Luxury handbags on display

Luxury Brands Sell Lifestyles, Not Products

There is something about the luxury retail industry that most people don’t fully understand—luxury brands don’t just sell high-end products, they sell a high-end lifestyle that’s built on the back of exclusivity. For that reason, it’s critical for luxury brands to provide their patrons with an exceptional post-purchase process. An elite post-purchase process not only helps brands differentiate themselves from competitors, but it also ensures customers get an elite experience that strengthens loyalty and boosts repurchase rates. In this blog, you’ll learn how specific post-purchase solutions strengthen retention and revenue in the world of luxury retail. 

From prestige to heritage

At the core of every luxury brand is the perception of prestige, exclusivity, and sophistication, blended with the more tangible qualities of craftsmanship and (in most cases) heritage. For this reason, consumers of brands such as Fendi or Prada expect their luxury experience to extend well-beyond the physical goods bought. These shoppers expect an experience that goes beyond the point of purchase.

This is where post-purchase becomes a focal point for increasing repurchase rates within luxury retail. 

Post-purchase is an opportunity to reinforce the idea that a brand is both exclusive and personalized. It allows brands to provide high-touch engagement throughout the entire customer journey, which is critical to securing loyalty. 

Great prices beget great expectations

When products command a high price point, it’s only fair to assume the shoppers who purchase those products will maintain above-average expectations about what their customer experience should be like. It also increases the likelihood that those consumers will engage (and engage aggressively) with any content related to their purchase, from tracking emails to SMS order updates to general product use information. For these reasons, the post-purchase experience is more important for luxury brands than it is any other type of retailer. 

Luxury brands effectively possess their own built-in audience, an audience that few non-luxury brands have. These high-value customers are very invested in the brands they choose to patronize, and they want to be absolutely certain they’re getting exceptional value for their money in both the quality of the product being purchased and the experience being provided by the brand. From pre-purchase to post-purchase every touchpoint needs to exude both a depth of caring and attention to detail that’s impossible to provide without the right technology. 

At Narvar, we see that luxury brands enjoy far higher post-purchase engagement rates than do non-luxury brands. For example, in 2019 the average per number of visits to an order tracking  page across all retailers was approximately three per order—for luxury retailers such as Tiffany or David Yurman, the average was approximately seven per order.

You can attribute this disparity in engagement within the post-purchase journey to the increased urgency (and, in some cases, anxiety) that comes from purchasing products at a premium. This is true across all different categories within luxury, from jewelry and high-fashion, to furniture and electronics.  

Personalization and ease

To achieve the depth of caring and attention to detail that luxury shoppers expect, it’s not enough for brands to provide high-end generalized experiences—each touchpoint requires its own degree of personalization that speaks to the individual shopper. 

They want branded tracking emails crafted specifically for their tastes and purchase history. 

The ability to handpick which order updates they receive and across which channels.

The freedom to conduct a return or exchange effortlessly without the need to contact a customer service representative. 

That last point is important because it speaks to ease-of-use. Providing luxury shoppers with a streamlined experience be it post-purchase or pre-purchase is non-negotiable. If you fail in this regard, your customers won’t just be slow to repurchase—they’ll take their business to your competitors. 

The right post-purchase solution is essential in the delivery of a customer experience that meets shopper expectations for both personalization and ease. 

Signature required

It is impossible to talk about improving ease of experience for luxury shoppers without touching on the concept of “signature required.”

One of the biggest challenges luxury retailers deal with in their call centers is the “did not receive” (DNR) inquiry. These inquiries occur when carriers claim a successful delivery, but the customer says the package is not in their possession. 

These situations can occur for any number of reasons:

  • Carrier delivers a parcel earlier than expected.
  • A package is stolen off a front porch.
  • Consumers are lying in an attempt to game the system. 

To combat DNR claims, luxury retailers placed a greater focus on requiring signature for delivery to guarantee receipt. For example, Saks now requires a signature for any order that’s over $1,000.

Unfortunately, this crusade against DNRs is leading to consumer friction in the form of an uptick in missed delivery attempts and complaints from shoppers who aren’t aware their package requires a signature. 

The onus going forward will be on retailers to do a better job expectation setting within their post-purchase experience to ensure fewer missed attempts, more successful deliveries, and a reduction in customer complaints. 

In Sum…

The luxury retail industry thrives on providing an exclusive and personalized experience that extends well beyond the point of purchase. To maintain customer loyalty and increase repurchase rates, it's essential for luxury brands to focus on post-purchase solutions that offer personalization, ease, and attention to detail. 

By implementing the right technology and addressing challenges such as "signature required" deliveries, luxury retailers can ensure a seamless customer journey that meets the high expectations of their discerning clientele. Ultimately, investing in a tailored post-purchase process is key to strengthening retention and driving revenue for your luxury brand. 

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