Digital is profoundly transforming the luxury retail industry. Most luxury brands are now embracing online retailing, including for their most high-end and prestigious collections, to answer the demand from their young affluent consumers.
By 2025, nearly 20% of all luxury sales are indeed expected to take place online. The trend will only accelerate further in the coming years as new consumers in emerging markets come online.
It’s been challenging, however, for luxury brands to match their online sales experience with what customers can expect when entering a boutique. It is particularly complicated for brands to communicate a sense of uniqueness and rich history while complying with certain standards that customers have become accustomed to when shopping online.
New technologies deliver a flawless online retail experience
New technologies are emerging to help answer that problem. A new report from Luxe Digital found that artificial intelligence for luxury brands is increasingly enabling brands to deliver a premium online experience. Through personalisation and big data, brands can now experiment with new technologies to enhance their digital sales.
“Luxury brands are gradually acknowledging the new reality around them: their customers expect their flawless in-store experience to be replicated online. This radical generational shift is pushing high-end brands to experiment with connective technologies such as artificial intelligence.”
– Florine Eppe Beauloye, CEO of mOOnshot digital
Research company Gartner estimates that 85% of customer interactions will be managed by artificial intelligence by 2020. They believe that the value of artificial intelligence for businesses will reach $3.9 trillion by 2022.
AI-powered personalisation is expected to become a fundamental driving force behind luxury sales growth in the coming years. While winning applications are still to be uncovered, brands are already experimenting with AI technologies such as chatbots, machine learning, voice recognition and image recognition today.
Each of these application helps consumers interact with a brand on a deeper and more personal level. They can enhance the customer journey online by delivering small moments of delight and facilitate the purchase path.
The future of luxury retail online remains to be discovered
Luxury brands must invest in developing technologies that genuinely enhance their customers’ experience. Technologies such as AI can be intimidating for some. The resources and skillset required to take advantage of the technology properly are indeed significant.
Nevertheless, investing in understand how to delight tomorrow’s customers and shape their online retail experience is fundamental. While we are just scratching the surface of what the technology can deliver, AI brings us closer to relevance at scale. By leveraging artificial intelligence today, luxury retailers can improve their online customer experience while preserving their brand integrity.