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How can customer experience save the luxury e-commerce market?

In an era where luxury e-commerce faces numerous challenges, one question stands out: how can a focus on customer experience save the luxury e-commerce market?

This question gains urgency as prominent players like Farfetch and Matchesfashion struggle. The market is experiencing a slowdown, with Bain & Company forecasting a modest 1 to 4 percent rise in luxury sales in 2024 compared to 8 percent in 2023. Additionally, major luxury brands are taking their e-commerce in-house, impacting multi-brand retailers.

To navigate these challenges, luxury e-tailers need to redefine their value proposition and tailor their marketing strategies to attract the next generation of shoppers. That’s where MyTheresa, Ssense, and Moda Operandi come in. By examining their strategies, we can uncover how focusing on customer experience, coupled with strategic curation and personalisation, can ensure sustained success in luxury e-commerce.

The importance of experience in luxury e-commerce

Luxury brands have traditionally relied on in-store experiences to convey exclusivity and high quality. Translating this experience online is challenging but essential. Luxury consumers are not just buying a product; they are purchasing an experience, a story, and a sense of belonging. Here are three valuable lessons from Mytheresa, Ssense, and Moda Operandi:

  1. Curated collections and exclusive access

One key strategy is the meticulous curation of product assortments. Mytheresa partners with high-end designers like Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, and Brunello Cucinelli to create exclusive capsules. These partnerships provide unique pieces that reinforce the brand’s image of exclusivity and sophistication.

Similarly, Moda Operandi’s virtual trunk shows allow customers to pre-order upcoming collections, giving them early access to new trends. This strategy appeals to fashion-forward consumers who want to stay ahead of the curve.

Moda Operandi website - Trunkshow Etro

2. Personalised services and VIP treatment

Personalization is crucial for delivering superior customer experiences. Mytheresa excels by hosting special events for top clients, such as trips to the Italian Riviera with Dolce & Gabbana or private ballet viewings in New York. These high-touch experiences create strong emotional bonds, fostering loyalty and repeat business.

Ssense and Moda Operandi also emphasise personalised shopping experiences. Ssense targets Gen-Z shoppers with a curated selection of emerging designers, while Moda Operandi focuses on personal shopping and exceptional customer service, building deep relationships with their clientele.

ssense website - shopping suggestion
SSENSE website - Shopping suggestions

3. Leveraging content and community

Engaging content and community-building are vital for a compelling online luxury experience. Ssense uses strategic content to engage its audience, publishing editorials that resonate with customers’ lifestyles and interests. This content drives traffic and fosters a sense of community among like-minded shoppers.

Mytheresa’s collaboration with Vestiaire Collective to offer a resale service highlights another way to engage customers. By enabling customers to sell their pre-loved luxury items and receive instant store credit, Mytheresa taps into the trend of circular fashion, adding value and keeping customers engaged with the brand.

MYTHERESA x Vestiaire Collective
MYTHERESA x Vestiaire Collective
The power of experience

While experience and engagement are critical, operational excellence is equally important. Successful luxury e-tailers balance growth with operational efficiency, essential for long-term sustainability in a competitive market.

The luxury e-commerce market is at a crossroads. Many players struggle to adapt to changing conditions, but focusing on exceptional customer experiences can be a powerful differentiator. By curating exclusive collections, offering personalised services, and engaging customers with compelling content, brands like MyTheresa, Ssense, and Moda Operandi create a loyal customer base willing to pay a premium for superior shopping experiences.

As the market evolves, customer experience will become even more critical. Luxury e-tailers that maintain unique value propositions, manage operational efficiency, and continuously innovate in engaging customers will thrive. In luxury e-commerce, experience is not just an add-on; it is the core of the business strategy that can save the market from commoditization and discounting.

Need help managing a curated customer experience? Give us a call. 📞

Sources: WWD, BOF

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