The secret to luxury retail revival

22 February 2021.

The secret to luxury retail revival

90% Of customers believe luxury retailers fall behind High Street counterparts for online experience. Two-thirds (66%) of high-end shoppers are more comfortable making expensive purchases online since the Covid-19 pandemic began, but the overwhelming majority (90%) believe luxury brands and retailers fall behind High Street counterparts for online experience.

The poll of more than 1,000 luxury shoppers conducted by Norstat on behalf of leading Augmented Reality (AR) firm London Dynamics, found 60% have abandoned an online purchase of luxury goods because they cannot see enough of the product to make an informed decision.

Michael Valdsgaard, Executive Chairman of London Dynamics, said: “2020 was a desperate time for the luxury retail market, with flagship stores left deserted by a lack of tourism and footfall. While our research shows promising signs for the luxury goods market with shoppers prepared to move online, it also tells us that too often they are left frustrated by the experience, which is having significant impacts on their purchasing decisions.”

“Luxury brands and retailers have often been reluctant to invest in their websites for fear of losing the sense of exclusivity they get from their bricks-and-mortar stores. However, the pandemic has clearly accelerated the move online for high-end shoppers and retailers must adapt accordingly.”

Highlighting the shift in consumer attitudes, one in three millennials (36%) said they bought luxury goods online for the first time during the pandemic.

Almost three quarters (72%) of respondents said that the online experience provided by luxury retailers falls behind the ‘prestige’ of their physical stores.

Valdsgaard is a former VP of digital transformation for IKEA, where he launched IKEA Place, the retail giant’s first AR offering. He added: “The advent of new technologies which improve the online experience can help luxury retailers deliver a high quality, engaging experience for the customers.

“For people shopping for an expensive watch, a luxury car, or a fabulous piece of furniture, for example, brands need to give them the confidence to make that buying decision. In the move online, this is increasingly being achieved through pioneering AR technology which allows shoppers to experience the products in their own space, as if they were physically there. It quite literally has the power to change the way people shop.”

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