Coronavirus has changed the world in ways many of us never saw coming, the fashion industry included. Physical luxury stores are getting creative. While trying to keep up with its omnichannel strategy, Fashion Week has officially gone virtual – well, for the time being, at least.
(Photo: Dior, Shot at Landmark, Central, Hong Kong)
How can luxury designers blend social distancing, lavish shows, and customer engagement? Are we witnessing the end of physical luxury stores? Some luxury brands like Burberry, plan to have a hybrid show for their SS21 collection to seamlessly combine physical and digital elements to keep their target market intrigued.
Fashion Week and physical luxury stores cannot be entirely obsolete. While technology can help the luxury fashion industry, it cannot completely take it over. Here’s why.
Audience Engagement & Inspiration
“Luxury is emotional. When it comes to fashion, nothing carries the emotion of a real fashion show.” – Pietro Beccari, Dior Chief Executive.
A bleak Fashion Week calendar arrived this year after Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent decided to go “seasonless” in 2020. However, some luxury brands sought more creative and technological ways to display their collection.
The Paris Couture Show became digitized by filming a story or backstage craftsmanship to showcase the couture collection. Christian Dior produced a fantastic and surrealist short movie ‘Le Mythe Dior‘ to display their craftsmanship and Fall 2020 Haute Couture Collection – Théâtre de la Mode. While the film was stunningly shot by the famed Italian filmmaker, Matteo Garrone, a film simply can’t compete with a live fashion show’s thrill, excitement, and emotion.
We saw Christian Dior’s fairy-tale storytelling on the first-day coverage by WWD, but other luxury brands fell a little flat, delivering their haute couture collections. Some choose to live-stream video their show, and some were pre-recorded. Digital fashion shows may be good for one thing, though, creating bigger exposure for smaller brands who won’t have the funds to put on an extravagant digital experience like other high luxury fashion houses.
On the contrary, Valentino gave onlookers a sneak peek of their upcoming July online fashion show. Set in Rome later in July, they plan to have a live performance to help “bring together the human and the digital touch, creating a dialogue where neither of them will take the lead.” – Valentino. Will the Valentino show accomplish physical and digital customer engagement? We will have to wait and see.
Check out the WWD coverage of the Paris Couture Fashion Week 2020, opened by none other than supermodel Naomi Campbell.
Paris Couture Fashion Week Day 1 – Coverage:
Paris Couture Fashion Week Day 2 – Coverage:
Hybrid Engagement in Brick-and-Mortar Stores
(Photo: Sydney, Australia – 24 December 2019: a Person Walks past the Ex)
A great omnichannel strategy will create a positive user experience online and in physical stores. This multichannel approach is essential to create a cohesive shopping journey for consumers. According to Mckinsey, shoppers expect physical luxury stores to meet higher shopping standards and online shopping return services.
Applying physical and digital customer engagement is inevitable for both fashion week and brick-and-mortar shops. According to a Harvard study, stores that implemented a strong omnichannel strategy have 24% higher customer engagement within six months. Another shopping hybrid experience is allowing consumers more personalized shopping. For example, Sephora, the cosmetics giant, brought Sephora Color IQ technology to help shoppers find products that best suit their skin tones and Virtual Artists that comply with social distancing regulations.
Other luxury brands are staying connected with their audience through social media. One of the luxury fashion industry’s brick-and-mortar stores, JW Anderson, used its logo to create an AR filter on Instagram Stories to create buzz surrounding his first store opening in London. Ultimately, his omnichannel strategy will help drive customers from online the brick-and-mortar store.
Mckinsey, mentioned retailers are predicted to extend a broader omnichannel strategy with cutting edge in-store designs. Gucci used a video service for staff to communicate with shoppers via mobiles and laptops to recreate an exciting in-store experience. They also developed a faux luxury store to show the gorgeous interior and showcase their products. According to Mckinsey, “In-store omnichannel integration will become ‘table stakes’ in the next normal.”
We can agree that physical and digital customer engagement will be trending in the luxury fashion industry, whether it is Fashion Week season or not. Brick-and-mortar luxury stores are seeking more personalized shopping experiences for their consumers. How can stores use technology to extend from online to offline, and ultimately receive more revenue? An omnichannel strategy. Consumers today are attracted to visuals. If visual merchandising is not part of your omnichannel strategy yet, you are missing out.
To serve our customers in the luxury industry, we offer flexible visual merchandising realization solutions in just 5 easy steps. For more details on how we create window displays, product displays, and fixtures, please do not hesitate to contact our project management team at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at +852 2116 9583.
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