
Even when you are willing to pay the big bucks for that special luxury item, it doesn't mean you are not a bargain hunter!
Multi-channel online marketing and promotions for luxury shoppers
According to the poll, 70% of respondents were influenced by discounts and sales.
This presents an opportunity for purveyors of glitz and glamour to create online clamor for their goods. Offering free shipping for online purchases or even something such as free gift wrapping and the like can be the key element which sways high-end buyers to make that decision to buy online.
As well, connecting with that customer base by offering such things as webinars with designers or preferential support channels via the web and social media luxury item marketers could sway them to make those purchases online.
For example, online personal shoppers such as iStylista, offer the convenience of a personal shopper and multiple brands in one place. Shoppers can access a virtual changing room to preview the latest in high fashion. Add good content focused on personal style and fashion tips and this might be the kind of approach which may catch on big time with people looking for these pricey items.
Just because the numbers tend to indicate that online advertising isn't the primary motivator for this market doesn't mean you shouldn't be trying new things and testing campaigns. Start with simple discounts and value adds to draw them and work up from there. Never forget that even if they are not buying from your website or newsletter, those are still channels which drive sales and must work together.
It's obvious from this poll that luxury shoppers are cross-channel consumers. This means it's extremely important that you be developing an effective cross-channel strategy to serve them better. This demographic uses the web, print, TV, email, social and mobile (smart phones....). Your marketing strategy has to take this into consideration and be sure you have a presence on all these channels to be there when they are.
Efficiently using social media to improve the relevance of marketing and communication programs
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Summary : The hottest topic in marketing and communication is without any doubt social media marketing. Although many businesses are still testing the waters, many others have successfully integrated social media in their marketing mix.