2014 is a year for exciting and delighting customers on their terms – every time, everywhere.
The strategy to embrace is omni-channel – ensuring you have a way to deliver brand experience, engagement, sales and service in a unified way. Specifically, luxury clients have always been among the most demanding, and they expect to be catered to on their terms. That now means they want to be empowered and entertained across whatever device they are on, at whatever time/place, based on what they would like to experience or accomplish at any given time.
To pull this of requires a rethinking and prioritization of your efforts for web, mobile, social, in store, by phone, and wherever else you engage customers.
It requires a technology roadmap and vision for enabling the optimal experiences within each channel with the integration to enable customers to bounce between channels and still have one connected experience. Say she browses your website from an iPad on the couch, saves a favorite, then comes into your boutique. Your staff should be able to access her favorites and present the item quickly and seamlessly.
Say he purchases your espresso machine in-store and signs up for monthly coffee deliveries. He should be able to log in and instantly see his orders and manage them either from a phone or laptop – his choice – whenever and wherever he is.
Perhaps most exciting is the concept of experience-driven commerce. The technologies and disciplines are in place to enable consumers to engage with your branded content – such as gorgeous product/lifestyle videos – in ways never before available.
You want to show your luxury travel clients some amazing destinations, and how your luxury attire can be assembled into a wonderful ensemble for the trip. Now your clients can easily interact with your content right from within the video – they can click to buy, they can click to share socially, they can save for later – all without leaving the content. This integration of content platforms and commerce functionality creates boundless opportunities to leverage your high-end content that’s already produced into amazing experiences for your clients, and ultimately to let them buy in a new way that is more immersive and interactive.
Each of these examples required complicated, cost-prohibitive solutions to achieve just a couple years ago. But today these experiences are becoming the expectation of savvy, demanding consumers. The technology is catching up to the demand, and nowhere is this more important than in the experience-addicted realm of luxury.
Providing customers with these experiences is the most sticky activity your brand can undertake. Creating high value, rich experiences and services that are as convenient and personalized as they are efficient and effective will enhance and extend your brand image. It protects your brand from price pressure and imitators by keeping you out in front.
Take time to assess your current channel experiences and the current omni-channel behaviors of your best consumers. Then build a plan to implement unified experiences in the logical order that best adds value to your business – enhancing brand, driving revenue, supporting services. By putting your prioritized customer segments at the center of your planning, a clear roadmap of omni-channel experiences and expected returns will emerge that will carry your brand image and performance into the future.