Luxury space

Part
01
of five
Part
01

Luxury And Ultra-Luxury Hotels - Omnichannel Excellence

In searching for 5 things that luxury and ultra-luxury hotels are doing in omnichannel, your research team found that hotels are using online customer service channels, using audience segmentation, using indigenous content to appeal to the senses, using all-in-one CMS solutions, and creating user-generated VR content. Information on omnichannel was found for the Four Seasons and four other luxury hotels. These practices and the research strategy in finding them is discussed in greater detail below.

USING ONLINE CUSTOMER SERVICE CHANNELS (BAHIA PRINCIPE)

  • Bahia Principe needed to use their digital channels to generate higher online sales, especially since customers were having a hard time knowing if the experiences promised by them is real or would fit their taste.
  • Using conversational commerce, customers were able to see videos on-demand, co-browse offers and fill out order forms. What made the difference is that customers were speaking directly with another human being instead of a robot, which generated increased trust and personality. Conversations happened over the phone, video calls, and chat.
  • This resulted in a 35% of online sales conversion rate from May 2016 to May 2017. Customers were also willing to spend more on packages. The average ticket value rose to $1597.

USING AUDIENCE SEGMENTATION (DON CESAR)

USING INDIGENOUS CONTENT TO APPEAL TO THE SENSES (FOUR SEASONS)

  • Four Seasons tried to find ways to generate content people saw as authentic and that they wanted to share.
  • They released a new site that was responsive to screen size, but their most important feature of all was creating custom content for each hotel and resort that touches the senses of sight, hearing, and taste. Each hotel site had content that was indigenous to the region it was in and used as much information to be relevant to the location it was in.
  • The website also had a social media module with comments and reviews from TripAdvisor, Facebook, and Twitter. The information was always regionally relevant, multi-lingual, and culturally sensitive.
  • After the revamp was launched, there was a 20% increase in digital revenue. Since there was more image-based content, the website sprung to the top of search engine results. The company also saw a 200% increase in bookings completed on tablets, and brand engagement increased on social media channels such as Pinterest, YouTube, and Twitter.

USING ALL-IN-ONE CMS SOLUTIONS (THE SET HOTELS)

  • The Set Hotels is a young, ultra-luxury hotel group established in 2011 and based in the United Kingdom. Because they were so young, people, especially in the United States, didn't know who they were. On top of that, each location for The Set had its own website, which made for a very disjointed experience.
  • The Set changed their digital platform to a single and unified experience which was mobile-friendly, easy to use and access, and had more than 45 languages. It was also extensible, meaning websites and add-ons could connect to it. The new Content Management System (CMS) also provided new revenue generation opportunities as they could charge visitors for services directly from the website.
  • Since implementing this change, their mobile bookings have increased from 5% to 30%, and the number of time visitors spend on the site increased by 20%. Because of the multiple languages on the platform, brand awareness has also increased.

CREATING USER-GENERATED VIRTUAL REALITY CONTENT (ST GILES HOTELS)

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We were unable to find content specifically as it related to the hotels given to us, except for Four Seasons. Our first strategy began by looking for pre-compiled information regarding omnichannel in the luxury hotels industry. We did this with the hope of finding information about a trend or a common omnichannel practice done in the industry, and to look for any mention of the hotels from the list given to us. We were finding that many of these sources spoke at length of luxury brands, and when they spoke of hotels, it's about companies such as LVMH whose retail brands excel in omnichannel. Sites such as Lodging Magazine, Fortune, and Forbes were looked at, and when they did mention omnichannel marketing in luxury hotels, the information was not enough and neither did they mention examples that we could use. Because of this, we changed strategy.

Our next strategy was to look for the companies first and their omnichannel practices, instead of our first strategy of looking for omnichannel practices first. We looked through reputable websites and blogs related to business and marketing such as AdWeek, Forbes, etc. Through our searches, we realized that a lot of the information was too minimal to use right away. Information was found about social media efforts by Rosewood, but when we dove deeper to see how it affected their bottom line or to see how social media tied in with other channels, information was lacking. We ended up finding information on Four Seasons alone. We tried searching for channels individually such as SMS, social media, VR, etc. but the information we found were of other hotels and not the hotels that we needed. Because of this, we changed strategy.

Our third search strategy began by looking through marketing databases like WARC and elsewhere online for case studies related to the luxury hotels that were provided to us. This search didn't bring up any case studies we could use relating to omnichannel marketing. When we did find some information related to omnichannel, such as in the case with Banyan Tree, it was very limited and only mentioned in passing. One source mentioned Banyan Tree selling toiletries as an omnichannel tactic, but when we did further searches, we were unable to find anything more. This search did, however, bring up interesting case studies, such as the case with Bahia Principe. We even repeated the step we took above by searching for channels individually such as SMS and social media, but it failed. Since we didn't find anything on the list, we tried another strategy.

