Selling luxury online through Experience Driven Commerce

Luxury brands have been selling online for quite some time. Many are translating the in-store experience to the online experience utilizing content like video, blogs and editorial content as well as possibilities to share and discuss your favorite products with your friends. This trend is also described as „experience-driven commerce“.

Some brands like Tamara Mellon are creating new lines and selling exclusively online. For Ms. Mellon, who is also a co-founder of the luxury shoe brand Jimmy Choo, it is important to make beautiful shoes on her own schedule and ensuring that her customers could buy them easily and right away.

Mellon explains: “We all love and listen to music but we don’t go and buy CDs anymore. We download. It’s the same with fashion. But I’m making shoes now for women who see it today and want to wear it tomorrow. They don’t necessarily want to go into a store or wait for a new collection to come out”. For Tamara Mellon that meant going online with her brand. But how can you create an extraordinary online shopping experience that stands out from all the other online fashion platforms?

Provocative and artistic pictures transport the “luxury feeling” of Tamara Mellon’s online shop

Translating Experience driven Commerce to Digital

Luxury brands evoke images of small boutique shops along Rodeo Drive, where everything from the lighting to the paint color to the smell of the place screams “luxury”. How do you translate this to an online experience? This consideration is especially important for brands that sell exclusively online. So what does it take to become a successful online retailer?

Let’s try to equate online to a brick-and-mortar retail experience. It breaks down into (A) the browsing experience: What does the customer see? How are the products merchandized? Are the products displayed in a way that the customer can visualize them in his or her closet? This is followed by (B) the purchase experience: What are the payment options? Is there a checkout that runs smoothly and are there convenient ways to return items which the customer doesn’t like or that don’t fit? For online retailers, this approach is referred to as experience driven commerce or content driven commerce. Basically it’s a unification of content and commerce strategies.

Unchain Content from Commerce

By extracting the commerce services pieces from the creation and delivery of the content pieces, retailers can focus on developing engaging content. Their photographers, graphics designers, illustrators and writers can build an online experience that is inviting and inspiring for customers that are on the hunt for luxury items.

Likewise, the commerce pieces – payment, inventory, etc – delivered in neat service-oriented packages – can easily be customized, changed, modified and connected to.

How to implement an online luxury strategy

It’s possible to create a luxury feel from a digital purchase experience, but only if you give the content developers creative freedom and have a commerce solution that enables content management freedom. However, the wheel does not have to be reinvented. In many companies, the elements of a modern, sustainable experience-driven strategy already exist. The key is to adapt one’s organizational structure and enable a creative and productive coworking atmosphere and therefore allow editorial content and commerce elements to merge.

When considering the technical basis for their content strategy, merchants need to rely on a platform that allows for a seamless and effective integration of content and commerce elements. With its headless approach, the commercetools platform is the ideal solution and provides all the necessary commerce logic and processes. In combination with a flexible WCM system that takes care of delivering the customer experience, commercetools enables a unique and flexbile approach to experience-driven commerce.

Do you want to learn more about the benefits of a experience-driven commerce strategy and how to put it into practice, both technologically and with regard to the organization? Download our free white paper on Content Commerce to get all relevant information in an easy-to-digest format.

(Images taken from the Tamara Mellon online store.)

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