Luxury Marketing: 7 Tactics To Make Buying Luxury Online a Valuable Personal Experience

Aashna Vasa

Jun 29, 2021

Luxury Marketing: 7 Tactics To Make Buying Luxury Online a Valuable Personal Experience Featured Image
Aashna Vasa

Jun 29, 2021

The painful truth about online luxury shopping

Wouldn’t it be great to sell products that portray a dream, honor hard work and great achievements, or represent everlasting love?

It’s certainly not like selling your everyday products that everyone uses. For your customers, purchasing a high-value product – whether emotional or material – is a sacred moment in time.

The stories you get to be a part of, just because your customers choose your store when they are looking for a special gift for a loved one, is the essence of selling luxury products. 

But that’s in-store; face-to-face selling.

You get to look your customer in the eye, get to know them personally. You have the privilege of giving them a truly unique experience, along with the exact product they were looking for.

But selling such meaningful products online? A completely different experience.

When physical stores have to close, online retail becomes the only option for survival. Maybe a blessing, maybe a curse. As we all know, the Internet offers many benefits in terms of sales – you’re right where most of your potential customers are.

The problem is reaching that audience. 

Let’s look at jewelry through the customer’s eyes. These are just a few of the discouraging thoughts they might have: 

“That’s a pretty big price for something I’ve never seen in person.”

“Is that even real gold?”

“I can’t feel the material or try it on. How do I know if it will suit me?”

“What if this is a scam??”

“Nah, I’ll just wait for stores to open. I deserve to be wooed a little bit.”

People still have concerns about online shopping. Especially when a big price tag is involved.

Besides quality and uniqueness, retailers in the luxury industry are aware that the fundamental reason for a high price point is the buying experience. In an impersonal online environment, however, it can be difficult to emulate those precious experiences.

Trying to boost sales by stumbling in the dark is not very effective…

What gives you strong support in the dark, however, is data.

Data about your EXACT potential customers. Who are they? What are they looking for? What will grab and hold their attention? To purchase from you, what are they going to need? What can you do to make their online experience more personal?

But… data is complicated, right?

It would be long, difficult, and expensive to learn how to gather data, conduct analysis, and interpret all that information… Or you could outsource an analyst, which is again a long, less difficult, but perhaps even more expensive process. 

Fortunately, we have come up with a third option.

This will not only make your customers’ online experience better, it will even take it to the next level. We can help you ENHANCE your customer’s experience without losing the human touch, STRENGTHEN your relationships, and establish you as a trusted destination on the map of purchasing.

Recreate the in-store experience of luxury shopping online with these 7 reliable tactics from Insider:

Table of Contents
  1. Get personal with customers

  2. Be the first brand they think of

  3. Show them you’re worth it

  4. Stay on top of your customers’ journeys and help them along the way

  5. Advertise smarter by pinpointing key triggers

  6. Bring real-life visual perspective online

  7. Show them that ethical issues matter to you

1. Get personal with customers

You probably already have a rough idea of your customers’ characteristics. In real life, you learn about someone from seeing them, exchanging a few words back and forth, and labeling them, providing a rich and meaningful experience. 

In contrast, being online removes the personal touch.

Does it really, though? You’d be surprised how much more useful everything can be once it’s online and supported by customer data analysis.

We all leave a digital footprint, so why not take advantage of it? Customer data will provide you with insight into what customers are browsing, buying, adding to carts, and what kind of offers they are engaging with. Information is at our fingertips, and no one needs to pry or look nosy. 

Through Insider’s platform, you can create a unified customer profile, making use of data gathered from websites, emails, CRMs, etc., to provide completely customized content.

For example, someone searching for a gold bracelet for Mother’s Day won’t be interested in a homepage featuring men’s watches. Don’t obstruct a customer’s discovery path with irrelevant products that are unlikely to convert. 

AI-powered predictive segmentation, based on past customer actions, will automatically show relevant products to appropriate groups. Undoubtedly, defining a target audience can result in delivering unique experiences and, consequently, higher ROI. 