Our next strategy was to look through news sources and reports on sites such as Reuters, which usually write summaries of reports from research companies like Forrester. We were able to find some interesting reports from the likes of PwC and Skift, but when they mentioned either of these hotels, such as Banyan Tree and Mandarin Oriental, it was in passing and not enough information to be used could be used. There were more robust mentions of other hotels like Standard Hotels, but searches showed these hotels were more boutique than luxury. When we saw we weren't finding anything in our searches, we decided to use the information of the other hotels that we found. Information on their omnichannel techniques was robust and these techniques correlated with what most of the industry is saying about omnichannel in the luxury hotel industry.
Part
02
of five
Part
02

Luxury Fashion and Luxury Retail - Omnichannel Excellence

Five things that luxury fashion and luxury retail brands are successfully doing on the omnichannel front are maintaining a unique customer database, using social media influencers, mobile apps with chatbots, WeChat - Mini Programs, and collaborating with e-commerce channel.

Maintaining A Unique customer database

  • Luxury retail brands are garnering potential customers and maintaining their email list to promote their products.
  • By focusing on the targeted audience, their leads are getting converted to purchases.

EXAMPLE BRAND
  • Burberry has a unique customer database of 12 million people with its Burberry-developed and customized customer management programs which has increased 50% of their sales.
  • Burberry also offers “collect-in-store service” wherein customers can browse the collection online and then pick up the items in store.
  • Burberry also has a chatbot in Facebook Messenger which increased customer engagement.

Social MEDIA Influencers

  • To attract Millennial and Gen Zer audiences, luxury brands prefer social media influencers as a perfect marketing strategy.
  • Luxury brands adopted influencers on social media to be successful at omnichannel front through customer engagement. Choosing the right influencer for the right product plays a crucial role in customer engagement.

EXAMPLE BRAND
  • Luxury brands that became successful in creating customer engagement across omnichannels and their social media influencer:
    • Chanel - Cara Delevigne
    • Burberry - Dove Cameron
    • Balenciaga - Nicki Minaj

Mobile apps with chatbots

  • Luxury brands are building mobile apps with chatbots for better customer engagement.
  • Some brands are also offering incentives for using such apps.
  • Promoting the apps make customers privileged and also give them a personalized experience.

EXAMPLE BRAND
  • Louis Vuitton has developed an app which immerses customers to a digital library and acts as a marketing platform.
  • It also has a chatbot feature which drives the new audience to the company such as the Millennial luxury customers as it gives a personalized experience.

Wechat- Mini programs


EXAMPLE BRAND
  • Bottega Veneta designed Mini Programs on WeChat such as creating personalized greeting cards for Valentine's Day.
  • This strategy created a huge sales for Bottega Veneta and made the brand successful on omnichannel front.

Collaborating with E-commerce channel:

  • In 2018, online luxury sales hiked by 24%, therefore, most of the luxury retail brands are targeting e-commerce sales.
  • As per Forrester Analytics, by 2023, 60% of luxury retail sales will be driven from e-commerce.

EXAMPLE BRAND
  • Apart from the traditional brick & mortar stores, Kering focused on e-commerce sales and started collaborating with several online sellers.
  • This move increased its sales by 80% via online and Kering had an overall increase of 6% in turnover.

Other Luxury brands and their omnichannel front strategies

  • Tommy Hilfiger launched a chatbot which generated a huge customer engagement such as 46,000 messages since launch. The company added an outstream video ad format on chatbot and collaborated with Teads to extend beyond Facebook Messenger.
  • AllSaints launched a social media campaign with a hashtag #ItsUpToYou across the globe which ended up getting 320,000 customer engagement and organically reached to 17 million people.

Part
03
of five
Part
03

Luxury Automotive - Omnichannel Excellence

Luxury automotive companies are successfully using omnichannel communication on their online e-commerce platforms, in order to orient products and services to individual users, to improve the company's focus on customers, to improve existing partnerships, and to link digital retailing with local dealerships.

