Luxury should mean luxury. However, many luxury boutiques are failing to focus on improving the customer experience, as they may now be more focused on improving their bottom-line over developing their brand and retaining the customer.
In the words of the luxury designer Peter Marino, “Nobody thinks a department store is a luxury shopping experience anymore. Nobody.”
We are therefore looking at five key areas a brand must focus on to improve customer satisfaction in store.
The Aspirational Experience
Did you know that for every four customers that steps inside a luxury store, only one person will make a purchase? With so many people passing through the doors daily, with only 25% making a purchase, it is essential that a luxury store provides an aspirational experience, so they will go away with a positive perception of the brand, which could lead to future custom.
The Browsing Experience
Browsing is a big part of the buying process, even if it does not lead to immediate sales. Luxury stores must therefore encourage customers to simply browse their products and stunning interior, and they can do so by creating convenience that aids the shopping experience.
For example, they can take inspiration from Barneys, which features a coffee shop to provide customers with a great place to visit. Stores can also feature lounges, fine art and libraries, which complement the style and sophistication of the collections and branding.
The Personal Experience
Customers want to feel as though they are more than just a number, especially when shopping in a luxury store. If a customer intends to spend a significant amount of money in a store, it is essential to treat them like a VIP, providing one-to-one assistance and taking the time to say hello and goodbye.
It is also just as important to listen to the customer. As customers are more active than ever before on the internet, it is essential to listen to their feedback to develop the shopping experience to attract more footfall into a store.
The VIP Experience
While it is important to treat every customer like a VIP, you must also try to reward or attract your most loyal shoppers, which you can do so through micro-events. This is about more than garnering publicity for your brand, it is about providing the aspirational experience and caring for the customer with formal dinners or cocktail parties.
The Dressing Room Experience
The average dressing room experience in Louis Vuitton’s New York store is approximately two hours, proving that the discerning customer wants to take their time when making a clothing decision, as they may have a number of outfits to choose from. Luxury stores must therefore create a comfortable dressing room experience, which will encourage people to not only shop in the store, but to return in the future. This means installing chairs, tables and sofas within the dressing room, as well as providing comfortable seating for their friends or family members waiting outside the dressing room.