Luxury and loyalty: what strategy for VIP clients?
Preserving their image and offering an exceptional service is what is expected of a luxury house... But faced with the rise in power of e-commerce, how can they differentiate themselves and continue to attract the most affluent customers? Far from the idea of marketing and mass distribution, luxury brands want to focus on the notion of exclusivity by segmenting to better serve. Private shops, unique experiences and exclusive personalisation, what strategy is luxury putting in place to seduce and keep its most important customers? Analysis.
Exclusivity towards e-commerce
Long queues in front of luxury boutiques, particularly in Paris but also throughout the world, waiting lists to buy a handbag or a trendy piece, appointments made for a simple visit... Is luxury a victim of its own success? Supply and demand, rarity... Certainly, but luxury must nevertheless be irreproachable in terms of service. Indeed, brands are nowadays concerned with the idea of protecting their customers, especially their loyal ones. A certain segmentation that must allow them to meet the needs of their VIC (Very Important Client).
An example with Chanel, which has announced the opening in 2023 of boutiques dedicated to its premium customers. These exclusive and ultra-protected settings will allow them to stop waiting in the shop and to access customised services provided by the brand. Intended for an elite clientele, these private spaces represent Chanel's desire to focus on a strategy that promotes customer experience towards the power of e-commerce. Indeed, the French house is one of the few in the luxury industry that does not sell its collections online, preferring the "brick and mortar" strategy. However, it is not a question of abandoning a certain category of customers in favour of another, but rather of being able to satisfy all targets in the most impactful and appropriate way possible.
Customisation made possible by data management
Special VIC shops but not only. Indeed, the luxury industry is always looking for innovative solutions to build loyalty, reinforce the human aspect and the proximity with its customers. We know the classic or summer pop-up stores intended to surprise and build loyalty, but to make a difference, other impactful initiatives are also set up within the boutiques. While some events were once reserved for the press and media, it is now common to invite customers to fashion shows, to exclusive gastronomic dinners, or to visit the workshops. The great houses of the Place Vendôme also often offer their best clients a high-end concierge service. In short, nothing is left to chance here and everything revolves around prestige service and hyper-personalisation. Since today's customers can find the same offers in boutiques in Dubai, Paris or New York, it is essential to differentiate themselves and to propose an increasingly personalised, targeted and differentiating customer relationship as well as a relational loyalty that is highly sought after by the major houses, especially in a highly competitive context. This means adapting to and anticipating the desires of customers, and a management policy that allows luxury to preserve its image of exclusivity. As Thibaut de La Rivière, Director of Sup de Luxe, concludes: "The decision-making process of a premium customer is not the same as that of an occasional customer. Today, luxury must therefore offer ultra-targeted and memorable shopping experiences, but also reserved areas in order to preserve the notions of "exceptional" and "exclusive" and to continue to attract a particularly demanding clientele".