Diamonds are forever, or so the song goes, so it’s no wonder that high value purchases like fine jewelry, watches, and other luxury goods are a tough sell online. When buying an item of significant value, there’s huge barriers to overcome: Trust, authenticity, comfort, and knowing there’s a return policy that suits the buyer and vendor in case something doesn’t work out.
In fact, according to one source, the luxury goods and jewelry sector has seen the lowest ecommerce conversion rate over the past 12 months, coming in at just 1.4%. Imagine a brick and mortar business only converting 1 out of 100 customers? They probably wouldn’t last long.
Leading luxury goods and jewelry brands build an exceptional customer experience into their price points. Elevated retail spaces, 1:1 personalized shopping, elegant packaging, and white glove service are just a few hallmarks of the space. But how do you translate this same experience online?
The short answer is, many brands haven’t figured it out yet. So much so, some retailers have opted out of it altogether - Chanel handbags are essentially impossible to buy new online, for example.
Now for the good news. Live video shopping might be the missing online customer experience element jewelry and luxury brands have been looking for.
Many luxury goods brands are already on the live shopping train, offering scheduled personal shopping appointments or clienteling. But live co-shopping is a little different, in that it's a seamless experience that can be accessed by any customer, right when they need it most.
With live video co-shopping, customers can request personalized service on demand with the click of a button. A live shopping associate serves as their product expert and personal shopper, establishing trust, recommending products, and even assisting a customer with checkout, just like in store. The result is the unparalleled customer experiences luxury brands are known for creating, accessible from anywhere.
Keep reading to discover even more reasons why live video shopping needs to be on your radar in 2023 and beyond.
Live shopping use cases for luxury goods brands
Live stream shopping is already a huge hit in Asian markets, generating hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue annually. The trend is picking up steam in Europe and North America as more shoppers are looking for that perfect hybrid: The convenience of shopping online coupled with the guided in-store experience they know and love.
This is especially true in the jewelry and luxury products market. No matter if an item is hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars, the majority of shoppers in this sector won’t click checkout without thinking carefully. They want to make sure it’s money well (and legitimately) spent, and that the investment they’re making now will pay off with years of enjoyment, whether for themselves or loved ones.
Live shopping means a chance to simulate that in-store interactivity and see these fine items from any angle. More information and more 1:1 support equals more conversions, less abandoned carts, and fewer returns.
Customers are understandably wary about shopping online for luxury items. If you’re spending thousands of dollars, you want to make sure the product is not only high quality, but authentic. While technically speaking, there’s no way to ensure a product bought in-store is any more legitimate than one bought online, the fact there is no physical location to return can leave some shoppers with a ‘fly by night’ feeling for brands outside of the biggest luxury goods lines in the world. Online video shopping is there to build trust and authority. Shoppers can put a face to a brand, get a closer look at products, and gauge the reliability of a brand for themselves. A fly by night operation wouldn’t invest in an elevated customer experience like video shopping. A trusted brand that cares about their shoppers would identify it as table stakes. Which category do you want to fall in?
Walk through a custom order process
The luxury goods industry is all about ensuring every detail of a product is to a customer’s specs. And while some brands have figured out ways to automate the customization process, it’s not quite the same thing as interacting with a human who walks you through each step. Live video shopping allows for just that. A co-shopper can recommend a product, talk through and select the options a customer is looking for, and add the item to cart for easy and efficient checkout.
Shop with a category expert
The luxury goods industry has plenty of niches and community followings, particularly for ‘collectors’ of items like watches. Often, these social communities and relationships are where purchasing decisions can be made. Offering up the expertise of an associate in a specific area allows brands to control the conversation. For example, a brand could actually look to these communities and hire a consumer expert on their watch line to answer live shopping calls. The expert provides the trust, confidence, and insight your shoppers need to check out, while they get early access to products, specialized training to level up their knowledge, and commissions or discounts on items.
Go virtual shopping while in-store
On a similar note to shopping with a category expert, there is a way to flip virtual co-shopping on its head. The traditional model of live video shopping involves customers calling into a store, studio, customer service center, or home where the live shopping associate is stationed. But another option is to let shoppers connect with a live shopping associate while they’re actually browsing in a store. At first this might seem counterintuitive - after all, jewelry stores are known for having a high number of staff to service customers one-on-one. But imagine having a QR code that lets shoppers jump on a live shopping call with their Rolex expert. Instead of needing to have a Rolex specialist in every store, they can hire a handful that can answer calls from anywhere.
