As the influence of print as an advertising medium diminishes, luxury retail brands have turned to digital to engage with consumers in new ways. However, this transition has been fraught with difficulties. Luxury brand owners have struggled to help people discover products online, connect with exclusive brand ambassadors, and express themselves in a world of unlimited possibility.
The luxury market also long stayed away from digital integration. Overwhelming popularity – especially that triggered by social networks and apps – does not typically align with exclusivity (a struggle exemplified by Michael Kors, one of the first advertisers on Instagram). However, digital integration is no longer an option. The latest projections suggest that by 2020, online is expected to drive 40 percent of sales growth for luxury brands.
And digital integration is long overdue. While luxury retailers fear that technology’s pace of evolution is discordant with their cultures, customers, and in-store experiences, the truth is quite the opposite.