Much of our lives, time and attention in the modern world is focused online. On the rise is the online shopping experience, more than ever and now even for the staples of our daily living. The next up and coming online shopping experience being developed is luxury shopping, something that is not natural in the luxury shopping experience. The luxury industry resisted entering the online shopping world, but the events surrounding the 2020 pandemic made the shift inevitable and necessary.
Online shopping has come along way since it first began back in 1991. As time passed, many improvements in the interface, the experience and trust levels of customers has occurred to the act and experience of shopping in an online environment.
Online shopping or e-commerce is defined as a mode of shopping which allows the customer to directly buy goods from a seller over the Internet. It is not a natural environment for luxury. Over the years, the online shopping experience has changed including enhanced processes, made simpler, our payment methods have increased, the the different platforms upon which buying can occur have expanded to include Instagram and Facebook, and of course, the mobile shopping experience.
Luxury is the one sector still coming around to online shopping because they largely came late to the digital game. Primarily the reason was due to the nature of luxury and the human interaction, that seduction and dance, is part of the in-store luxury shopping experience. But, as time went on, and we experienced this push towards online because of necessity, luxury brands had to act fast and this accelerated their growth in this area precipitating years of change is mere months. As customers preferences and demands increase and even more technology facilitates enhanced and augmented experiences, the playing field for luxury is expanding.
Luxury shops on the higher end have been making great strides in using online shopping to connect with their clients and facilitate the shopping experience, as we learned while attending the FT Business of Luxury Summit 2020. Granted for much higher priced items the process is long, sometimes taking months before a purchase is made, being able to conduct private high resolution shopping virtual shopping experiences. In some cases, there is augmented reality (AR) that makes trying on pieces virtually possible. The online experience will never replace the in store experience, but it is certainly an excellent bridge between the two.
There are several benefits to online shopping but the biggest is the saving of our precious time. Meanwhile, while luxury finds its way, there is the opportunity to embrace the experience for ourselves and make it a more pleasurable experience, even a slightly luxurious one.
Tips for Mastering the Art of Online Shopping
- Enjoy the process. Make it something of a Luxury Moment! Shopping from home? Why not get enjoy the moment, position yourself in a comfortable setting with additional pleasures in a luxurious setting. Add some music you enjoy to set the mood, along with a beverage, perhaps a nibble of something and shop in comfort and style.
- Shopping on mobile? Make sure you are using a secure network connection when doing such financial transactions online. If out on the road, in a public place, this is not the ideal secure setting.
- Look for the Lock Never buy something online using your credit card from a place that does not have SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption installed—at the very least. Look for the locked padlock icon typically in the upper left hand of the URL. SSL sites will have an address that starts HTTPS not HTTP.
- Don’t shop in public Free WiFi from locations like Starbucks is an open network, not the safest connection. Use a VPN or better yet, shop from your own WiFi or other secure location.
- Know what you are looking for. Write an an ongoing categorized shopping list so that you are thinking ahead as to what you are looking for to remove pressure.
- Create bookmarks and or a categorised list on the cloud to your favorite shopping sites for easy access.
- Set up accounts with your favorite online shops, especially important for order tracking.
- For clothes shopping, know your own size (or that or your partner, and or children) Create a measurement chart for yourself and others that you shop for. How to create your own sizing chart.
- Understand shop sizing charts: Not all sizes from all brands in all countries are created equal. Different countries have different sizing and understanding how this translates to the sizes you seek is important to ensuring you are satisfied. i.e.: In China, a 4 or 5XL is a North America size 14.
- Subscribe to their newsletters to keep informed of their offers and sales from those shops that you prefer.