Adapted to meet your customers’ needs, the content makes them feel as if they are receiving personal attention. The same as in the store. 

Diversifying the user base and maximizing their value

The Insider algorithm allows brands to predict who is likely to buy their products in the near future with great accuracy. By creating a website tailored to likely to purchase (LTP) customers, you will be able to increase revenue and average order value (AOV). 

Recommendations on a cart page increase the chance that the cart’s value will increase. Additionally, luxury brands need to optimize the purchasing paths of their low-volume visitors. 

Instead of showing distracting product recommendations and banners, they should have a clear path to purchase. You can increase conversion rates by providing reassuring messages such as guarantees and social proof.

Give your loyal customers special treatment

The Insider’s algorithm can identify and help you pick up the most valuable customer base, also known as VIP. All that is left for you to do once you reach the audience is to personalize their experience with cross-channel personalization. 

When they land on your website, you can help them discover your products by showing them your most unique products with tap-to-expand stories. 

Did they leave after viewing a few products? 

Don’t worry, keep sending them your most alluring messages on different channels. Make the browser abandonment push notification attractive with pictures, and send them a super-personalized email in response. These customized messages can’t be ignored. 

You can also contact them via WhatsApp after their purchase with an update regarding the product delivery. There’s more to do. With their preferences now known, you can better serve them. Send them a weekly email that describes the latest trends.

 The best part is still to come! A robust platform can automate that loop. Without any hassle, your brand will be there forever.

2. Be the first brand they think of

Now that you know your potential customers, they should get to know you.

To meet them, you have to be wherever they are. It would take a magician to be everywhere at the same time. A smart marketer will take advantage of every inch of width the internet offers. 

Omnipresence is not a new concept. By now, it has been tried and tested. Many brands bombard their customers everyday with content that they don’t care about, through many marketing channels. 

Meaningless ads can harm more than help. It is essential that you appear at the right time, at the right place, with the right message, in order to stand out in the vast sea of marketing messages. 

It’s not as complicated as it sounds.

AI-supported tools on Insider’s platform predict when it is the right time to send tailored messages to individuals based on their audience segments. Customers may respond better to triggers like countdown banners, while others may respond better to the discount wheel of fortune; we’ve got templates for them all. 

Staying connected is another way to stand out even after a customer has left your site. Inbox and social media are your first destinations, right? That certainly falls under the omnipresence approach, and you should be there as well. 

To stand out, you should make sure the conversation flows through channels that aren’t as crowded – emerging marketing channels like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. 

There are 1.6 billion monthly active users on WhatsApp and 1.3 billion users on Facebook Messenger1, and we bet some of them are your potential customers. Automated messages like purchase confirmations and reminders can be used to simulate one-on-one communication. Where you’re not expected to, you will positively surprise.

Delivering personalized experiences and creative messages through various channels, especially the underused ones, will ensure you become the first brand that comes to mind. It’s because you know them, and they know you.

  1. Show them you’re worth it

Remember the online shoppers’ concerns we discussed at the beginning?

This is a glaring gap between “just looking” and entering credit card information. Trust is what turns browsers into customers. But you’ll have to work for it..2

In a Google survey, more than half of shoppers (59%) said they research online before making a purchase.2  

Reflecting on it, this fact reveals two traps for you: 

(1) Potential customers leave your site and compare your brand to others

(2) You didn’t succeed in earning their trust. 

Consider the depth of research when there’s a high price tag involved. A majority of your customers will not simply throw money at something they can’t be sure will be worth it.

Demonstrate your value with as much proof as you can. Below, you’ll find three ways that can help build trust in your products.

3. Ensure authenticity with reputable certificates

Luxury goods have a steep price, and you know what it entails- top quality, originality, and high prices. To prove the quality and originality of your products, you need to provide certifications. 

Certifications prove your products’ authenticity.

