Started this Blog as a sort of step and thoughts for the forthcoming Luxury Interactive (e-Commerce) event in London on 16th – 18th March details here… I have been asked to attend – and got me thinking about the Luxury market and how it is handling the current recession. Not hearing anything from Dior, Gucci or Dolce & Gabbana that they are down to their last dollars – due in part to the pure strength of their brand and the vast array of A-List celebrities, famous advocates and cat walk & red carpet inspirational pieces of couture revered around the globe.
It is beyond this where the next set of fashion followers will look to Gucci or Dior style icons pick up from the heady level of someone like Claudia Schiffer in her next D&G outing – this is where a D&G £2000 coat will be paired with a tasty Primark pair of disposable heels or something equally throw away as we continue the democratisation of fashion – and this is where the key lies for these luxury brands in times of trouble and worry…
Firstly the website should be as equally awe inspiring and jaw dropping dripping in the brand that has led the average consumer to the haloed entrance of Gucci or Dior. This is window dressing in its extreme – lavish the user with inspirational and aspiration touches of sheer luxury and genius. There are two trains of though here – you either are a fully functional e-commerce site that has all the brilliant basics that allow consumers to shop with ease and without any hindrance; or you are a pure marketing / brand site that has such rich immersive detail – well it is about the brand experience after all.
Wishlists | Saved items list | Saved Basket – all sounds very web 1.0! Nothing new or innovative in that. However in the current climate of consumers watching their pounds and dollars there may well be a need to suck it and see. Same analogy that I am hearing from CTOs, CIOs & SVPs of IT – that have had their 2009 budgets all signed off and and are set to continue or start their development work this year. However even though the money is in the “bank” so to speak – they are sitting tight and looking at the market conditions and where its heading – any capital spend or investment is being held back until the market starts to show some sign of bottoming out or flattening . In the interim steps they are asking for assistance, guidance and consulting on future strategic direction and where best to deliver maximum impact for their business – whether this is in business intelligence / reporting / CRM etc.. either way they are planning for a post-recession boot and to be in the best possible position..
Same here with wishlists | saved items – ensure that these are done to give the user a sense of “I’ll keep that for later” or using the CTOs analogy “I’ll save that until I know that everything's going to be a bit better” Now most will do this on some shape or form – but what do they do with that? Is it just a “SAVED ITEMS” list – think of what you are selling and use it appropriately. Such as incentives to deliver a more personal experience “My Secret Stash” or “The Naughty List” something that inspires the user to feel that although it may well be a £800 pair of shoes – and cant really justify it right now – there is nothing to say that that little self indulgent treat you can never have – but have it set as a cheer me up or motivation tool?? Let them make it more relevant to them – and then the key point – help them by encouraging them to go from prospect to purchaser – HOW??
By ensuring that you encourage (see I used the word “encourage” rather than “must”) your user to sign up to receive information or related to their “Secret Stash” could be as simple as an email or message to their Facebook – simple Tweet to their twitter account – a TXT to their mobile to let them know that the “to die for” Gucci shoes are now £100 off – and buy within the next 24hrs use this coupon and get a further 10% off – go on you’ve earned it!! In its simplest form this is just bloody good CRM basics – but the old fashioned Wishlist has always been confined as an afterthought and something that has not converted to a sale for some reason – well now is you chance to convert and encourage. Reward and entice thy have put the item in their for a reason and finding out how you can convert them to buy it by various means is a way to release the potential of that “list”
I used luxury items as an example – and of course to tie in with the Luxury Interactive event - however this will work in other e-tailers.
Think of some of the bigger indulgent items such as TVs, dishwashers, etc… unless the old one has completely bust – there may well be elements of doubt to actually replacing the dishwasher just now - “wash up by hand just now” – but where is the element as above for fashion where we class them as “Naughty but Nice” lists same here – but actually with some more intelligence you can get a similar effect – help the consumer with a list of “Top Home List” – Again make this more interesting than just a bland list, allow them to rank them in order of what they want, need or aspiration – and why not then give them some comparisons of more expensive models (to show that the model that they have chosen does everything that this one does but for £250 less!!), financial incentives? perhaps throw in a free 3 yr warranty. Also look beyond what you as an e-tailer sell and deliver some insightful information: perhaps using a dishwasher once a day saves on energy and water bills? or More family free time by loading up the dishwasher and off out to the park!
Slightly cheesy I know but these are some of the points rather than leaving the item to sit somewhere and fester – in these times you need to ensure that every part of your site is working 110% to maximise those conversion figures – and that includes those ‘under the sofa dust ball’ moments that are sometimes referred to as the Wishlist….