1. BMW IS USING AN OMNICHANNEL STRATEGY to CENTRALIZE its E-COMMERCE ONLINE PLATFORMS


2. BMW IS USING OMNICHANNEL SERVICES TO ORIENT PRODUCTS AND SERVICES TO THE INDIVIDUAL USER


3. LUXURY AUTOMOTIVE COMPANIES ARE USING DATA FROM THE OMNICHANNEL APPROACH TO IMPROVE THEIR FOCUS ON CUSTOMERS


4. LEXUS IS INTEGRATING OMNICHANNEL MARKETING INTO ITS PARTNERSHIP WITH MADISON GARDEN

  • In 2017, Lexus expanded its partnership with the Madison Square Garden Company & MSG Networks to include Radio City Music Hall.
  • As part of their partnership with Madison Garden, Lexus installed kiosks, touchscreen video walls, and virtual reality basketball in the Lexus Lounge.
  • This technology allows consumers to interact with the brand in a dynamic manner without having to wait in line. It also allows consumers to watch videos, surf the Lexus website, and send information on Lexus models and dealerships to their phones.
  • According to Madison Square Garden Company and Lexus, their partnership gives fans a unique opportunity to engage positively with the luxury brand.

5. LUXURY AUTOMOTIVE COMPANIES ARE USING OMNICHANNEL TECHNOLOGY TO LINK DIGITAL RETAILING WITH LOCAL DEALERSHIPS


Research Strategy:

The research team selected these five omnichannel examples because of their implementation by luxury automaker brands. We also took into consideration the success and positive impact each omnichannel move had, or is currently building, in terms of customer experience with the luxury brand. In making these selections, we attempted to balance choosing specific company examples with trying to capture broader omnichannel trends in the automotive industry and luxury branding.
Part
04
of five
Part
04

Luxury Residential/Private clubs - Omnichannel Excellence

The things that private clubs are doing successfully on the omnichannel front include brick and mortar, online, text messaging, website upgrade, members app, and social media.

BRICK AND MORTAR

  • This includes the physical buildings that have the club's facilities. Augusta National Golf club has 26 retail stores that provide great customer experience. This allows the customers the opportunity of choosing between various options depending on which retail store is closest to them.

ONLINE

  • Clubs can sell their services online by providing customers with an online shop platform. Augusta National Golf Club has a good online presence to build a fully integrated ecosystem anchored by technology and customer insight that intuitively merges all data for a 360 degree customer experience where the members can buy equipment and get all golfing services without physically going to the club.
  • The Ivy (London) uses its website as an online platform for its customers to make reservations and sign up new members. The club also uses the client information to send them notifications for special events.

TEXT MESSAGING

  • Aliso Viejo Country Club is using text messaging to deliver a personalized experience for each member. They use text messaging as it is fast and convenient for both members and their staff. Text messaging conveys customer service, announcements, and notifications to event RSVPs and promotions.

WEBSITE UPGRADE

  • Cottonwood Golf & Country Club's old website relied too much on the visitors persistence and imagination to inquire about membership so they opted to develop a new website. The new website used beautiful images and a simple design to showcase the various amenities of the club. Fewer pages and the properly organized content made the site easier for visitors to navigate and this resulted in the website performing significantly better for lead generation and sales.
  • Cosmos club reinvented their website to improve its online presence. The website allows its members to check their statements with ease, modify their accounts, create events, and hotel reservations. The website also features photo galleries and audio recordings of events that can be accessed from any device. It also has an online shop, membership directory, and a forum allowing members who live both near and far engage and be part of its vibrant intellectual community. Most recently, the website added a career section and an online job application, a member nomination, and streaming of live events.

MEMBERS APP

  • Hartsbourne club developed an application that allows customers to stay on top of their bar balance, the latest handicaps, results, and club news from the comfort of their homes, from their phones, or laptops. This has resulted in positive feedback because of the fewer number of phone calls that ask for membership updates and bookings.
  • Soho House's app allows its members get access to a wealth of events, videos, podcasts, and great articles once they get into the portal. The app has become the driving force of the business in the digital space.

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • Stones River Country Club used Facebook and Instagram for marketing their new website by broadcasting the benefits of their club membership and banquet services. The social media profiles increased Stones River Country Club memberships through clear-cut ad copy and custom photography that was aimed at attracting new members.
  • Indiana Country club posts updates on Facebook and Instagram consistently, which helped the campaign to draw a larger audience. Because potential members know what they are looking at, in addition to liking what they see, social media has lead to increased memberships.











Part
05
of five
Part
05

Luxury Lifestyle Curators - Omnichannel Excellence

We were only able to provide two examples of things that luxury lifestyle curators are doing successfully on the omnichannel front, as the available information for luxury lifestyle curators using the omnichannel front was limited. We, however, found that Quintessentially, a luxury lifestyle curator is using service cloud on the omnichannel front and doing it successfully.

