Luxury: immediate boarding to the “phygital” store?

A post by Chloé RIGOMIER, MSc student in Digital Marketing, @KEDGE Business School. 

Who has never hesitated to enter in a luxury shop, frightened by so much prestige and coldness? I definitely have (in spite of the fact that I love luxury), and I’m sure you have too! Strangely, we speak about a place of contact with the customers, a showcase for the image of luxury brands. Dissuasive guards, immense and spotless shops, absence of prices, rarity of products… Everything is reunited to institute a distance with the customer. Yet, luxury brands use these spaces to demonstrate their power: the surface must be the most spacious, the neighbourhood very posh, the layout designed by prestigious architects… I believe that luxury attracts us, moves us and makes us dream… But luxury can also scare us off! Then, how can luxury brands develop their stores towards a pleasant and attractive customer experience? Is digital the key?

Première photo Chloé jpg

Source : http://bit.ly/25oHRxp

Are Luxury and digital incompatible? There’s a huge stereotype claiming that digital would put luxury in danger because it would oblige the brands to lose some of their prestige and secret aura. Well, let us take the example of the pioneer in the domain: Burberry and its digitalized luxurious flagship store (London). The ambition is clear: make visitors live the same experience online and offline. Sellers have iPad to consult the last purchases of the customers. They can create the trench of their dream on tablets. There are screens to broadcast fashion shows and concerts. Products have RFID chips to show similar articles thanks to screens also acting as mirrors. Customers can pay by mobile terminal. Nevertheless, Burberry is a brand with a traditional image, very anchored and backward-looking codes (tartan, trench). They included the current stakes by proving us that there aren’t borders anymore between the real and the digital world. If you wish to see images of this remarkable Burberry store, it’s this way:

In an oppressing context where e-commerce faces the exclusive distribution of luxury, it’s time to enter in the “phygital”. The digital needs to enter in physical stores to appeal to the future clientele: the Y generation. It will revolutionize the point of sale making people live a memorable experience. However, luxury needs to stay a singular world inventing its own digitalization: an astonishing and magic digital experience. The human needs to be put back at the centre to provide a real distinction between online and offline. Sellers need to find the pleasure of the customer relationship again, delighting the experience with a refined quality of service.

In the video below, Eric Briones (the famous @darkplanneur) proposes strategies for a singular digitalisation of the luxury:

Let us be carried away by the imagination of the luxurious shop of tomorrow: I dream of an immense cosy space (noble materials, furniture design, wine and smoothies bar, makeup and hairstyle spaces, personal shopper, sound and olfactory atmosphere…) but still very modern (sellers informed about our needs, connected shop windows for a shopping 24 hours a day, hangers with RFID chips for further information on screens, connected fitting  rooms to share on social media, customization of products on tablets, mobile payment…).

What about you? What could incite you to enter a luxury store? Tell me what you think about the “phygital” for these brands. Comment, share, like… And have an amazing day!

Deuxième photo Chloé jpg

Source : http://bit.ly/1L1uIhf

Chloé RIGOMIER

To get in touch with Chloé, find her here on Twitter & LinkedIn