The Pandemic Gave Luxury Brands a New Code of Conduct A new type of shopping experience defines post-pandemic luxury retail.

By Marilisa Barbieri

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As the pandemic makes life more complex, consumers are willing to pay a premium for simpler, safer and real-life experiences. That includes the retail shopping experience.

So, what are the new values shaping the luxury brand experience? How do brands become agents of transformation and innovation in this challenging time?

Related: 4 Challenges I Overcame While Working in Business Development for a Luxury Company

Responsible living as a new luxury code

Today more than ever, people want to identify and associate with sustainable companies, making responsible living a new code for luxury brands.

The health crisis made us realize that our actions have consequences on society, and we should ask ourselves if buying a product is a good or bad thing for the world.

Fostering sustainable environmental and labor practices is essential if brands want to authentically connect with clients and include them in their products and brand experience as a whole.

Related: 5 Steps to Discovering the Ideal Client Persona for Your High-End Brand

Time is the real luxury

In over ten years of experience in the luxury industry, I have learned that my clients value time above all. And luxury is an investment in time and emotions.

Recent experiences in captivity due to lockdowns enabled people to stop and think about the value of time. If luxury consumers always valued time above everything else, now they are even more selective in how they spend it. It's the reason why the content offered at an in-store event has to be highly enticing and valuable to be considered worth the time investment.

By putting a premium on time, events become rarefied during the year with content that must truly stand out. Macro-engagement moments leave space for private and personal micro-retail experiences.

Micro-engagement moments during the in-store shopping experience

With time becoming even more valuable than before, the focus is now on micro-engagement moments: a more personal in-store experience perfect for delivering curated content and creating the extreme value clients expect from a luxury brand.

"Appointment only" is now a standard practice among most fashion boutiques and high-end furniture stores in New York City. With an appointment at the boutique, you have the opportunity to have a brand ambassador by your side during the whole time. Think about it: a product expert ready to educate you on brand and products, trained to deliver the highest customer service possible.

In-person and delightful customer service is the touchpoint opportunity for micro-engagement moments. These moments are a sustainable practice in an uncertain time and result in a more impactful strategy in the long term. They are never featured publicly, but they are more successful in driving long-term brand growth.

Upskill to win the game of intimacy with affluent clients

The pandemic accelerated the future of retail with transformed store experiences and unlocked pre-existing consumer trends such as live streaming and the disintegration of digital and physical boundaries.

The pick up in-store feature, appointment booking online and expert meetings in-store are part of the omnichannel experience, bridging the online and physical stores together.

Now that stores receive appointment-only customers, the expectations are higher than ever. In each interaction, providing value while respecting people's time is imperative. The ability to create a safe space for your customer while simplifying in-store shopping is essential.

Are you ready to meet them and deliver the brand promise? How do you plan to create micro-engagement moments with your clients?

Upskill your active learning, originality, problem-solving and reasoning to engage another human in a meaningful way. Technology is very limited in engagement capability, and humans still win at the game of intimacy.

Related: Why Digital Transformation Is Important for Interior Designers

Wavy Line
Marilisa Barbieri

Business Consultant, Luxury Brand Expert & Educator

A luxury-business expert with an MBA and interior design and arts degree, Marilisa Barbieri helps companies elevate their brand value and increase sales of design service by revealing proven sales strategies employed by top luxury brands.

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