Luxury retail doesn’t necessarily have to equate to a hefty price tag or an empty bank account. The truth is, luxury retail is all about providing your customers with a premium product or service – a personal, immersive experience where they receive the best of the best. It takes the luxury lifestyle that customers are already accustomed to/aspire for and strives to make it a reality for all. Some simple ways that retailers are successful in delivering this include:
- Personalising items
- Supplying products that are unique/have been uniquely manufactured
- Providing a strong backstory where the premium aspect of the product is its authenticity
Now, given that not all of your customers have got the budget for a luxury lifestyle, it is essential that you find ways to bridge the gap and connect with both of these audiences i.e. those who can only afford the cheaper items in your store, and those with an unlimited expense account.
How can you connect with your audience?
The first step is making sure that none of your customers feel excluded from your more expensive items and vice versa. This means you need to move past your stock – and what is or isn’t available – and instead pay attention to their in-store experience and how they feel in the store. Are they satisfied? Have you catered to their needs? Have you made them feel special? IS your space fully inclusive?
Regardless of your store design, you need to apply the following to your luxury retail offering:
1. A refuge from ordinary life
You need to create a space where customers feel at ease and calm. Utilising soft furnishings and natural materials (wood) will encourage feelings of comfort and warmth. We suggest adopting hardwood floors, wooden surfaces, organic curves, stonework and water features within your store design as these can help bring the space to life, and make it feel safe/a refuge.
Tactile surfaces – a clever way to make your space feel inviting is using fabric to cover your interior surfaces. You can take this a step further by lining your walls with silk and your floors with wool to create a fusion design.
Incorporate ornate sitting areas with soft carpeting and high quality furniture.
Use a combination of green with organic materials e.g. steel, glass and wood are currently very popular amongst luxury retailers. Choose accent colours that compliment nature, and use natural floor finishes and textures, keep your furniture simple and use glass and metal shelving to keep your store fresh and light.
There is a reason why the saying ‘less is more’ is so prevalent. It suggests control; a conscious decision to not be lavish or rub your wealth into the faces of others. Instead, by keeping things minimalist, you are inviting the imagination of others.
This same principle can be applied when designing for luxury retail. You can take this ‘less is more’ approach – by having fewer displays – and ensure that your customers remain focused on your products. In doing so, they will pay greater attention to your key pieces and will avoid becoming overwhelmed by too many options. At the same time, this minimalist design will make them feel unique, special and luxurious.
If your brand is known for architectural lines and a clean design, then this should be reflected in your retail space by harnessing hardwood floors, sleek metallic surfaces, floating shelves, black and white décor, and sparse displays.
Limit your inventory and displays so your store looks spacious, and combine it with natural lighting and music.
Every store aspires to give their customers an experience that they won’t receive in another store. This is true of luxury retail. You want every customer to feel like a VIP – important, valued, special and unique to your business.
Now, there are a number of ways you can achieve this. For instance:
- They can virtually try on products – the use of enhanced technology can help create a ‘lifestyle experience’.
- They can harness styling screens – these are screens that transform into mirrors so customers can see how they’d look without trying the real product on.
- Embed clothing with microchips which allow customers to see how the item looks on the catwalk.
- Provide them with assistance without them asking for it.
- Conduct transactions using iPads – this will reduce queuing and instantly make customers feel important as they are the focus of your attention.
- Provide in-store digital displays.
- Use CRM software to give your personnel the tools and information they need to create a personalised customer experience e.g. access to past purchases, their social media profiles, etc.
Remember: your goal is to create a space where your customers feel valued as if they’re buying one of everything in your store, even if in reality they only buy your entry level items. This means from the moment they enter to the second they leave, they should be made to feel special and more than a stat amongst a long list of numbers. In order to achieve this, you need to strive for personalisation, consideration, authenticity and giving them an emotive experience from start to finish.
For more information on how to create a luxury retail experience for your customers, contact our team at Resolution Interiors today.