October 19, 2012
NEW YORK – A Louis Vuitton executive at the Luxury Interactive 2012 conference this week said that smartphone users need to be given choices on optimized brand sites so that marketers can cater to their needs on the device.
During the “Captivating the Customer with a Visually Stunning Site" panel, executives from Louis Vuitton, Hennessy, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, NetJets and SapientNitro discussed the importance of a distinctive experience on a mobile site versus a desktop site. Mobile is a crucial element of site design, but a desktop Web site acts as the hub of the brand experience on the digital channel, the panelists said.
“You have to be really mindful of where you put the content on a mobile device,” said Dino Pantazopoulos, digital producer at Louis Vuitton. “Desktop content is upfront.
“On mobile, you may not want to see a video,” he said. “If you are on the street looking for a store, the site needs to have rational elements.
“Give users a choice to see a video or just browse the product,” he said.
What works on mobile
The panelists agreed that Web site design should tell a story with strong visual aesthetics, but the experience on mobile is not necessarily the same.
For instance, photography works much better for the Hennessy brand on mobile, per Montana Triplett, director of digital for Hennessy at Moët Hennessy USA.
The LVMH-owned spirits brand is also looking to engage consumers on mobile when they are out at night – a time when they are most likely to be consuming the products.
“You have to think about what your strategy is and how the story is making sense to the brand,” Ms. Triplett said.
“Create a mobile site that is super-easy to get on,” she said. “You can have the same content, but you have to be very specific about where you put it.”
Mobile site adoption also depends on the product type and path to purchase, per Donald Chesnut, chief experience officer of SapientNitro.
A mobile site design should conform to the brand experience.
“In the world of private jets, for example, it is an experience that you might want to get,” Mr. Chesnut said. “It is about understanding where it sits and understanding that experience appropriately.
“People will watch and engage in a story when they have the time to browse and engage."
Furthermore, the number of affluent consumers who use tablets is on the rise.
Private aviation provider NetJets built its new desktop site to be compatible with iPads, per Anthony Katchuba, director of interactive marketing at NetJets.
Meanwhile, the desktop site is a key channel to immerse consumers in the brand story, per Louis Vuitton’s Mr. Pantazopoulos.
The French label built its site to deliver images and full-screen videos to tell inspiring stories. Content is presented as art.
“Luxury brands evoke emotion,” Mr. Pantazopoulos said. “They surprise us and delight us, and are woven into our dreams, fantasies and emotions”
“At Louis Vuitton, we really embrace those concepts and evoke those emotions through storytelling,” he said. “It is not about the bag, but the stories are all about dreams.”
“If they wake up for about a second, you’ve lost them,” he said.
In addition, a desktop site should not lack movement, per Robert Simon, director of interactive marketing at Four Seasons.
The hotel brand chose photography, typography and compositions to make a site that is visually engaging.
The site is presented in a magazine style so that visitors can browse in that type of environment.
“Luxury demands a narrative at the end of the day,” Mr. Simon said. “There is a barrier of entry when you love and appreciate luxury.
“Now you are engaged in the narrative of the company,” he said.
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York