The importance of ultra personalisation in the luxury industry
In this article Anant Sharma, CEO of Matter of Form, discusses the importance of ultra personalisation in the luxury industry and how luxury brands need to be brave and embrace change in their eCommerce to thrive and survive.
In a world where customer expectations are ever increasing, ultra personalisation both on and offline is expected as standard – especially when it comes to luxury brands.
Consumers – and not just Gen-X and Millenials, although they are certainly helping to drive it – want 360 degree, fun, unique brand experiences. Their focus is not just on buying something, but on being part of something, while still being treated as an individual.
Yet all too often, high net worth customers are lumped together as one entity with the same needs and desires. However, brands can no longer afford to be complacent about their customer base, or over sensitive about their CRM approach. Personalisation is not a nice to have, it is a necessity.
Brands need to find new and engaging ways to differentiate themselves, and their approach to eCommerce is a key way to achieve these. Ironically, while luxury brands typically pride themselves on being the leaders and tastemakers for their industries, when it comes to many luxury retail eCommerce experiences, consumers can feel as if they are sifting through a sea of sameness.
However, executed correctly, an eCommerce strategy can enable the curated lifestyle experiences consumers crave, while still conveying exclusivity. In other words – great brand experiences without gimmick.
For example, we recently delivered a complete relaunch of SWEAR, the cult designer footwear company founded by Farfetch CEO, José Neves, some twenty years ago. The brand has a unique set of eclectic collections, with grunge and punk undertones.
We helped unify the SWEAR London and SWEAR Alternative brands, launching a cutting edge eCommerce site that brings the world’s first truly customisable trainer to market.
This involved mapping out and simplifying a complex set of user journeys, helping users customise almost any aspect of their shoe with ease.
Numerous customisation options have been designed across ten key areas per shoe resulting in an immeasurable array of outcomes for the consumer, with the choice of trainer materials alone at www.swear-london.com ranging from simple suede and leather to more unusual and bespoke materials.
To support the launch, the brand is running a prolific influencer marketing strategy, focused on channels such as Snapchat and Instagram, involving the likes of will.i.am. Products will be customised on a monthly basis, in the form of a ‘takeover’, to inspire users and showcase the individuality in every outcome. This will be key in engaging with SWEAR’s demographic.
The solution is bold and highly interactive; it's a design created for the digital native and isn't afraid to throw traditional eCommerce convention on its head.
Offering personalisation is also a key way for brands that want to enter the luxury marketplace. For example we have helped Tangle Teezer, the much loved hair detangling business, give its brand a more premium feel.
This was accomplished in large part through the design and launch of a unique, innovative customisation engine. It allows users to alter colours, add photos and make their hairbrush unique. It has proved incredibly popular and helped drive 66% revenue growth online.
Luxury brands in particular are renowned for their exceptional craftsmanship and this is something that should carry over into their digital presence. The focus should not be on the channel, but rather the experience as a whole.
While we appreciate that Luxury brands face a difficult balancing act between retaining brand truths and exclusivity and embracing technology, to thrive they need to be brave and embrace change.