How Inbound Marketing can work for Luxury Retail

The luxury retail sector is a highly competitive marketplace, which makes attracting and retaining loyal customers a vital process. Research carried out by the Center for Retail Management at Northwestern University suggests that only 12 to 15% of customers will remain loyal to a single brand, but that this small group of consumers are responsible for 55 to 70% of sales. So how can a luxury brand attract and retain these important customers?

Inbound marketing is a concept which can help you to develop a level of trust between your luxury brand and the customer. This trust is built on the foundation of personalized two-way communication. You want your customers to feel that you are talking just to them, rather than addressing hundreds of thousands of people with a generic advert or message. The importance of using highly personalized digital marketing methods, such as email, viral YouTube videos, and social media such as Twitter and Facebook, is highlighted in a study by McKinsey & Company. This study found that online interactions between luxury brands and customers generated 13% of offline sales.

Luxury brands should provide much more than just high quality, exclusive products and services. They also need to produce content of the same high quality. In the world of inbound marketing, content is king. By producing a steady stream of high-quality content, your customers will begin to regard you as a knowledgeable and trustworthy luxury brand. This content could be in the form of blogs, reviews, YouTube clips of up-and-coming products, or exclusive behind-the-scenes information about your brand or industry. It is the credibility, and the confidence that high-quality content creates in consumers, that will help both to increase product sales, and to convert one-time customers into loyal, repeat buyers who go on to become advocates for your luxury brand.

However, if you are producing several pieces of content every day and publishing them using a range of platforms, such as your company’s blog, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, you will need a way of tracking and scheduling each post. This is where the concept of inbound campaign automation enters the equation. Campaign automation will allow you to control the flow of your content by scheduling exactly when it will be posted.

Campaign automation will help you to nurture and engage customers with highly personalized content. You can send a series of messages to new customers based on their preferences, and easily monitor content metrics such as clicks and shares, while also building up a list of customers who have engaged with your luxury brand. Knowing who your customers are is vital so you can further develop the branding of your luxury product.

Increasingly, the research carried out by customers is no longer confined to traditional information such as the product price or specifications, but also includes the views of others on social media, as customers use social media posts to see what people think about the product. A study by Luxury Daily found that 57% of shoppers in the luxury retail sector will ask for advice from their Facebook friends before making a purchase, and 33% will go on to use social media to voice their opinion about the product. It is estimated that over half of all luxury brands do not include social media as part of their inbound marketing strategy; this creates a great opportunity for those luxury brands who are willing to integrate the two.

The distinction between offline and online is slowly dissolving, with many consumers now mixing their online and in-store shopping. A report by Wanderful Media found that 91% of customers enter a physical store as a result of an online interaction or experience. The report also found that 77% of customers will continue to carry out online research into products while they are shopping in the physical store, with 66% going on to purchase the product they research. So if you wish to increase the numbers of customers making visits to your bricks and mortar luxury store, you should pay attention to how you engage them online.

You can further increase the link between your online and offline marketing campaigns by using digital signage, such as Shopkick’s shopBeacon and Apple’s iBeacon. This signage is able to display real-time product information to customers as they move around the store. No only does this allow you to target customers, but the use of high-tech equipment helps to create a cutting-edge look for your luxury brand.

Inbound marketing is fast becoming a vital part of the luxury retail sector. Customers now expect brands to start conversations with them via digital content, so if you aren’t already reaching out to your audience this way, now is the time to start.

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