Luxury retailers inhabit an elegantly lit world of richly paneled walls, sleek stone floors and plush goods. For them and their upscale customers, digital commerce is a foreign land, full of flashing offers prompting consumers to download a — gasp! — printable coupon.
Slowly, however, high-end merchants like Neiman Marcus and luxury brands like Burberry and Stella McCartney are adapting to the new virtual shopping scene, incorporating mobile apps, “augmented reality” and iPad link-ups that extend, rather than sully, the plush experience of their stores.
Last month Neiman Marcus introduced a pilot program called NM Service, an app that lets shoppers know which of their favorite clerks are on the floor when they arrive. The app can also be used to make appointments remotely with salespeople or pick out the items that interest them before they get to the store.
Neiman’s new mobile strategy, which imitates a system long available at Apple stores, is being praised as a cutting-edge move for a luxury retailer into SoLoMo marketing — social, local and mobile. “The consumer these days is a moving target,” says Scott Forshay, strategist for mobile and emerging technologies for Acquity Group in Austin, Texas. “How do we engage them while they are out there in the world?”Page 1 of 4 | Next Page