The marketplace for high-end goods is developing in to a multi-channel environment.
Emma Estill, Digital Marketing Manager for London-based luxury watches retailer The Watch Gallery shares her insight in to the crossover between the online and offline worlds.
Offline & Online Must Integrate
It’s time for these two teams to get married. Like any marriage, a successful one needs work. Both parties need to be committed and share the same hopes and dreams as the other. If they’re not working as a partnership then the relationship will fail.
Likewise, we can’t expect our customers to believe in our brand if we don’t ensure their Omni channel experience, and particularly the promotional messaging and visual look of the site, is seamless.
This has never been more fundamental than within the luxury market. Visitors to our sites and stores expect a degree of polish and finesse. Here at The Watch Gallery, our customers will often use their phones in-store to show us the exact model they want to buy.
“ Visitors to our sites and stores expect a degree of polish and finesse ”
Not only do they use product pages from our website, they are now using images from Instagram and The Watch Gallery web magazine. With such high level of cross promotion, it is important that we are able to present a uniform product when in store.
When a customer enters a store with an online campaign in hand, they are much further down the purchase funnel than most. When a sales team member gets an excellent opportunity such as this, there is nothing worse than not knowing about an online promotion or limited edition product!
Nobody said that marriage would be easy, and improving internal communications between the needs of our customer facing stores and our non-customer facing online staff will be an ongoing task for the foreseeable future.
• Inform & educate your offline team about your online campaign targeting & objectives
• Utilise the experience of store staff by incorporating it into your online content and ensure your online team uses that experience when creating content.
• Share results and encourage the team to share customer feedback when presented with an online campaign in-store
• Luxury products often have a long path to purchase so invest heavily in the buying process and research phase
The Watch Gallery
Online Content is a Key Sales Driver
Within the high-end accessory market, we understand that the path to purchase is often a long one. For a retailer of luxury watches such as The Watch Gallery, the research phase will consist of a number of touch points. From a paid or organic Ad, through to an email or an image on social media, we place emphasis on developing content that not only informs but also inspires.
The time taken to convert a customer is high by online standards. An average luxury watches customer takes an average 90 days research time before they make a purchase, it is important we create quality engagement with our content.
For potential customers who are entering the marketing funnel, we believe content to be a valuable sales driver. The customer will be buying a high-value item, so a simple blog will not suffice; you should focus your attention on developing a content strategy that fulfils the requirements of your customer and gets them to make repeat visits to the site throughout the purchase decision process.
• Why are customers coming to our site?
• What information do they require to aid their purchase making decision?
• How can we use credible and informative content to become the authority in our industry?
• Why would a customer shop with us over a competitor?
• What makes our content unique within our industry?
“ The customer will be buying a high-value item, so a simple blog will not suffice ”
Invest in the Mobile Shopping Experience
If you’re anything like me, and the majority of the UK population, then you will live with your mobile phone securely glued to your hand! With technology advancing at lightning speed, understanding your customers’ mobile needs has never been more important.
A major benefit of online is that we have the ability to geo-locate our customers. This is now achievable on mobile as well as modern devices offer us the ability to have sophisticated GPS data available at our fingertips. With logged in searches meaning we can follow customers from the desktop to their mobile device, location based targeting has never been more efficient.
With Apple Pay due to take the world by storm in 2015, its breakthrough technology can only contribute to our knowledge of the way customers shop, and most importantly, what they expect from us.
This innovative cross-channel, multi-platform tracking will no doubt keep me awake at night for many months to come. However, with mobile data analytics improving at an unprecedented rate I am optimistic for what we can achieve.
• How do your products look on mobile?
• Does your website make conversions as simple as possible on mobile?
• Are your email campaigns compatible with mobile phones?
• Is your content legible on mobile? Most people, particularly in London and most other major cities will research whilst commuting!
• How does your mobile shopping experience compare to your competitors?
For more tips on digital marketing, follow @emmaestill