By Alexandra Frith, Retail Pro International
Luxury shopping is an experience all its own.
Included in the unique ecosystem of retailers catering to the very wealthy are loyalty programs.
Many recent program launches come from companies realizing that they need assistance building loyalty among affluent millennials, a subset that spends north of $2 trillion annually.
While stores are focused on rewarding their VIPs, the benefits are more high-flying than discount coupons and special events.
First, these top-shelf programs are highly personalized.
Customers spending thousands of dollars expect to feel valued.
These programs go the extra mile for clients who are not only big spenders but often also influencers.
One highlight of such programs is concierge services.
Concierge services are the epitome of personalization — they are dedicated to helping regular customers optimize their shopping experiences.
For a fee, customers are treated to a variety of special services, including events, personal shoppers and exclusive experiences.
These retailers are betting that this extraordinary treatment will tighten the loyalty bond between customers and stores.
For example, jewelry companies might offer concierge services to customers who have made a large purchase such as an engagement ring to help them plan the engagement party.
Luxury car dealers such as Infiniti offer the free use of a personal assistant 24/7 for four years.
Companies can easily generate brand engagement and loyalty by helping with important life moments as well as more mundane daily tasks.
Brands that reach out to customers, provide enhanced delivery and after-care services create deeper relationships and long-term loyalty.
Those companies may have rarified customers, but the retailers are down to earth when it comes to understanding their market, customers and goals.
Strategy is customized in a way that might include personal concierge services or a custom loyalty program — but both make customers feel valued.
Cutting-Edge Digital Experience
Technology can help make a good experience great.
Traditional concierge and loyalty services are being enhanced with cutting-edge digital services.
By integrating the latest technologies into a traditionally low-tech segment, customers receive a truly unique experience.
Creating a deep emotional connection between brand and customer drives long-term loyalty.
The stakes are higher with the luxury segment, because expectations are much greater.
Loyal customers are the holy grail and the ultimate goal of any successful business, but retailers must commit to a long-term strategy with continual updates to ultimately be successful.
About The Author
One part executive, one part brand geek, three parts innovation fanatic, Alexandra is a strategist, a thought leader, and someone who is really good at cracking the business growth nut. With expertise in brand story development, customer engagement, and retail technology innovation, Alexandra spent last 15 years standing up tech startups, re-establishing relevance for mature brands and creating strategic solutions that hone market relevance and position businesses for growth.