Are the basics of retail, the future of e-commerce?

When LVMH announced the launch of its new e-commerce platform, 24 Sèvres, my first reaction was a mix of excitement, admiration and relief.

Excitement because one of the leading groups innovating in luxury had finally made a move towards multibrand e-commerce, favoring user experience over brand control. Admiration goes without saying – I mean, have you seen the website?- as LVMH managed to launch a website that lives up to the graphic and animation standards of luxury stores. Finally relief, as we are now witnessing major groups trying new efforts to offer the best of both physical and digital at any step of the customer journey.

LVMH managed to take the best of physical luxury stores, in terms of design and service, as well as the best from other e-commerce platforms, and created its own vision of e-commerce. A vision that is both customer-centric and modern.

While showing a new way for luxury e-commerce, 24 Sèvres leverages and pushes further some basics of luxury retail. Let’s dive into three luxury retail rules that make 24 Sèvres such a good example, to me, of innovative luxury e-commerce.

 

1. Tailored recommendations

Shoppers can contact a personal shopper for a digital and truely personalized fashion consultation. Depending on their preferences, customers choose their favorite medium to get in touch with these special advisors: video chat (on the app), Messenger bot (called Style Bot), live chat, phone or email. One notable advantage from the Style Bot is that of being available 24/7, fitting in online customers’ shopping habits.

Personal shoppers are dedicated to this job, and have a styling expertise. In this way, LVMH is following up on Macy’s efforts to make sales assistants available online to e-commerce shoppers, thereby bridging the gap between being in-store & advised, and online & alone.

 

2. Luxurious merchandising

24 Sèvres’ UI sets up standards for future luxury and/or fashion e-commerce platforms, with high quality visuals, animations and frequent updates of content. Such content replicates efforts made on store windows to catch customers’ attention in the street. One theme is displayed in several visuals/animations, to show the highlight of the week on the platform. The quality of execution aligns with Le Bon Marché’s high-end image, and therefore embodies this emblematic Parisian department store, online. Even product visuals have been careful shot in an editorial style, to mimic luxury settings in fashion magazines and in store.

 

3. Curated offer

Finally, and this is a major differentiating point compared to other luxury e-commerce platforms such as Net-à-Porter or LuisaViaRoma, 24 Sèvres offers a highly curated selection. Product offering is rather limited compared to competitors, because 24 Sèvres embodies Parisian luxury and as such, it only offers luxury items that match a certain style. This indicates the website is destined to an exclusive and selective audience, looking for more than traditional luxury e-commerce.

 

With 24 Sèvres, LVMH took the best retail and e-commerce practices and mixed them to offer a truely luxurious online shopping experience to a very demanding audience. While basic retail principles set this website apart from competitors, it will be interesting to witness their influence on future platforms!

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