How Digitalization Helped This Luxury Brand To Thrive During COVID-19 Avi and Co. emerged stronger from the coronavirus pandemic by adopting a digital-first strategy

By Srivatsa KR

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The year 2020 was a challenging one for most businesses, including the luxury retail segment. Still, adapting to the demands of social distancing and safety norms, digital transformation helped brands to survive the global health emergency and slowdown. Businesses that made the digital transition and experimented with social media during the crisis witnessed a substantial increase in their reach and engagement, as more audiences were present online than ever before.

The coronavirus pandemic has reignited the debate for luxury brands to either digitize or perish. As digital takes center stage, here's how one of the leading luxury watch boutiques based in Manhattan and New York, Avi and Co., leveraged digitalization and social commerce to thrive in the middle of a pandemic.

A digital storefront

Most luxury retail brands relax after having a physical store that attracts major celebrities and other affluent people, but Avi and Co. went a step further and made it possible for their high-end clientele to shop online for luxury timepieces such as Richard Mille, Patek Philippe, Aude­mars Piguet and Rolex. It ensured that while stores were closed due to the pandemic, their operations would continue as before because clients could easily shop online on their website from across the globe.

The company also leveraged social commerce and linked its Instagram and website to facilitate seamless purchases.

Having exclusive live streams

Avi and Co. are known for their exclusive invite-only parties where they showcase their impressive collection of luxury watches to prospective clients. However, with the pandemic and social distancing rules, they had no option but to reinvent with exclusive live streams online where prospective clients could see all the available luxury watches and place orders.

As the digital medium expanded its reach, it ushered in many new clients, as people knew that they could view the exclusive timepieces in the live streams or place orders from anywhere in the world, and get their purchases delivered at their doorstep.

Prompt customer service

To try and replicate what was available in their physical store, Avi and Co. leveraged a live chat option on their website that is manned by watch experts during working hours to ensure that clients get instant responses to their queries. The company opened phone lines to immediately attend to their affluent customer-base and extended bookings for store visits.

Brand messaging

Avi and Co. made its brand messaging clearer and more relevant with its "we sell investments" pitch. The company positioned purchasing a luxury watch as a true investment piece of great value that can be passed down as a legacy for generations. Hence, adding the emotional bond to the luxury craftsmanship.

It is agility and adaptability during tough times that sails a brand out of rough waters. Utilizing social media and having a digital storefront, besides reflecting customer-centricity and adopting a clear brand-communication, are things that the luxury retail players will have to consider to overcome the adversities COVID-19 brought along.

Srivatsa KR

Start-up enthusiast & Blogger

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