THINGS THAT LUXURY LIFESTYLE CURATORS ARE DOING SUCCESSFULLY ON THE OMNICHANNEL FRONT

1. The Use of Brick and Mortar Store s

  • Knickerbocker is using brick-and-mortar stores to meet changing consumer needs with omnichannel operations to be successful in the future.
  • Knickerbocker is using its stores for displaying mattresses on attractive bed frames to enhance in-store shopping, as the consumer gets an immediate sense of how a new bed would look in their home.

2. The Use of Service Cloud

  • Quintessentially is using service cloud (Salesforce) to reply to client requests generated from online portals, emails, mobile apps, or a phone call.
  • The centralized approach helps Quintessentially Lifestyle with a single view of its members and business performance.
  • Quintessentially is also rolling out the Salesforce mobile app to both its elite lifestyle managers and executive team, to help them work seamlessly when out of the office.

OTHER USEFUL FINDINGS

  • Pullman & Novotel New Delhi Aerocity uses apps to provide innovative video menus that inform guests on the making of each dish.
  • Through the app, videos and photographs can be updated seamlessly by the Dash App team, and it gives visual insights to the company’s patrons on what customers can expect from their dish, i.e., the look and feel of it.
  • Ruinart is using virtual reality (VR) to create a higher emotional connection through the experiences of customers.
  • Ruinart has created ‘Petit R,’ a three-dimensional mapping with an interactive experience that brings a dining room to life using an immersive view of the brand’s history.
  • Quintessentially is expanding its marketing and public relations (PR) with clients like BMW and LVMH in the United States.

Research Strategy

Your research team began by looking for articles and reports of luxury lifestyle curators such as Quintessentially, Insignia, Asoni Haus, and Knickerbocker. The team looked for information on sites like BedTimes Magazine, Salesforce.com, and Luxury Daily, among others. This strategy was fruitful to an extent as the team was able to provide examples for Knickerbocker and Quintessentially's omnichannel strategies. However, there was no available information for any of the other companies' omnichannel approach.

Next, the team searched for the information in the databases of advertising sites such as WARC, Creativebrief, and Effie, among others. The team looked for case studies related to the luxury lifestyle curators on these sites, but this strategy did not yield any actionable results, as the search did not bring up any case studies of luxury lifestyle curators that are using the omnichannel approach. The team had thought this strategy might work as these sites contain effective marketing and advertising campaigns, worldwide.

Furthermore, your research team looked for luxury lifestyle companies and the omnichannel practices of their luxury lifestyle curators for dining, travel, and adventure experiences individually. The team searched for the requested information on sites related to business and marketing like AdWeek, Forbes, and AdAge. This strategy did not work as there was no information on omnichannel practice examples of such companies. Instead, the information found was about how Quintessentially expanded its operations, etc. The team also tried to search for digital, web, and social media channels individually with a mind to combine the findings, but the information there was no required information found. Your research team thought this strategy might provide useful information, as these sites publish the latest business information covering marketing, lifestyle, technology analysis. The research team then looked for media articles and reports on sites like Reuters, PR Newswire, and BusinessWire, among others, as these sites usually publish reports from various research companies. However, this strategy did not work as the team could not find omnichannel examples of the retail or fashion industry, etc.

Lastly, the team looked for relevant reports and articles pertaining to the luxury lifestyle curator space on luxury industry-targeted sites like LUXE Digital, Luxury Travel Advisor, Luxury Society, etc., with the aim of spotting a few relevant names of companies or curators that are succeeding with an omnichannel strategy in the luxury lifestyle curator space. However, the strategy did not work as the available information was general information about luxury goods, retail, travel, etc.

Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • "Luxury brands are deepening the connection between the in-store and online experience. Burberry, which offers a collect-in-store service, where users can browse and select products online and then go to a store to collect those items, is harnessing the power of both channels to create a stronger shopping experience."
  • "Christian Louboutin, for example, has embraced Instagram, a channel that is particularly well-suited to showcasing luxury items and bringing a brand’s personality, aesthetic and story to life. Louboutin has nearly 10 million followers on the platform, many of them engaged and eager to learn about the brand."
  • "Burberry, for example, emphasizes customer service prominently on their site and offers users the benefit of receiving a phone call from one of their experienced salespeople. The site also offers a live chat so consumers' questions can be answered quickly."
Quotes
  • "Burberry has a presence across 20 different social platforms and a combined following of more than 50 million. In 2016, Burberry launched a chatbot through Facebook Messenger as part of promo around its runway shows. Customers could use the chatbot to get updates and see behind-the-scenes content from the show."
  • "Perhaps most interesting though is that Burberry has amassed a huge collection of customer data – as of November 2016 the brand had 12 million people in its database."
  • "In 2015, Burberry revealed that by investing in personalised customer management programmes it had achieved a 50% increase in return business. "
Quotes
  • "AllSaints, the British fashion retailer, created a global social campaign where customers were invited to share their personalised AllSaints identity with the unique hashtag #ItsUpToYou. The results of which were incredible. This campaign brought about 320,000 interactions and reached 17 million people, organically. "
  • "During this period, 66,000 users visited the website, 48,000 of which were brand new. Furthermore the volume of website visitors surpassed all expectations and this engagement lead to over £12,000 in sales."
  • "Influencers can be the most powerful assets in a luxury brands toolkit, provided that they match the brands values. Influencers can provide engagement and help to bridge a gap between the product and the customer, with their storytelling allowing endorsements in an authentic way."
Quotes
  • "One such idea is the TMY.GRL chatbot, which has generated more than 46,000 messages since its inception. Tommy Hilfiger has recently taken the concept one-step further by becoming the first brand to integrate its chatbot within outstream video ad formats, working alongside Teads, to enable it to extend its reach beyond Facebook Messenger."
Quotes
  • "An example of this is Louis Vuitton’s app, which immerses users into the ‘World of Louis Vuitton’, a digital library acting as an additional buying and marketing platform. The app also hosts a Chatbot feature, still a relatively new tool to the world of digital marketing."
  • "Louis Vuitton’s ventures into digital are bound to continue, as LVMH, the French conglomerate that is the owner of Louis Vuitton, recently announced an accelerator program for international start-ups. The focus is on chatbot customer service, visual recognition-based predictive technology, biometric wristwear and robotic technology that creates clothing customized for individual consumers’ bodies."
  • "Louis Vuitton has also accessed new audiences through their collaboration with New York cult streetwear brand Supreme that drove an increase in brand searches across a more diverse audience, helped connect with the most coveted Millennial luxury shoppers and opened up a new market."
Quotes
  • "Bottega Veneta – The popular gift product company offers the buyers to create their own personalized Valentines Day greeting cards. Naturally, the couples were drawn to the mini-program, and the brand saw a huge spike in their sales."
  • "There are various types of mini-programs available, but WeChat e-commerce through mini-programs has become the most popular thing. Domestic and international brands opened their mini-programs which act like virtual shops. The users get to buy the products and services directly from the brands, and the brands can produce huge offers to attract users."
  • "During the major festivals and shopping events, WeChat luxury brands bring incredible offers for their potential customers through mini-programs. This helps them to drive the sales figures to a new high and increase the revenue like never before."
Quotes
  • "Kering’s online sales grew 80 per cent in its third quarter, and now represents six per cent of its total turnover."
  • "Kering has announced that it will scrap its partnerships with third party online sellers as it seeks to bring ecommerce entirely in house by 2020."
Quotes
  • "Many retailers already email offers to potential or previous customers on their lists, but marketers should use their email lists to reach consumers wherever they spend the most time online."
  • "As millennials and Gen Zers become increasingly habitual social-media users, influencer marketing is becoming a critical tool for luxury brands to reach consumers. Social media and influencers were the top sources of information for purchasing luxury goods in 2017, pushing magazines down to a close second, according to the BCG State of Luxury report."
Quotes
  • "By leveraging the ability to build a chatbot on these mobile apps, brands are engaging with their customers in a more conversational setting. In doing so, they are not only able to deliver more accurate suggestions, but also offer them further incentives, like exclusive access and previews that feel highly personalized. With these chatbots in retail, everyone feels like a VIP."
Quotes
  • "An average user opens a Mini Program four times a day, even though the apps have only existed for two years."
  • "Users are dominated by women and Chinese millennials: About half of the users are under 30 years of age, which is also a match with the luxury brands’ targeted consumers."
Quotes
  • "According to Forrester Analytics’ Luxury Retail Forecast, nearly 60 percent of luxury sales growth will originate from e-commerce by 2023."
  • " “Online luxury sales grew by 24 percent in 2018, driven by an increase in online shoppers and online basket sizes."
From Part 05
Quotes
  • "Knickerbocker sees the boxed-bed segment securing a permanent position in the bedding arena, but the company also expects brick-and-mortar stores to continue to play a key role as they evolve to meet changing consumer needs with omnichannel operations."
Quotes
  • "One company that’s reaping the rewards of its commitment to omni-channel is the British luxury lifestyle management service, Quintessentially Lifestyle."
  • "The company’s Lifestyle Managers respond to member requests 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – making last minute restaurant reservations and holiday bookings, securing access to clubs and parties, and even organising special events, such as private climbs on the Sydney Harbour Bridge."