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It probably wouldn’t be an overly revelatory declaration to make, to suggest that the luxury sector has bounced back strongly after the fading of the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
About that subject, one might ask the management consultants at Bain & Company, which found that the personal luxury goods industry experienced a V-shaped recovery during 2021. Last year, the size of the market rose back above that seen in 2019, and it has been predicted that the market could grow about 6% to 8% a year to reach as high as €380 billion (£323 billion) by 2025.
Granted, those statistics were released prior to the onset of the conflict in Ukraine and the intensification of global cost-of-living pressures. Nonetheless, it is instructive to observe the profound role that digitalisation seems to have played in driving such post-pandemic growth.
What, then, have been some of the trends in the digital space that will have implications for how your brand works with the best luxury digital marketing agency for its requirements?
A more ‘layered’ approach to luxury
What is luxury, in terms of how it manifests in a direct experience for target clients? You might associate it yourself with a certain air of exclusivity that might not have always sat easily with the apparent egalitarianism of much of the digital world. It is no small wonder that Prada, for instance, took until 2007 to even have a website.
Today, however, the profusion of digital content following a pandemic that so dramatically shuttered many luxury brands’ brick-and-mortar presences, has forced a rethink of what luxury can and must mean outside the ‘in-store’ experience.
The high-end brands of the 2020s are coming to understand to an ever-greater extent that conveying their luxury ethos increasingly means building compelling digital worlds for both marketing and retail.
In other words, the very notion of luxury is now more multi-layered, with prestigious brands needing to consider how to perpetuate this across online as well as offline touchpoints.
Continued experimentation with the metaverse
Until recently, it might have appeared obvious why brands like Prada shied away for so long from establishing a prominent digital presence; the imperative to maintain a sense of exclusivity and distance from the hoi polloi may have seemed best-served by becoming only very gradually involved with the online space.
This perhaps makes it all the more fascinating that certain high-end brands have been sufficiently bold to explore participation in the metaverse over the last 12 months. We have seen such developments, for instance, as the Balenciaga fashion house opening a boutique for the sale of NFT outfits in the Fortnite gaming universe, and the London department store Selfridges hosting a virtual outlet in Decentraland during March’s Metaverse Fashion Week.
Such developments reflect luxury brands’ recognition that it pays to be wherever their target consumers are, whether in the physical or virtual worlds. But such experimentation also remains largely that; experimentation, as high-end brands continue to consider the best means of engaging audiences in these new worlds without shedding too much of their mystique.
A proliferation in ‘digital-ready’ visual content
What has several years of escalating online purchases as a proportion of all retail sales done for the manner in which luxury brands engage visually with their audiences? Well, it has certainly helped give rise to much more sophisticated online showrooms – and with that, has come an elevated need for a broad range of visual material to be created around each product a brand may sell.
Even now, following the lifting of many coronavirus-related restrictions in societies around the world, not everyone is engaging with their favourite luxury brand exclusively by physically touching and inspecting items in a ‘high-street’ store.
So, whether the visual content your brand creates for a particular product takes the form of close-ups of crucial details, photos that depict the item being used in a specific situation, or even video content further demonstrating ‘real-world’ use, the fact is that you do need to be creating such content.
Not just a handful of images per product, but a strong content production chain is needed, so that your brand’s digital shopping experience really does give little or nothing away to your physical one.
Is the best luxury digital marketing agency for your own brand’s needs one with the capability to initiate and coordinate all of the above processes, and more, for the promotion of your business? To have that conversation with our team here at Skywire London, please do not hesitate to enquire to us.
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