Luxury Interactive 2018

October 15 - 16, 2018

Convene Conference Center, 32 Old Slip, New York, NY


Research Brief: Personalizing Luxury Retail in Consumer-Driven Environments

brought to you by WBR Insights

Note to reader: all charts represent segments of response data, the rest of which can be found in the upcoming report.

While retailers in other verticals respond and adapt to consumer behavior on an even plain, luxury brands have maintained a status of exclusivity for years to drive high-end sales. But as Millennials and other consumers become accustomed to the accessibility and socialization of consumer goods, luxury retailers need a digital strategy to remain a part of the conversation.

In our 2018 Luxury Interactive survey, the WBR Insights research team found that 73% of luxury brands believe their vertical continues to lag behind others in creating personalized omnichannel experiences for customers. Now, luxury brands are recognizing the potential for omnichannel markets and beginning to make use of personalization for new markets.

"Customer relationships are developed over a period of time with increase in trust depending on your service and product quality," says one Director of Marketing at global jewelry and luxury goods dealer. "Unwavering standards are expected from luxury brands and even with technological aspects to be considered, we wish to create a suitable balance for our customers."

Already, 38% of luxury brands believe they are ahead of the curve in terms of their maturity personalizing customer experiences, claiming personalization is a differentiating factor for their brands. Many are redefining their customer strategy, searching for opportunities to innovate and come up with ideas that customers are drawn to from the start. Luxury brands in the study claim they will provide customers with more insight into their products and styles through greater interactivity, such as user-generated content and creative writing opportunities.

"Long term relations that are created have a personalized quotient which, I believe, should be maintained using digitization rewardingly," according to one respondent. Ideally, customers would look forward to product launches and promotional events, regularly spreading their excitement across social and other digital channels.

Additional plans involve leveraging customer data to grow globally even while connecting with customers on an intimate level. This holds true when selling in both digital and in-store environments, where customer data allows brands to both localize and personalize engagement.

"It's all about defining our products to the right audience in ways that will entice and embrace their style," says one respondent. "We try to learn as much as we can by the means of data analysis, look out for alienated customers, and try to win them back."

Among only luxury brands with 50% or more of their consumer sales taking place in physical stores, 67% claim they are leveraging shoppers' personal data using in-store technologies to keep up with digital sales. This is the second-greatest majority among six options (three options not shown in chart).

In the coming year, data analysis will be a foundation when determining further courses of action. Once a strategy or product is launched, luxury brands can reference performance metrics to evaluate popularity and customer feedback--assets for creating more substantial customer relationships. Brands are already adapting to managing great sums of data to identify buyer preferences and trends.

For brands operating on a global level to modernize the outlook of luxury sales, securing top positions in omnichannel markets places greater responsibility on IT, analytics, and marketing teams. But luxury retail leaders are up for the challenge. In each case, over 80% of luxury brands believe their teams are the right size and have the right skill level to carry out their personalization objectives.

Using data, they are already offering products and discounts to customers "for an added personalized edge," says one retailer. Digitization is the key to maintaining future customer relationships as brands take steps to channel their resources.

In our upcoming report, Managing Luxury Brands in Consumer-Driven Digital Environments, see how luxury brands will grow their investments in personalization and deliver better performance for consumers moving forward.

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