Distribution / Retail / Luxury
Technological shifts have reshaped relations between brands and their customers. The development of digital technology has led to a multiplication of touch points, resulting in a complexified customer journey, which has become omnichannel.
Today, in both the Luxury and Retail sector, consumers make the call. Rarity and quality of a given commodity are no longer the determining factors; instead, customers focus on the relations and emotions generated by their purchase. As a result of this major evolution, the two sectors are experiencing different fates: the luxury sector is emerging as a major economic driving force and shows signs of impeccable health, despite its democratization.
Most major retail chains, however, are looking for renewed impetus, some of them by developing internationally, others with e-commerce. In the world of retail, online shopping, click & collect, and so on have not yet replaced the bricks-and-mortar stores; however, the question rises of what physical stores should become in the future (showrooms, storage spaces…).
Actors of the Luxury and Retail industries take into account consumer expectations, enhance customer experience, and value a customer-centric approach. Far from avoiding physical stores, customers expect to find:
– a sensory experience: being able to see, touch, try and feel a product is part of the shopping experience;
– storytelling: it creates connection and, more importantly, a unique universe with a strong brand identity. Such visual, audio and/or sensory characteristics make up the DNA of a brand;
– adequate consideration, whether they have time to discover the brand (a customer who came to the store to try things on, test them, get information) or whether they just came to buy a product they already know. The first scenario is an opportunity to tell the story of the brand, to communicate its values. The second one suggests acting with speed and efficiency, with the help of digital technology.
A brand’s success will depend on its ability to inspire, fascinate, innovate and adapt to the consumer’s lifestyle.