Not long ago I read two posts about the application of the user experience design on the websites of luxury brands, such as Hennesy, CHANEL, Givenchy and many others. Suddenly I caught myself reading the whole post which was written by Graham Charlton of Econsultancy. In his first post ‘Where are luxury brands going wrong online’ he writes about the absence or the unsuccessful radiation of great user experience on (e-commerce) websites of luxury brands. In his follow-up post ‘Five great ecommerce sites of luxury brands’ he shows examples of websites of luxury brands on which he finds the user experience to be clearly noticeable. In other words, both blogposts seem to discuss important issues regarding the chances that luxury brands are missing with their customers by not giving a great user experience and by not effectively using the e-commerce part.
The intimate relationship between technology and luxury brands
According to Daljit Singh in his article ‘ Luxury must become interactive to survive‘, the relationship between technological developments and luxury brands is not as firm as we expected. He notes that because of the dominant role of technology in various fields, including digital exposure, there´s also a shift in the way consumers experience the brand. Therefore his question is rightly: ‘Can a new type of luxury be created?´ Which elements should be omitted, and which elements are valuable to add that the digitized luxury experience can be created?
When it comes to the integration of e-commerce websites, there are certain aspects that the consumer considers important and certain elements that can result in a pleasant user experience. One of the core objectives of e-commerce is that people buy what they haven’t thought to need. It sounds just as simple as it should look like. In other words, shopping should be made more enjoyable rather than only to convince people to buy. The pitfall lies in putting down your own perception of the brand on its online presence rather than how consumers should experience the brand.
Responding to the luxury consumer
According to the blog post of Luxury Society on Attracting, Retaining & Serving the UHNW (ultra high net worth) Luxury Consumer, luxury brands can best provide a holistic consumer experience. I myself agree fully with this view. Also is made clear in the article that some consumers, especially the luxury consumers, do not deal with reduced prices and having little budget. To my opinion, even a second-class consumer who is willing to pay the full amount for a product will not dwell on the limits of his or her budget.
Luxury Society also emphasized in her post that consumers can find out just as much about the brand as the professionals who are committed to the brand, and so “there is no faking it”, and that’s why the experience the consumer has with the brand must transcend all expectations. Thereby a strong brand position and point of view of the brand is of great importance.
Even though the luxury brands know exactly which customers they prefer to set their focus on does not mean they know these consumers through and through about what their expectations are online. In addition, I dare to say that there is a shortage of interaction designers who are only engaged with and specifically aim at a user experience based on luxury. The pitfall of overall interaction designers is that changing their creativity leads to a user experience that bears little or no luxury. Creativity with specific and detailed attention to the luxury is necessary. This should also be applied on the various aspects within digital marketing.
And you wonder, what website is in my opinion a success? I would rather not talk about websites that emit less luxurious user experience. I believe that instead I can best illustrate a good example. That’s why I select the website Jo Malone London (http://www.jomalone.co.uk/). This website illustrates a good balance between luxury, marketing, technology and commerce. In other words this website has an holistic experience of a luxury brand online. The user experience on this website contains a subtle presence of user support. As a result, there will be little confusion among the online visitors and online customers as to how this site works. It gives the feeling that everything is within reach. In a new blog I will give a comprehensive evaluation of the site of Jo Malone London on a few important aspects.