Letters of Authenticity (or Certificates of Authenticity) are the most common official documentation in luxury retail. It is highly recommended to validate the authenticity with material-specific certificates from third-party testing as well.

After you’ve obtained appropriate certificates, you can display them on your website. Don’t bury them in menu subcategories that are hard to recognize.

Certification logos are usually placed in the footer, where they won’t distract from the flow of the page, but are still easily visible.

Flaunt customer testimonials

If they don’t take your word, maybe they’ll take it from other customers.

Their words will carry more weight than anything you can say. It is human nature to accept opinions that are backed by others.

Using social proof elements – customer reviews, social links, case studies – will encourage your audience to pick you. Happy customers will impact the attitude your customers have towards your brand.

At Insider, we have pre-built templates for social proof to give visitors extra reassurance. Change the formatting according to your brand’s identity, and customize your message to match each customer’s needs.

Individualized banners are less likely to be dismissed! To be 100% sure, you can conduct A/B testing on our platform that will reveal which elements improve conversion rates on each channel.

  1. Guarantee satisfaction with transparent return policies

When you think about it, you are expecting your customer to buy something intangible. Due to the fact that they don’t get to see it in person, they haven’t tried it on or touched it, they can’t be 100% certain about what they’re buying.

As long as the price tag is low, that’s okay, but if the price is high, that’s not going to fly. Customers might be unhappy with their orders for a variety of reasons – acknowledge and understand their concerns. Nobody wants to be stuck with an expensive luxury item they can’t wear. 

In order to alleviate fears, make sure that your return policy is easily understood by your customers, while showing a great deal of understanding on your part. You can provide an option for a trial period and guarantee satisfaction at the end by having a clearly defined return policy. It reflects your trust in the products, which gives customers a sense of security.

Return policies should be fair, but also strict for your protection. A customer should be informed about when returns will no longer be accepted, and what condition returns are expected to be in. The key is to promote your policy so that customers recognize the safety net you offer when purchasing your products.

4. Stay on top of your customers’ journeys and help them along the way

Customer sentiments are extremely fragile during the buying journey. The chances of guiding them to satisfaction are few. Only one bad experience is enough for a third of your customers (32%)3 to make them walk away, even if they love your brand. Especially in luxury retail, there’s a long way between awareness and purchase. Jewelry, for example, is rarely bought on impulse.

It takes a great deal of consideration – meaning there are many opportunities for either success or failure. Follow your customers’ journeys carefully and pamper them when they need it. 

To guide future customers in the right direction, here are a few ideas:

  • Make purchasing as easy as possible for them by adding CTA buttons.
  • Provide a familiar experience so they don’t get lost in a sea of products – offer personalized recommendations, location-based best sellers, and trending products…
  • Offer bite-sized social-media-like stories to quickly showcase your products.
  • Send them a message of welcome when they begin their journey – either using the web push function or sending a message through email.
  • Make sure they remember you – remind them about what they left in the cart.
  • Use your last chance – as they’re about to leave, offer coupons, ask what their experience was, and prevent the mistake…

The Insider platform contains every single one of these features, so you won’t have to worry about integrating them. Everything can be automated. 😉

*video of elements on customers journey: welcome message, InStory, CTA buttons, cart abandonment, exit intent*

5. Advertise smarter by pinpointing key triggers

If your visitors leave your site, it’s expected that they will stay online. Even when they move on, you still have options. The power of advertising channels like Google Ads and Facebook Ad Manager extends beyond your own website. 

The ability to catch the attention of your customers everywhere… outstanding! 

Yes, there are a few negatives, too. 

If you don’t set up a well-thought-out campaign, advertising can be like throwing money out the window. For that matter, it’s a scary amount of money, with almost no revenue to show for it. More than ever before, ads can be specifically targeted and relevant, resulting in a win-win situation for you and your customer.

People are tired of the intrusive, irrelevant advertising. Insider’s AI-driven behavioral targeting makes it hard to knock on the wrong door. You can identify visitors who have expressed interest in making a purchase, are close to making a purchase, or are wanting some discounts; and tailor your promotions to this audience.

