Mon, 05 February, 2018Luxury Selling
Luxury was, is and will always be existing. It may just be defined differently according to times and us, consumers. We consider some products and services less or more luxury depending on our situation. As a child, you may dream about a bicycle or a pet. And when you grow up your dreams become different (a car, a flat, a business on your own, …). In short, we can define luxury as something not or hardly accessible at precise moment of our lifespan.
What is luxury?
This blog is meant to help our clients or luxury market actors that may become our clients to better understand their customers. I believe that understanding a client is the key to customer service and to securing customer’s loyalty thus to securing your business.
Choice of the topics of future texts refers to demands of our clients. These demands follow trends and evolution of local markets. Most luxury goods and services providers face similar challenges depending on where their business is settled and how luxury-conscious are their customers. A Chinese customer may have not the same behaviour and attempts as French, Russian or American one.
Customers little acquainted with luxury (we could call them ‘just initiated’) are hungry for labels. When serving them you need to refer to trends and to luxury market leaders.
Once accustomed with the luxury world, they still may follow the trends but in a more conscious way. Here the notion of luxury selling becomes more pertinent.
Luxury selling is supposed to be more sophisticated advice. This becomes complicated in the era of product diversification and globalisation. They changed the luxury selling model. Before, when coming to Chanel or Louis Vuitton store, we used to expect hearing a story on their products, their creation, special nature, manufacture. And we felt special leaving the store with our Chanel tweed suit or LV trunk (soon nobody will remember that Louis Vuitton was initially renowned for their travel accessories/trunks and not for handbags or … jewellery).
Today the salespersons in luxury stores face two kinds of challenges.
On one side, the multitude of in-house products challenges the quality of their advice. It is hard to be specialist of fashion, shoes, leather goods, jewellery and watches at the same time. That is the reason why the salespersons of luxury houses become partly specialised in their brands. The client is advised by a shoe specialist when choosing shoes, by a fashion specialist when choosing clothing and so on. It is not easy to give the image of a professional or to control the sale when we cannot follow our client throughout their visit to the store.
And since all brands are diversifying, the knowledge of competitors with their products becomes partial as well.
On the other side, globalised market means multiplication of competing brands. Both clients and salespersons are bombarded with names, designs and information on trends.
From clients’ perspective, the solution may lie in the assistance of Personal Shoppers or Personal Stylists. Their popularity is growing in this new context. More and more department stores have them on board. There are even companies (some of them are very successful) offering this kind of services on-line only.
It is a bit more complicated for salespersons. Even though, you may notice in some well-thought stores a ‘concierge’ with a pad whose role is to brief the sales team on market evolution in terms of trends and competition. They can at best provide the salespersons with the information. But they will not teach them how to use it in front of a specific client with a specific profile and demand.
That is what I will do here. I will analyse specific situations in a way to unveil tools for frontline officers dealing with luxury customers’ demands. You can react to discussed topics, give your opinions and suggest new topics on our website (through the Esprit de Luxe network) or through email (email@example.com). If you find the writing helpful and would like to have further insight into any of topics you can subscribe to the Esprit de Luxe network and access more in-depth training documents.