Luxury fashion brands and video game companies may not have a great deal in common. Their customers do, however.
Whether someone is buying the latest Madden NFL release or a Balmain coat, that person has high expectations for both the product and the buying experience. Direct-to-consumer brands can learn valuable lessons from studying how the best brands in each of those industries create memorable experiences for their customers.
Both Create Immersive Experiences
Video games offer some of the most immersive experiences available. Luxury fashion brands are not far behind. Leveraging technology that has been developed in part by the gaming industry, luxury brands can create immersive shopping experiences for their customers.
Yoox launched YooxMirror in 2019, for instance, which allows customers to use augmented reality to dress themselves virtually. “The AI-powered ‘styling suite’ allows users to create their own digital avatar (based on a photograph) in order to try on various items of clothing virtually,” explains Econsultancy writer Nikki Gilliland. “The aim is to create an entertainment experience for consumers – one that is designed to generate interaction and engagement – through personalised experimentation with fashion.”
Both Must Honor Their Customers’ High Expectations
Both the luxury fashion and gaming industries excel at creating memorable shopping experiences for customers. Customers in both industries expect:
- to be able to preorder new items easily
- a smooth backorder process if an item is sold out
- that their purchases will arrive in mint condition
- to see immersive world-building and storytelling on brand websites
- to be rewarded for their fandom and brand loyalty
“To meet their expectations, reliable SSO and guest checkout options, a network that can withstand high volume traffic, detailed product information and many high-quality pictures (360 view image) are an absolute must,” says Hitoshi Saito, eCommerce Manager at Scalefast. “Being able to manage white-glove fulfillment and worry free shipping ticks of the remaining boxes on any super fans’ list.
What Other DTC Brands Can Learn From the Luxury and Gaming Industry
Video games may be an entirely different industry, and luxury fashion brands may seem like they are operating in another league, but that should not stop non-luxury fashion DTC brands learning from them. Here are three strategies, in particular, all DTC brands should adopt.
How to Craft a Brand Story
Luxury brands are famously good at crafting a compelling brand story. Even occasional customers of these brands know when they were founded and by whom. Video games are equally good at telling stories.
Role-playing games like Mass Effect and The Witcher allow gamers to create their own story within the predetermined path set out by the games’ creators, writes Nick Reynolds, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Johnson Controls. “This concept of variable, interactive and immersive storytelling is a powerful model for brands to consider and apply to the customer journey and contextual marketing,” he explains. “Your customer made a series of decisions in the narrative which constitutes their interaction with your brand. Track these product and service decisions and communicate in the context of this story.”
Make a Great Mobile App
Game developers have created some of the most engaging and most popular mobile apps ever. DTC mobile apps are often quickly uninstalled. eCommerce brands’ mobile apps tend to copy their native websites, says Aaron Chichioco at Socialnomics. This is a mistake. “If you are creating an app for your business, you should utilize the tricks the gaming industry uses – beautiful images, catchy audio, entertaining videos, and social sharing options,” he writes.
Keep Customers Coming Back
Mobile games are exceptionally good at getting users to return to their games day after day, writes user experience copywriter Neil Sheppard. They do this by rewarding customers with in-game currency or other gifts — items that do not cost the company anything but mean a lot to the customer.
Sheppard advises brands to do something similar. “Now, I’m not suggesting you addict your user to your site, but offering simple rewards to users who stay on your site or return to it time and again will theoretically increase your visits. Even just allowing your user to create an account and setting the site up to greet them by name next time they log in will improve the user experience.”