At the moment at least 40% of all luxury online purchases are influenced by consumer’s online experience.
Shopping online has managed to break down the ‘invisible’ barriers, such as feelings of intimidation, a lack of knowledge about the product or brand and perhaps the most important of all; not being part of an elite group.
These are all factors set up intentionally by brick and mortar stores to in principle protect clients from non-clients. A good example of this is Armani setting up specialist stores for each of his product lines.
It is true that online sales forecasts are compelling and have indeed managed to convert a brand like Céline, which did not have any social network accounts until 2018 to fully digitise and start selling the brand’s complete range online. However the question beckons; will this new strategy not wear down the dream potential among the leaders of opinion, among the tastemakers? What then will this accessibility mean for aspiring consumers who have dreamt of being part of the elite few only to find what was once impossible to get is now one click away?
As the line between exclusivity and the democratization of fashion continues to blur, the difficulty and challenges for luxury brands will not lay in not being able to sell, but rather, in the growing sophistication of the new age consumer and their demands on how brands should capture their attention. Pandering to consumer’s demands will be yet another value compromised, leaving one to wonder whether what we know as the defining values of luxury today will remain wholly untouched by the internet of things.