Visuals are at the core of marketing efforts for countless luxury brands. Indeed, it’s a longstanding tradition for high fashion labels to have no copy–just their name–in print and digital ads. When you’re selling a product based on pure aesthetic appeal, quality, and aspirational qualities, imagery does what words will not. That’s why it makes perfect sense in this age of Instagram to use visual commerce for luxury goods marketing.
In essence, visual commerce is an umbrella term that includes, but isn’t strictly restricted to:
- Accumulating user generated photos and videos from various social media platforms and using them in your marketing activities.
- Creating interactive displays on your homepage, dedicated gallery pages, product pages, and more to give customers more context and a deeper appreciation for what they’re buying
- Making your Instagram shoppable with a solution like Shoppic.me
For a more comprehensive overview of visual commerce, check out our beginner’s guide to it!
Now, after getting yourself acquainted with visual commerce, we can begin to discuss why exactly visual commerce for luxury goods is such a wise idea…
Visual Commerce for Luxury Goods: The Socio-Economic Aspect Of The Luxury Industry
Even though luxury commerce saw a bit of a standstill in last few years, that scenario is changing quickly. As per this Walker Sands report, this year saw a fourfold increase from just two years ago in terms of the number of consumers who say they’ve purchased a luxury item online (27 percent in 2016, compared to just 6 percent in 2014). That number is also up from just 10 percent in 2015. This means that there’s little consumer apprehension in buying luxury goods online. No wonder then that McKinsey predicts that sales of luxury goods could triple to €70 billion by 2025.
If you distill these numbers under the process of analysis, you will get to know that there is a tremendous potential for luxury sales- including both the online, offline, and omni-channel ways. Naturally, the less powerful ray is also pointing to the fact that to tap that high-seismic potential, the buyers of this niche market need to be engaged with all of your activities. And that’s where visual commerce for luxury goods shines.
Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images. Besides, the intrinsic appeal of luxury goods, regardless of their segments, lies in their visual beauty, which makes the images their lifeblood. Their look, design, and elegance make them what they are. Clearly, the visual way is the best-suited way for luxury goods to cast their spell on the minds and hearts of shoppers.
Also remember that the same report also said that 76% of the surveyed people said that they’d be open to purchasing luxury goods on any channel (in-store, online from a brand or third-party retailer). Visual commerce can help you on that front too, as you can ask your customers to share their photos or videos and you can curate them to put them all across your stores.
Our post about reusing your user generated content has a thorough list of where you should use your valuable customer photos.
Visual Commerce for Luxury Goods: The Availability of Platforms
As we have already discussed that the very nature of luxury goods is visual, the platform where they could be marketed should also be a visual one. Thus, it’s hard to think any other social media platform than Instagram for luxury goods. And it has already proved effective as it’s an ideal for an “evolved form of window-shopping.” People just scan their feeds and the moment they see a smashing product with a dazzling look, they go for it. The point here is people love to look pictures of a beautiful product. From the popularity of influencers to accounts like “Rich Kids of Instagram,” it’s clear that Instagram is a huge stage for luxury goods.
That doesn’t mean, though, that you shouldn’t explore other channels when you’re marketing your visual content–whether it’s generated by your brand or by your customers. Snapchat is another important channel. Fendi recently did a large coordinated Snapchat campaign, while Burberry did a huge social push for its Spring/Summer 2017 show.
Visual Commerce for Luxury Goods: Monetization Possibilities
Remember, the very lifeblood of visual commerce is beautiful imagery combined with heightened opportunities for sales. Visual commerce for luxury goods is all about taking advantage of shoppers’ piqued interest and translating that into clicks and conversions.
One way of doing this on Instagram is through Shoppic.me. It’s a straightforward way of monetizing your Instagram following by getting a mobile gallery that links out to your product pages. It requires no implementation time and directly measures the sales outcome of your social marketing efforts. Joe’s Jeans is using it to full effect.
I believe that videos are also well-suited for this sort of shoppable content. The rationale here is that videos are the highest engagement generator when compared to images and written content. Second, it’s much easier for videos to make the product look aspirational via knitting a story around it. Amidst the dwindling attention spans of people, this is the best available solution to make your product desirable. And once customers are pushed to the threshold of a purchase decision, by making the video shoppable, you are giving an option to your customer to cross that threshold. That’s the main reason why today videos are moving from a mere passive brand awareness to an active sales channel.
We recently did a post on a shoppable video that Ted Baker did that was intertwined with its in-store window displays.
Thus, after analyzing all the scrutiny that I have done till now in this blog, it’s quite safe to say that visual commerce is perhaps the most natural choice for the marketing endeavors of luxury marketers. The reach, the nature of the products, the availability of visual platforms to support its launching and implementation, and the proven methods of monetization are enough to suffice the mettle of my claim. At least I don’t have even an iota of doubt in my mind!
For more guidance on visual commerce, don’t miss these guides!
- “Sell Experiences, Not Clothes: Visual Commerce and the Fashion Industry”
- “The New Wave of User Generated Content: 7 Concepts for 2017 and Beyond”
- “A Picture’s Worth 1,000 Words: A Visual Commerce Best Practices eBook”
- “Visual Commerce Permissions: Vital Best Practices for Using User Generated Content“