One tactic, says James Gardner, CEO of CreateTheGroup, is giving consumers special privileges. Burberry, he points out (a client), does this by giving inside access like its own live stream of its fashion show on Sept. 19 that will let consumers “sit” in the front row.
Other brands are also realizing the Web can actually help them maintain control over discounting and the dissemination of their product and look, which is why an increasing number of luxury fashion websites are pumping up their e-commerce and mobile offerings. Oscar de la Renta, for one, built exclusivity right into its website with its Backstage Pass, a members-only shopping destination that offers one-off items, private sales, and a boutique “curated” by guest editors.
“The luxury consumer really yearns to have this privileged access,” says Gardner. “They want to be there first, get it first, get …something different than the masses. It’s a combination of being invited and rewarding customers, which I think is important.”