Luxury is about status, quality, craftsmanship, and heritage. It’s no surprise then that luxury brand eCommerce sale events are rarely used as a marketing or sales strategy. However, avoiding product drops, flash sales, and private sale events altogether is a missed opportunity for customer acquisition, engagement, and incremental revenue growth.
Here’s how to luxury brands can use curated, highly specialized private sale events to stand out online.
How to Launch a Successful Sale Event as a Luxury Brand
Post-2020, shifts in consumer behavior are continuing to shake up even the most established luxury brands and fashion houses. Gen-Z and millennial consumers will make up 40% of luxury shoppers by 2025. Their expectations are high across the board, especially for luxury products. The pandemic has curtailed many best practices for engaging with clientele in person, so brands must be creative with their digital marketing and online engagement strategies.
Private DTC sale events offer a wealth of opportunity for luxury brands looking to see new levels of growth without sacrificing their elite status. These events create a curated customer experience and inspire a sense of urgency. By leaning on immersive experiences, social listening, and virtual reality, luxury brands can replicate the sensory experience of shopping one of their showrooms on their eCommerce site.
Louis Vuitton Brings Branded Experiences to eCommerce
Luxury brands distinguish themselves with superior customer service and personalized experiences. Unfortunately, many of these high-touch marketing strategies are not possible with social distancing requirements and current public health measures. Instead, luxury brands must find new ways to translate these customer touchpoints into the digital realm.
Curate Online Experiences for International Audiences
Like other luxury brands, Louis Vuitton closely guards their reputation, but it does not mean the French fashion house is averse to change. In fact, the eponymous label is known for constantly innovating in the online space. In 2017, LVMH launched 24 Sèvres. 24S provides a curated selection of 150 luxury brands and has since been retooled to cater to an even wider international audience.
Make it Easy to Find Must-Have Items
In 2018, LVMH invested in Lyst, an online luxury fashion search engine and digital marketplace. The search engine connects buyers looking for specific luxury items to eCommerce pages where those items are available. And in 2020, Louis Vuitton received significant attention for an online Valentine’s Day pop-up event. Customers were able to access promotions that previously were in-store only via the Louis Vuitton eCommerce store. This event served as the impetus that moved consultations and other services online.
The Takeaway for DTC Luxury Brands
Engaging buyers online with an exclusive sale or shopping event doesn’t mean giving up the best of your brand. Digital platforms must be curated as a showcase for product launches, private sale events, or flash sale events.
Flash sales and exclusivity are not mutually incompatible. By building a specialty web store for a target audience, brands can create a tailored shopping experience that’s luxe. By hosting sale events on a separate eCommerce site, luxury brands can create an aura of exclusivity that drives urgency for their promotionally-priced items, while keeping current collection pieces and full-priced stock separate from the sale event.
Listen to Your Customers and Build an Online Community
Luxury consumers crave feeling connected to the brands they shop with. Brands can meet this psychological need by designing sale events that create a sense of affinity and belonging. Research by GlobalWebIndex has found that 77% of luxury consumers would buy a product to become part of a brand’s associated community. Private, luxury brand eCommerce sale events designed to make customers feel like brand insiders with access to something rarified and valuable are one of the best engagement strategies for luxury brands.
How do you build a community for your customers that feels authentic and reflects your brand? It starts with listening. Social listening, or the act of using social and digital channels to track customer desires and sentiments, can give brands insights into customer expectations.
Combine Social Listening with Online Events
For best results, layer social listening with exclusive online events to increase demand, create community, and drive sales.
Dior is known for their social media prowess, with some of the highest earned media values in the industry. While 2020 threw every fashion house a major curveball, Dior was ready to pivot.
Premiering their Spring-Summer 2021 runaway show live from Paris on September 26, 2020, the show featured Dior’s eponymous silhouettes and tailored image and was live-streamed across all of Dior’s digital platforms, including TikTok. Isabelle Truman at Grazia Magazine summed up the incredible results. “The live-stream was broadcast on 12 platforms worldwide, with TikTok and Douyin garnering 27 million views. The video of the show has already been watched more than 115 million times — a huge jump from the brand’s previous live-streams — and the hashtag #DiorSS21 was used 360 million times on hugely popular Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo.”
The Takeaway for DTC Luxury Brands
Listen to what customers want—then engage them across digital media. Customers love getting a behind-the-scenes look into their favorite fashion houses and international designers, and the pandemic has only accelerated the popularity of digital voyeurism.
Immerse Customers in Your Brand Through AR and VR Tech
Luxury brands and legacy fashion houses have sometimes taken a conservative approach when it comes to eCommerce. These companies have invested significant capital and resources into creating their reputations and overall brand ethos, but showcasing the latest designs must now go beyond seasonal shows and showrooms. Digital-native customers still demand to be wowed on eCommerce channels.
To delight buyers, many brands are turning to augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). These technologies give shoppers the chance to experience and interact with new designs without showrooms or boutiques.
Bring the Latest Fashions from Showroom to Living Room with Augmented Reality
Burberry has pioneered the use of virtual reality in fashion, launching an AR experience in February of 2020. The AR tool embedded Burberry products into the shopper’s environment via Google Search. Burberry explains the inspiration for this tool, “The inspiration phase of the decision to purchase is becoming increasingly important for luxury consumers. Burberry is continuously experimenting with digital innovation such as AR to create a more exciting experience and enhance personalized luxury commerce, blending the technology with other activations around the world.”
Unite the Best of On and Offline Shopping with 360 Degree VR
Prada’s 360-degree VR videos showcase the textures, silhouettes, and environments that personify their brand of Italian luxury and design. Consumers can explore Prada’s latest clothes, accessories, displays and stores through immersive technology. The Pradasphere videos offer an exclusive peak into the design and craft that is poured into both couture and ready-to-wear fashions. The experience combines both the advantages of in-person shopping with the convenience and ease of eCommerce.
The Takeaway for Luxury Brands
Immersive experiences cannot stop at the showroom or seasonal shows. Consumers are already accustomed to AR and VR in video games and social media. Luxury brands can use this technology to create memorable customer experiences. Augment sales event strategies with virtual try-ons, mirrors, runway shows and more.
Engage Luxury Consumers with Exclusive eCommerce Sale Events
Today’s consumers expect more than ever from brands, especially those in the luxury market. To engage these buyers and earn their loyalty, leverage the following tactics:
- Curate brand experiences for international audiences
- Translate your brand’s competitive advantage to the digital space
- Use social listening to better understand your audience and their expectations
- Deliver immersive brand experiences to your target market through AR and VR technology
How well-acquainted are you with the next generation of luxury consumers? Get to know this cohort of digitally-native, savvy shoppers and discover what luxury means to them.