Once you identify what triggers them, you will only need a little push, and you have them. As a result, your advertising budget will only be spent on your actual potential customers, which will reduce your customer acquisition costs (CAC). 

Plus, you won’t get a bad reputation for being annoying just because you’re advertising to the wrong people.

See what Insider can do to help you spend your advertising budget smarter.

6. Bring real-life visual perspective online

In all respects, digital and physical boundaries are becoming increasingly blurred…

Physical touch, however, is not yet possible via the internet. 

Think about shopping in a brick-and-mortar store for, say, clothes. You feel the fabric and touch the pieces that catch your eye. If you like it, you get to try it on. When you are sure that the fit is right, you proceed to the cashier.

Because you can’t do any of that online, you have to rely heavily on the visual or textual representations that are available. When showcasing your products, keep that scenario in mind. 

Luxurious products have even more persuasion power on touch because they are made from superior quality materials. To achieve the closest possible replacement of the physical touch online, master the following:

  • Product description: The description should be informative – include exact measurements, material specifications, size guides, etc. Pay attention to your tone of voice. Are you casual? Persuasive? Formal? When buying expensive items, a customer will want a little wooing. Consider a conversational tone, but keep it professional.
  • Imagery: Luxury items deserve to be shown in the best possible light. Present the products with high-quality images that do them justice. Take care to use the correct lighting, background, positioning, and color scheme. If you’re working with models, make sure they are diverse in terms of skin tone, gender, shape, and size. This way, nobody will feel left out, and they can also envision themselves wearing your pieces. 
  • Advanced visual representation: You can bring product interaction to the next level with advanced technology like augmented and virtual reality, 3D pictures, 360° views, extensive zoom options… It will broaden your customers’ points of view and enhance their confidence in what they’re buying. The use of augmented reality even enables them to visualize the scale of each product in relation to their bodies, which is pretty close to what it is like to try it on in a store.

7. Show them that ethical issues matter to you

Younger generations, such as Gen Z and Millennials, hold different expectations of companies than previous generations. By 2025, Millennials and Gen Z customers will represent 45% of the global personal luxury goods market, according to Statista (4). You must recognize that they are quickly pacing towards becoming the majority of your clientele and plan for their sociocultural spending context.

Young people today feel strongly about sustainability and social responsibility, as you may have noticed. 

As many as 42% of luxury-shopping Millennials prioritize the environment and 26% prioritize animal protection,5 while 62% of Gen Z shoppers prefer to purchase products from sustainable brands6.  

According to Deloitte’s extensive research into Gen Z’s shopping habits, they are prioritizing social activism more than any previous generation. This suggests that for companies to be successful with Gen Z, they have to demonstrate their commitment to ethical behavior and values.7

Good global citizenship is expected of companies.

What does this mean for you, as a luxury goods retailer?

Now is the perfect time to instill an ethical, sustainable culture in your practices. Be aware of the pain points of your business – the source of jewels, labor practices, and fair trade. 

Responsible sourcing should be followed when choosing gemstones, gold, and other materials. 

Blockchain technology, for example, can keep commodity chains transparent. Transparency is best achieved through the use of advanced technology!

As soon as you have assured ethical sourcing and practices, let your customers know about them. Your ethical approach will be greatly appreciated.

Conclusion: Why not make your life easier…

Keeping track of all your channels and communicating with them can be made a lot easier when you keep everything under the same roof. Contact us for a comprehensive demonstration of how we can simplify your life and make your customers’ experience more valuable. Yes, you can have both — with help from Insider’s platform for individualized, cross-channel customer experiences.😉

Since the beginning of her career, Aashna has maintained a niche focus on marketing of SaaS products. At Insider, she is responsible for managing the go-to-market strategies for Insider's product suite, and fostering relationships with analysts. A design thinker at heart, Aashna's current role empowers her to solve challenges for the larger marketing community that she's always been a part of.