December 24, 2012
Luxury marketers in the apparel and accessories and jewelry categories were on top of their game during the last quarter of the year in providing savvy consumers with digital experiences that aligned with the 360-degree brand world.
Quite a few marketers redesigned their Web sites so that consumers could simultaneously shop and absorb the brand lifestyle. Additional efforts that seemed to stand out during the last quarter included those that brought consumers deeper into a one aspect of the brand through interactive digital content.
Here are the top 10 digital luxury marketers of the fourth quarter of 2012, in alphabetical order:
British jeweler and retailer Astley Clarke enhanced the user experience on its ecommerce site during the fourth quarter through a redesign centered on jewelry education and increased customer service.
The site now features a section called Learn where users can find gemstone guides, the history of famous collections and popular stone and jewelry care guides.
The brand also added social media share buttons throughout the site including those for Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Users can comment on items and share their wish list with friends on the site as well.
Additionally, the site incorporates more customer service aspects. Users can meet Astley Clarke employees through the World Of section.
They can also create their own custom pieces in the bespoke section.
For the holidays, Astley Clarke targeted shoppers in quite a few ways on the digital channel including a gift guide aimed at men that was packaged as an email cheat-sheet on gifts for women.
Men were asked to identify the woman for whom they were shopping. Six categories and collections of jewelry were offered based on a woman’s style and personality.
Jeweler Boucheron upped its digital strategy during the fourth quarter through the relaunch of its Web site that now allows consumers to access 360-degree product angles, social media channels and brand heritage.
Consumers can browse all Boucheron collections including high jewelry, fragrances, jewelry, bridal and watches.
When consumers select a product, they can zoom in and get a 360-degree view through video.
The new site is available in English, French, Japanese and Simplified Chinese.
Another major section is expertise. Consumers can seek expert advice from the brand on diamonds, gold, colored stones, care advice and a call guide.
Also, Boucheron marked the 150th anniversary of its Quatre collection during the last quarter of 2012 through collaborations with seven bloggers.
The “Tribute to the Quatre collection” campaign incorporated photographs taken by seven bloggers and presented them via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, China’s Weibo and a section of the Boucheron Web site.
British fashion house Burberry continued its efforts to combine the physical and digital brand experiences. During the fourth quarter it held an event to mark the opening of its Chicago flagship store that showcased weather and city residents.
The event Nov. 29 showcased Burberry’s Art of the Trench images featuring Chicagoans wearing the brand’s iconic trench coats. The images were shown in the store, around the city and across the brand’s social media.
For example, digital displays of lights and images were projected onto the store’s interior digital wall.
This flagship store offers the Burberry Retail Theatre concept that allows for the broadcast of live events and content on the store’s interior digital screens that can be globally-synchronized.
Meanwhile, Burberry rounded out its product-focused holiday efforts through a musical, animated social video that pushes the luster of its most technologically-advanced flagship store in London.
The label shared the 80-second video greeting card on a holiday microsite and via its social media channels that depicts “a festive night” inside the Burberry boutique at 121 Regent Street, London.
The label also used digital ads and its social media accounts to push products from its online holiday gift guide for women, men and children.
French jeweler Cartier retooled its Web site for affluent consumers in the United States in hopes of increasing online transactions and digital traffic during the fourth quarter.
The renovated U.S. Web site includes an enhanced e-boutique, product features, videos and more.
Cartier’s e-boutique allows visitors to shop online, find a boutique near them, read user manuals on timepieces and contact a sales adviser.
The Richemont-owned brand notified consumers of its new Web site through an email blast and its Facebook page.
In addition, Cartier was the inaugural partner for the new BrandVoice effort by Forbes, a campaign that allows brands to tell their stories through custom video content on the publication’s site.
Cartier is running three videos from its “Cartier EntrepreneurVoice: Make Your Move” effort through February.
French fashion house Chanel remodeled its Web site at the end of the fourth quarter to more effectively intertwine product browsing with content and imagery so that visitors become immersed in the brand world.
The label revamped the navigation offered on its site to be more intuitive of consumers’ usage habits and is featuring higher resolution imagery that much of the time offers detailed information about the products pictured.
Additional features of the site include an increase in video content, mobile compatibility and new social functions exclusive to its ecommerce-enabled fragrance, makeup and skincare sections.
