Friday, 10 July 2009

The luxury lifestyle - is online the place to be?

Fashionista is, it goes without saying, a true devotee of online shopping - or should that be a dedicated follower of Net-A-Porter? But in the main luxury brands have been slow to embrace the wonders and the opportunities of the online space. Fashionista has often wondered why.

Luxury brands on-line was the subject of discussion earlier this week at the Internet Advertising Bureau. Fashionista learnt that 16% of the global population now has access to broadband and also represents 78% of global earnings. What is more 80% of high net worth individuals spend time on-line every day so surely the time must be right for luxury brands to embrace the opportunities offered by the internet?

Abby Carvosso, deputy MD of Grazia, Bauer is a passionate advocate of the benefits of being on-line having launched and nurtured Grazia Daily as a premium magazine online. Here are the 10 things she has learnt from this experience:
1. Be brave. To date luxury brands have been the slowest category to go on-line with only 1% of their media spend being spent online.

2. Understand your audience. Influence and involve them.

3. Premium audiences are online now. So be part of the conversation with them.

4. Deepen the consumer relationship with your brand. See what D&G have done with "Behind the Seams"

5. Give the consumer control. Don't be scared - allow consumers to become involved. Follow the example of Gucci and open a Facebook page for your brand - Gucci has over 400,000 followers on Facebook.

6. Test and learn. Don't be afraid to experiment. If it doesn't work, you can take it down!

7. Scale is not everything. Limited editions work well in the premium market - see 20ltd whose hand picked exclusive items appeal to the luxury consumer.

8. The experience and the service you provide must be the best. Here Net-A-Porter is the role model to emulate.

9. Don't miss the opportunity. If you are not there then someone else is and you will lose out.

10. Be the first to know. We are all intrinsically nosey - exploit this and use the online space to break news to your loyal customers first.
Fashionista is convinced. Are you?