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June Haynes

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Retail Chatter #2

Posted: 10/10/2013 12:57 pm

In the past, one wouldn't think of buying a $10,000 designer gown online, but today brands have made it so easy and accessible. Sites such as Net-aPorter, Luisaviaroma and Neiman Marcus can make shopping pleasurable at any hour and at any given day. One can't help but to notice that the online business has become equally as important as shopping in the stores. The experts on e-commerce Sarkissian Mason mentioned that the growth of online shopping increases 20 percent per year and it will only grow even bigger as e-commerce continues to roll out the red carpet to make the shopping more convenient.

Websites have managed to find ways to keep you engaged for hours by making the experience simple, thoughtful and effortless. Not only is it easy to navigate around the sites but also suggestive selling has preformed like a personal shopper, which entices you to shop even more and increases the unit per transaction.

I remember looking at a dress at 10 p.m. online and having a black tie event the next evening; I placed the order and received the dress by noon the next day and wore it to my event.

Many of my friends have jumped on the e-wagon this year by purchasing more of their designer clothing online than physically stepping into a store simply out of convenience. The option of shopping 24/7 and without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home makes it easy and convenient. Although it seems that the average age of the online shopper is in their early 20's, according to experts the age is actually 32-45.

The fact that accessories are usually a more emotional purchase, it comes as no surprise that handbags and shoes dominate with 60 percent sales.

One can argue that online shopping has taken away business from the stores, but they are two sides to every coin and will always be the customer who loves the in-store experience vs. online, especially that of a luxury client. Customers start their shopping from the windows, and if something looks appealing, then the in-store experience begins. Seeing and touching the merchandise creates a desire to want to buy. There is much less guiding of the consumer online; it's more about point-click-buy.

The in-store experience can become more memorable if the customer has built a great relationship with the sales associate. This then becomes a more one to one service and at that point becomes all about creating your wardrobe based on taste and lifestyle. The type of experience that can ultimately lead to customer loyalty, as well as a return on investment. That mission is what luxury brands are aiming to achieve. In this decade no matter what your preference, whether it is online or in-store you have a world of options to fulfill your lifestyle and shopping needs.

 

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