Each section of the site has its own look and feel. The updates to the site that are evident while browsing include changes in menus, product list pages, collection pages and product detail pages.
Earlier in the quarter, Chanel introduced a new microsite called Inside Chanel that retraces the people and events that led up to the creation of the label.
The interactive site features two- to four-minute short films that tell events and encounters marking the life of founder Coco Chanel.
London-based retailer Harrods catered to its affluent customer base during the fourth quarter through three digital efforts.
First, the retailer boasted its status in both the fashion and food industries through a digital photography campaign that transformed its ecommerce site into a stylish culinary experience.
Harrods featured “Style to Savour” campaign photography shot at its on-site cafes on each section of its ecommerce site’s parallax scrolling homepage and in a food-themed shopping guide during the month of October.
The department store encouraged clicks to the site via email, video and social media.
Next, Harrods looked to expand its customer base through establishing a new digital wine boutique on its ecommerce site that contains shopping guides and serving tips.
The “Wine World” boutique features a different region each month with a corresponding reading and shopping guide as well as additional tips to find the best bottles each season.
Most recently, Harrods held digital shopping events that aligned with British Vogue’s Online Fashion Week Dec. 3-7 and included a “Hide & Chic” competition, silent auction and other exclusive offers.
The department store offered a new event-related competition each day.
Marc Jacobs Intl. revamped its Web site and enhanced its mobile optimization during the fourth quarter with improved visuals, mobile commerce features and social sharing options.
The makeover of its digital properties was meant to increase online traffic and captivate consumers.
The Web site now offers a high-impact visual experience including larger product images, social integration, mobile optimization and PayPal integration.
For instance, social integration includes multiple platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest on both the Internet and mobile sites. Facebook users can login to comment, “like” and share through the Marc Jacobs Web site.
Additionally, the brand is the first in the fashion industry to introduce the Tweetbox Widget to its page.
Marc Jacobs also added the MyMJ account to give consumers a more personalized online experience.
The MyMJ section features a user profile that can sync with Facebook. MyMJ account page includes order history, customized collection picks, news and events from Marc Jacobs and an integrated Marc Jacobs Twitter feed.
Mercedes-Benz USA was one of the first luxury marketers to take advantage of pushing products through the redesign of career-oriented social network LinkedIn in mid-December.
LinkedIn now features a products section on brand pages where they can showcase products and services. In turn, users can make recommendations and share products and information through posts on their profiles.
Meanwhile, Mercedes extended its Winter Event campaign that nods to Santa Claus’ “Naughty or Nice” list from television to digital through an e-card tool.
Users can send their friends a Mercedes e-card. The content of the card depends on if the recipient has been naughty or nice.
In addition, Mercedes-Benz USA made it to 9 million Facebook fans during the four quarter and thanked them by releasing a video featuring its CLS-class vehicle and painting with light special effects.
U.S. fashion house Michael Kors topped off its digital holiday efforts with a just-for-fun microsite that asks users how they want to celebrate the holidays.
The microsite asks users to finish the statement, “Celebrate With…” It then displays images at random that are related to each word submitted by users.
Michael Kors incorporated an ecommerce push into the microsite through offering specific products that correspond to submitted words and letting users view the entire selection of gift items via a pop-up page.
The #CelebrateWith digital campaign encompasses Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, China’s Weibo and the microsite at http://celebratewith.michaelkors.com.
Also during the fourth quarter, Michael Kors was one of the first marketers to target early holiday shoppers through a continuous email campaign that offered recipients a click-to-purchase digital catalog or a print-out shopping list to bring in-store.
While one message linked to a magazine-style version of its holiday catalog, a subsequent email included a personalized note from the brand, a list of nearby stores and a print-out gift list.
During the fourth quarter Italian label Valentino introduced a new shopping experience on its ecommerce site.
The new digital shoe boutique uses the scroll function to let consumers go further into a display room, which the label is dubbing the world’s largest virtual shoe boutique.
Valentino invited its email list to preview the digital shopping experience last week likely to tap its list of brand loyalists on the opt-in channel.
The label encouraged transactions through its virtual shoe boutique by offering two online-only red editions of its Rockstud pump designed by creative directors Maria Grazia and Pierpaolo exclusively for the launch of the digital experience.
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York