Everything is sold online these days, but not everything sells. Ask anyone that set up their site after painstakingly developing their brand and product only to be greeted by no sales. Even sites that get good traffic don’t necessarily see those visits translate into dollars, especially when dealing with luxury goods.
Ideally your luxury product will draw in the wealthy elite that have so much money that they don’t notice the extra line items on their credit card, but the reality is that most visitors looking to buy are still thinking about stretching their limited funds. That means it’s even more important to send the right message and provide the right experience to maximize your conversions.
In my experience at a luxury shoe company, I was selling shoes out of our NYC shoe store as well as running the website. Thus I saw the customer from two perspectives, online and in person, which gave me some great insight into the thought process and understanding what converts. Without further adieu…
Tell Your Unique Story
When you’re at a high price point, the customer has the option to buy anywhere else. Thus you want to communicate what is really unique about the brand that is creating this product. Communicating your story is more of an art than a science. Customers love a story that leads to a product such as an understanding of the designer or in-depth look at the manufacturing process.
This is a pitch, but it’s also about connecting with the customer. The more that they understand the people behind the product, the more likely they are to connect with it and want it for themselves. Why buy some beautiful shoes when you can buy some beautiful shoes that are hand-stitched in NYC by a company that’s been in the shoe business for several generations?
Every brand has a story, but communicating that story effectively and authentically can be difficult online. Be thoughtful about reinforcing important concepts on the website, as well as through social media and other marketing channels.
Do Not Apologize For High Prices
When you’re in the luxury space, you need to own it. Know that your products are of the highest quality and deserving of the high price tag. And more importantly, communicate this to your customers through your website.
A high-price apology comes in many forms. Do not offer a coupon immediately upon visiting your site. Don’t throw things like free shipping in their face as a selling point. It’s not to say you shouldn’t have these things, but use them at the end of the buying process to reduce cart abandonments.
Sell A Lifestyle, Not A Product
The type of image that converts really depends on your audience, but remember that you are selling a lifestyle and an experience, not just a product.
For our shoe company, we would handle imagery based primarily on gender. Through extensive testing we found that women would buy more frequently when first seeing lifestyle shots and men would buy more frequently when first seeing product shots. After learning this, we tailored images to tie in the right type of aspirational images that suited our customers.
The really unique thing about luxury eCommerce is that there is no standard path. Always test new ideas and push your brand to be something special to your customers, rather than just be a place that puts an extra zero on the price for some unknown reason. The first idea isn’t always the best idea, but if you keep testing ideas for your online experience, you will greatly improve conversions and ultimately understand your customers better. Try using a heat mapping service to learn more about where your customers are clicking and make adjustments based on that.