Luxury Online Retailers Face Unique Challenges

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Luxury e-commerce is very different than regular mass market online retail that sites like Amazon and Target provide. Obviously, the number of website visitors is much lower due to the financial barriers that prohibit many consumers to shop for luxury items on a regular basis. But affluent consumers are also more difficult to convert online, because they usually prefer to see, touch and feel an item in person before buying it. Just think of buying a Rolex watch online. However, for repeat purchases, such as of upscale perfumes and cosmetics, online retail is more suitable.

Creating and operating a luxury e-commerce site comes with specific challenges. Visitors expect a tastefully designed site that fits the image of a luxury brand or retailer. Naturally, no element of the site can look cheap, for example flawless photography is a must. Since many e-commerce sites now also embed videos to increase conversion rates, choosing the best video player for the site is one of the many important decisions that have to be made as part of the design process. A smooth checkout experience and best-in-class shipping options are also expected from luxury-level retailers.

Only time will tell, which luxury e-commerce sites will prevail and how they will supplement brick-and-mortar luxury retail. While much of mass market retail is shifting online, it remains to be seen to which extend luxury retail will follow this trend.

Courtesy TheTopTier Digital Media

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