A luxury goods brand in the Swiss village of Luzern specialises in bespoke fragrances that are infused into their products. In an effort to expand their reach to a wider audience, they developed an online marketing manager role to test the waters of e-commerce. The role was designed to attract and retain customers who wouldn’t necessarily have considered buying from a luxury brand, but now have a better understanding of the benefits of purchasing bespoke perfumes.
It was a risky move to experiment with e-commerce in a relatively unproven territory, especially when the brand’s existing customer base is accustomed to visiting the boutiques and stores in person. The task of convincing these affluent, existing customers to explore a world of online fragrance shopping without fear of exacerbating this brand’s legendary customer service was a difficult one.
But, after gaining valuable consumer insight and making a small number of sales from online marketing, the luxury brand can be delighted with the effort, and are considering expanding their online presence further.
Here, we’ll share some valuable insights from this unique experiment, including how to use online marketing to drive footfall to physical stores, attract customers who wouldn’t usually consider luxury brands, and combat brand fatigue.
How Online Marketing Can Increase Footfall In Physical Stores
An element of risk in every business venture, especially when experimenting with new ideas, is that you may not measure the anticipated results of your efforts. When a brand like KV Luzern launches a new fragrance, they don’t just want people to know about it, they want people to visit their stores and try it for themselves.
But encouraging customers to make a special journey to their stores is challenging. The luxury brand’s boutique in the heart of the Swiss village is hidden from the streets behind a wrought-iron gate and an oak door, which are not always inviting to the passerby.
The brand noticed a steady decline in store visits over the years, so they turned to online marketing, testing several different strategies to draw attention to their new fragrance, Rosé Blonde.
The Results of Their Experiment
Results of their experiment revealed that putting up an appealing online presence significantly increased store visits, largely because of the role played by search engine optimization (SEO). When customers searched for fragrance products online, they were directed to the boutique’s website, where they could read about Rosé Blonde and find out more about the product.
A well-optimised website can help to drive traffic to your physical stores, increase interest in your brand, and potentially close sales. But ensuring that your website is effectively marketing your fragrance and increasing interest in your brand is more difficult than just putting up a pretty face for customers to swoon over.
Since implementing SEO, the brand’s store visits have increased by 50% year-on-year. And, based on the strength of their digital marketing strategy and the results they’ve seen, they are considering further expansion, perhaps into online fragrance shopping.
Attracting A Genre-Bending Audience
There are several reasons why customers might not have considered purchasing a luxury product like Rosé Blonde. Perhaps the thought of paying extra for a product they feel they can replicate at home already puts them off. Or, it could be the image of the exclusive boutique in the heart of the Swiss village that attracts interest, but not necessarily in the category of luxury goods.
To test whether or not this was the case, the brand split their initial sample set of customers into two distinct groups. The first group was shown the boutique’s physical location, while the second was shown an idealised online version of the boutique, crafted to appear as though they were visiting a physical store.
The results of this experiment revealed that although the majority of customers were indeed inspired by the online version of the store, the location alone was enough to encourage them to purchase a bottle of Rosé Blonde. Over 60% of customers who visited the boutique physically expressed interest in purchasing the fragrance, compared to just 4% of those who were exposed to the online version of the store.
This experiment serves as a valuable data point for the brand, helping to confirm that although their existing customer base is accustomed to visiting the boutique in-person, enticing these affluent shoppers to explore a new world of luxury fragrance shopping online is possible.
Stocking The Right Perfume For The Season
Another risk that brands take when venturing into uncharted territory is that there may not be a sufficient amount of products to meet the demand. This is a risk that KV Luzern is keen to avoid, and they’ve used a variety of methods to ensure that they have enough stock of their bespoke fragrances to meet the high demand that comes with this unique niche.
They’ve increased the number of perfume bottles available for purchase, adjusted their website to reflect the increased demand, and even changed their courier delivery to accommodate extra pre-orders. But, ultimately, it’s about creating awareness of what you have without overwhelming your customers.
If your product isn’t available for purchase at the moment, it may be difficult for customers to find your brand. The brand’s social media pages are frequently peppered with comments from customers who are unable to make a purchase due to limited stock, adding a touch of authenticity that builds trust and attracts potential buyers to their brand.
Combatting Brand Fatigue
The more brands that exist in a market, the more consumers there are to compete with. This creates a battle for consumer attention, which makes it increasingly difficult for brands to stand out from the crowd. There are simple ways to combat brand fatigue, like ensuring that your products are of the highest quality and that you exceed your customers’ expectations, but this becomes increasingly difficult when your competitors are also striving for the same goal.
Luxury brands like KV Luzern are incredibly discerning, and they’re accustomed to having standout products. The brand’s Rosé Blonde, a mixture of champagne, raspberry, and plum, is a classic example of their exquisite skills. The combination of fruit and champagne is a unique selling point that makes this fragrance stand out from the crowd.
When the brand created an online marketing strategy for their new fragrance, they wanted to ensure that it wasn’t just about brand awareness but also encouraged consumers to seek out their product. The strategy took several months of careful planning to ensure that it was bespoke, matching the unique fragrance with an outfit for the season. When customers are unable to find what they’re looking for in their local store, they may turn to online retailers, creating a market for your product that you could potentially tap into.
But if your brand is already well-established, it may be more difficult to overtake the competition. The more established a brand is, the more sophisticated their customers are likely to be, meaning that they’re less likely to be tempted by new, unfamiliar brands.
Experimentation can be really exciting, helping to establish new ways to engage with customers and expand a business’s horizons. But, as with any new venture, there are risks associated with this kind of approach – like the risk of failing to meet the anticipated demand for your product, or the risk of overextending yourself by venturing into new and uncharted territory. These are risks that every entrepreneur takes when pushing their limits, but ones that can be invaluable in helping to establish a business that can stand the test of time.