Mobile Channels and Luxury Marketing
Reaching luxury audiences has always been a dilemma for marketers and retailers. But can the ubiquity of mobile channels – the great equalizer cutting across economic and lifestyle divides – prove an ideal solution?
The luxury market. Long considered both the bane and boon of most retail marketing campaigns. On the one hand, you have an audience for whom disposable income has never been much of a concern. And on the other, you have an audience for whom both time constraints and certain discerning tastes are as part and parcel to their existence as disposable income.
Mobile channels have been endlessly examined and dissected by the marketing industry over the past few years and with good reason. Aside from versatility and adaptability, mobile is as omnipresent and integral to any campaign as much as a catchy slogan or memorable iconography. But can it penetrate the elusive grip of the luxury market?
Change and the Implications of Adaptation
The economic disparity that has long separated luxury markets from their counterparts has never been more pronounced than in the global industry; in no small part enabled by the presence of mobile communications. For retailers, this means the former model of one-size fits all brand reputation is no longer sufficient to compete in an industry which is growing more cognizant and more insistent on content and distinction. Given that the target audience of high net-worth customers are likely to have a rapid-paced lifestyle, it’s become obvious that the need for retailers to adapt is to tailor their campaigns to be as succinct and informative as possible in a 15 to 30 second pitch; without overloading the customer with an overabundance of information or vague allusions.
The Wasteland of In-store Mobile Presence and Optimizing Omni-Channel
According to a recent survey from consulting firm The Luxury Institute, some 45 percent of luxury consumers still maintain a staunch allegiance to traditional brick-and-mortar shopping experiences; and yet despite some 80 percent of consumers downloading luxury apps, only 56 percent of them are using them to shop. What this has created is a surplus of opportunity in integrating digital in-store presence with a traditional shopping experience; particularly, as the study further went on to state that 72 percent of luxury consumers who shopped via mobile implied that there was no monetary limit to what they would spend via apps.
While it may be argued that the exclusivist appeal of luxury apparel may seem to jar with the pervasiveness of mobile delivery, there is no doubt that the widespread usage of QR codes for example can only serve to enhance the customer experience by providing them with much more detailed information than could be obtained even from a suitably knowledgeable sales representative.
Other factors that can help integrate in-person mobile presence with the psychology of exclusivity can include preferred membership rewards, mobile-first offers and private invitations to exclusive showings and events; all of which can only heighten the acceptance of mobile delivery as a viable luxury shopping experience.
In short, reticence to accept mobile delivery of content—whether out of fears of broaching an unspoken rule of preferential treatment, or a reliance on traditional methods—is no longer relevant in an increasingly digital marketing landscape. Both the efficacy and potential of mobile content is unlimited if engaged with the same conscientious drive as traditional marketing methods. In the shifting digital landscape, it’s as much a question of adaptation as it is survival.
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