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!

How Snapchat can boost e-commerce sales

Michael Kors has come up with a fun, smart use of Snapchat that may just solve one of the key issues brands are facing with online shopping.

While purchasing a bag online doesn’t necessarily require a fitting room session before hand, shopping for clothes or accessories you actually wear on our body usually does (let’s say sunglasses). To advertise for its Kendall II shades, the brand Michael Kors set up a Snapchat lens on June 27th, which just happens to be the U.S. National Sunglasses Day (apparently, there is such a thing).

Just like any other Snapchat lens, this one allows users to take a selfie and the lens filter sets the sunglasses on their nose! So Snapchat users in the U.S. were able to have fun virtually trying on luxury sunglasses on for 24h and sending the results to their friends. This campaign leveraged the whole hype around the National Sunglasses Day and mixed it with the overall enthusiasm for selfies among millennials, which in result created branded moments in young people’s exchanges with their friends.

The Kendall II sunglasses being relatively affordable for a luxury brand (they’re priced 149$), targeting millennials through one of their favorite apps was a great way to secure some top-of-mind brand and product awareness for the model as the summer holidays are approaching.

I believe fashion brands should create similar campaigns to generate engagement around their products in a fun way, that focuses on the users and their friends, rather than focusing on celebrities and products. While it may be hard to develop a lens filter, it is worth it in terms of awareness and feelings towards the brand.

De-dramatizing trends: Fendi’s example

Miniature bags are in, ladies and gentlemen! If you’re as puzzled as I am by those (I love the look but am always carrying out tons of things), you should take a look at Fendi‘s latest digital campaign:

The brand staged its Peekaboo and Baguette lines in a 1:19 minute video, available on their website as well as on social media. What is surprising coming from a luxury brand is that the video gives 7 absurd theories on the origins of micro bags. This stance shows a great sense of humour and self-mockery from a label that is usually associated with a premium brand image and a mature customer base, as well as a very Italian view of glamour and elegance.

Still, Fendi did things right and managed to make the video enjoyable, and quite entertaining, without getting viewers confused. What I mean is that the campaign integrates perfectly with the designs – some bag models are inspired by fiction as they seem to have eyes, which places the design on a humorous level. The video leverages this feature of the bags to make them look like monsters in the 4th theory (the scary theory). The entire video actually makes great use of the different models featured, whether it’s about their size (watch the 6th theory – the matryoshka theory), color (the 2nd theory – the magic theory – replaces the usual black hat with a black purse), shape (micro bags pop out of a largely open purse in the 5th theory – the pop corn theory)…

Launching a fun campaign showing the brand doesn’t take itself too seriously, and doing so on digital supports, enables the brand to reach a younger customer base on their favorite channels. In the meantime, it also generates more traffic to the brand’s new e-commerce site, which is designed with customer experience in mind and that I recommend you check out (it looks beautiful and it’s super easy to navigate, without looking all black and white like a lot of luxury e-shops)!

What was your favorite theory? Mine was probably the pop corn one, as I wouldn’t have associated micro luxury bags with the a snack that symbolizes a trip to the movies.