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The Secrets to Selling Luxury Goods

Unique strategies to sell luxury items in an omnichannel world

Photo by Jonathan Francisca on Unsplash

One of the hardest things to do in ecommerce is creating an online experience that truly showcases every aspect of a product. This is especially true in the world of luxury goods, where allowing customers to touch, feel and admire the craftsmanship of a product while having an indulgent in-store experience is tantamount to the story of the brand and that entire experience serves as the main selling tool.

Throughout his career at places like Brunello Cucinelli and Boggi Milano, Fedele Sforza has had to meet that challenge head-on and figure out a way to create a luxury ecommerce experience that matches and works in tandem with the luxury in-store experience. At every stop along the way, Sforza said he saw companies that had a lot of the same needs.

“Usually, especially in the companies where you find a lot of craftsmanship, you need to adapt the experience that you have online,” he said. “Especially in companies that are in the luxury space, you need to show to the customers that [luxury] part of the experience. Sometimes you struggle to find the way to adapt the model that, for example, store managers are using into the stores — which is something that [goes back] to storytelling. And that’s something that you have to bring online, not just to put in some content into the online store or the website, but also to understand that maybe you can try to personalize each kind of content for each kind of customer.”

In order to create that online experience, Sforza said that it’s important to do the basic things right.

“I know that could be obvious, but it’s the first thing to do usually, is to create digital assets that are really powerful,” he said. “You are not just selling, for example, a shirt, a sweater, or knitwear, whatever: you are selling an outfit, you are selling a part of the experience of touching that kind of item.”

As an ecommerce implementation expert, Sforza said that it’s also critical to get the entire organization on board with making this experience possible. He explained that sometimes, the retail workers view the implementation of and investment in ecommerce as a threat. But in reality, they should recognize ecommerce and the data it provides as an opportunity and a window into the needs of the customer.

“Our role sometimes is to be an evangelist into the company,” Sforza said. “Really, sometimes it’s also the more human part of being a mediator in all the roles. One of the difficulties that I found in my previous experience is talking with the production department or talking with the retail departments and sometimes, especially for the ecommerce, we were seeing we were [pitted] against the retail. Now when they understand that we are servicing them, because we are the biggest window [into the customer], they are understanding that we could collaborate somehow. For example, some data that we are collecting could be helpful for the production team. Sometimes they come to us and they ask us, ‘How many views has this product had,’ or to understand, ‘How many returns did we have with this item?’ We had too many. Okay, maybe next season we don’t do this.’ And this will help adapt the model of a production system, which is something very powerful.”

For even more strategies for implementing a collaborative omnichannel experience, check out Sforza’s interview on Up Next in Commerce.

Up Next in Commerce is brought to you by Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Learn more at salesforce.com/commerce

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