Luxury e-commerce accounts for 17% of all industry revenue and is expected to rise to US$58 Billion in 2022.
It is no doubt that luxury shopping starts online. Shoppers discover products via websites or mobile apps. Though experiential in-store shopping remains relevant for luxury brands, digital channels are seen to continue to thrive both as sources of inspiration and sales.
With the rapid pace in technology, luxury brand websites are among those that stay competitive and ahead of the game with the latest developments and trends – from innovative solutions for better user experience, to marketing techniques that boost sales conversions.
Below are some of the key website trends of luxury brands:
1. Less Is More
The basic colors – white, black, and gold, are often used by luxury brands. The simple colour palette has always been the staple of luxury design and this is unlikely to change any time in the near future.
Luxury brand websites such as Vera Wang, Apple, and Tod’s use a white – grayish background with no-to-minimal other elements to make customers concentrate on the product. Also, the clean, white space gives the notion that the website is easier to navigate and presents a better user experience.
Historically, minimalist design was seen as boring. This is where high-quality photography and media come into play to ensure that the website delivers the key messages without overwhelming users.
2. High-Resolution Images
High-resolution photos are essential in luxury brand websites. In this way, customers can see every detail and give a feel to the items just like they are in the actual store.
Rolex is the perfect sample of a luxury brand that captures every detail.
The popularity of Instagram and other visual-dominant platforms made people appreciate the consistent scale, lighting, scenes and environments that happen in every photo. Now, more and more understands what a good quality photography and art direction looks like. So it comes as no surprise that high-quality photography is expected, not only with luxury brands, but with all that’s in e-commerce.
3. Improved Brand Storytelling
Another massive luxury website trend is brand storytelling. As brands look to build trust with their website users, they utilise in-depth brand stories that provide a rich history of a brand.
More luxury brands now dedicate special web pages to emphasize on the brand’s history and founders. To make it more engaging, brands often use good photography and media. The more relatable the story, the deeper connection they establish with the users.
Storytelling has become an integral element of digital content marketing and luxury websites are to tap into this effectiveness.
Chanel and Kate Spade shares a great, relatable stories on their website that humanizes the brand.
UBS Groups’ survey revealed that Chinese millennials are responsible for the purchase of 30 percent of the world’s luxury goods. American consumers of the same age account for 23 percent, and European millennials command 19 percent of the market, followed by Japanese consumers with 11 percent.
Millennials are the major consumers of luxury items. These new generations of young, affluent consumers continue to rewrite the rule book of the once bulletproof luxury industry; with new needs, new behaviours, and digital-infused lifestyles. They are known to be digital natives that continuously engage with online content and expect highly sophisticated digital experiences.
With this change in the industry, it is a necessity for luxury brands to understand how to relate and win over younger consumers. Therefore, to remain in sync, it’s a must to adapt the language and digital behavior.
Asian luxury consumers, Chinese in particular, are some of the most digitally active in the world, mostly on mobile. Connected Chinese affluent shoppers have been used to social selling for years via WeChat’s ecosystem that spans the entire consumer journey and integrates everything from a social media channel to a payments method.
The last few years have seen an increased emphasis on mobile first, as website designs have changed to cater for the increased volume of users visiting websites via their smartphone. With more powerful data to analyse website usage, website content and functionality will be all geared towards what the user wants to see, rather than what brands think their customers want to see.
5. Artificial Intelligence -Chatbots, etc.
Luxury brand websites are now into greater use of AI such as chatbots and machine learning for SEO improvements. It provides more data around consumer behaviour and is available to integrate into the chatbot interactions to give a better quality experience.
For example, Estée Lauder utilises a beauty chat on their website. Currently, not many luxury retailers have adopted this feature. Props to chatbots, customers discover products, receive personalized recommendations, and even place orders.
6. Video Content
The list of luxury website trends is not complete without video. Although having a video content is nothing new, it is seen that many luxury brands have just added this feature to capture attention.
Aston Martin currently utilises a video on their home page. With dark, premium colours their videos often complement the luxury feel to the brand and provides a cinematic feel to the website.
To summarise, consumer expectations are getting higher than ever and if luxury brand websites won’t make the most of the advanced technology available,business leads and sales are sure to fall off. From building deeper connections with storytelling to using the most effective colour schemes, getting these details right will bring success.