What’s a Virtual In-Store Experience?
By Emily Leavitt
January 6, 2022
Luxury retailers understand that creating a strong customer-sales specialist relationship is the key to lasting success. Luxury retailers also understand that this important relationship weakens when a customer experiences a luxury website lacking in human and personalized elements. For instance, how is someone going to know that a shirt runs small in the waist; a shoe tends to be narrow around the heel; the pendant works better on a thin chain; or the lotion may feel thin but a little goes a long way? This is specific information that is important to customers. The sales specialist is there to help guide customers to the best solution for them. Virtual luxury still requires a luxury experience!
Online sales are here to stay! According to Luxury Daily, “Luxury ecommerce is the fastest-growing luxury sales channel, representing 12 percent of all luxury sales, with a 22 percent growth in 2019 compared to the previous year. In addition, Generations X, Y and Z accounted for 74 percent of sales in 2019 and about 84 percent of sales in 2020, with Gen Z being the only generation that cites online sources as their top place to research and purchase luxury fashion.”
Virtual In-Store Experiences
What exactly is a virtual in-store experience? Its meaning is very simple: use of technology to create a virtual experience for customers. And, it doesn’t matter which technology – Zoom, Google Meetup, Facebook, etc. What matters most is getting in front of the customer, showing them products, creating/maintaining a relationship, making sales, and retaining them as a satisfied customer.
Virtual in-store experiences create the opportunity for your sales-specialists to have critical face to face encounters with your customers. Most people have gotten more comfortable with the many virtual platforms that have emerged in recent years. Simply put, customers and employees have come to expect it in their everyday lives. There are many uses for a virtual in-store experience. Let’s take a look at three outlined here to get you started!
1. When customers move away. In a traditional setting, your store just lost recurring revenue from that customer. Today, you can reframe that situation by considering it a huge opportunity. By using virtual in-store experiences, you are still able to retain that customer plus their network just got larger and they already know and love your store.
2. Virtual parties. Perhaps you want to offer virtual bridal or birthday parties. People very often do not live close to each other, but still want to shop together. By offering virtual in-store experiences you can pull all these customers together in one virtual space, display products, make sales, and retain and expand your customer base.
3. Online luxury store (no brick and mortar) that desires an enhanced customer-sales specialist relationship with your customer base. By offering virtual in-store experiences, your online store will introduce an element of human touch that’s often missing with online-only stores. This will give your sales specialists a unique, but necessary opportunity to grow their customer network and boost sales.
How Conversation Couture Can Help
At Conversation Couture, we understand that moving to an e-commerce space in the luxury retail market can at first seem daunting. Indeed, it’s challenging to maintain customer relationships and brand consistency. This is why we offer a customized training solution for existing sales associates and managers that is designed, tested and proven to drive greater sales, improve customer engagement, and sustain brand loyalty within a virtual shopping experience. Yes, it can be taught!