Find the perfect gift
Luxury goods and jewelry have a higher than average propensity for being bought as gifts. Just because someone can shop for a gift online, doesn’t mean they’ll feel super comfortable doing so on their own - particularly if an item is expensive. A personal shopper can digest all the information a customer gives about their giftee along with budget, and recommend items that are truly tailored to someone’s preferences. This takes the pressure off of customers to find a winning item alone, while also avoiding a spiral of indecision that can happen when trying to solo shop.
Visit a retail store virtually
Even the biggest luxury goods and jewelry brands in the world have a limited retail footprint, often focused on major city centers and high concentrations of wealth. Alternatively, other jewelry brands may have more of a regional focus with strong brand recognition across a coast or state. Whatever the case, online virtual shopping hosted in a retail location brings the store experience to the customer, no matter where they’re located. They get a taste for the pomp and circumstance behind an in-store experience without needing to leave their homes (or wherever their travels may take them).
Recommend matching or coordinating items
Consider this very familiar scenario: An item might catch a shopper’s eye - but they might be stuck on what it ‘goes with’. While in many cases a jewelry brand will offer a matching set (ex: earrings, necklace, bracelet, and ring combinations), there’s still room for questions. Is too much of a specific motif overwhelming? If I were to only pick two pieces from a collection, which ones should I get? Can I mix and match this with other items? How about mixing metals within a design? The live shopper can answer all these questions and recommend the perfect style for each customer.
Provide incentives to close sales
Big purchases often involve big amounts of thinking - and high cart and browse abandonment rates. But interacting with a customer in a live shopping call can help close more sales on the spot, when exclusive offers and incentives are presented that simply can’t be accessed by other means. For example, a live shopping associate could offer a gift with purchase, complimentary gift wrapping, expedited shipping, or even a promotional discount - if the shopper checks out during the call. That extra little sweetener can be all it takes to make more shoppers be willing to buy.
Suggest items based on a customer’s specific requirements
Jewelry is often the finishing touch for a look - and the right piece will very much come down to whatever the rest of the outfit looks like. Shoppers can actually bring retailers into their closets and ask for personalized recommendations. For example, a customer preparing for a Black Tie event may showcase an off the shoulder gown with a unique neckline. Instead of having to haul the dress to a store or only show a picture of it, the sales associate can view the dress virtually and recommend the right necklace to emphasize the customer’s decolletage with aplomb.
Build a salesperson / customer relationship
The golden days of jewelry shopping involved frequent purchases, often made between a customer and a personal shopper or sales associate. Live shopping brings this experience virtual, allowing fine goods brands to create a clienteling-style arrangement. Shoppers may only connect with a personal shopper once, or they may begin to seek out a specific live shopping associate. Over time, that relationship can include the shopping associate providing recommendations as they get to learn a customer’s tastes and interests - essentially filling a customer’s cart on autopilot.
Run promotional live shopping experiences
How’s this for an exciting way to launch or promote a live shopping experience: Have a celebrity, influencer, or creator answer live shopping calls. Live video shopping presents an interesting opportunity to leverage relationships with famous faces in a whole new way. Customers will dial in for the opportunity to connect with an industry leader, and even if they aren’t actually connected with the celebrity shopper, they’ll still leave with an excellent customer service experience with any number of other associates that assist them. Can we also talk about the PR potential? Any customer that gets watch advice from George Clooney is sure to break the internet talking about it.
Determine the right size or length of an item
Jewelry and luxury goods might not be the most obvious place to think of ‘size guides’, but customers are always going to wonder about size on specific pieces such as watches or rings - items that are often tricky to size independently. A personal shopper can provide advice on how to measure size to help shoppers track down the right fit for them. Same goes for length; necklaces often come in multiple lengths and a guided shopping experience can hone in on where they want a piece to fall.
Compare two or more products
It’s easy to get sucked into paralysis analysis when shopping online. In lower-cost categories, a shopper might buy multiples (sizes, colors, styles) and return whatever doesn’t work - but that’s often not an option when shopping for luxury goods, meaning high browse and cart abandonment rates. Getting to compares multiple products side-by-side is an exceptional opportunity for shoppers to get a closer look, have their questions answered, and feel more confident to at least buy one of the items.
Offer truly 1:1 cross-sell personalized recommendations
Virtually every ecommerce site offers product recommendations based on the item a shopper is looking at. And in many cases, these recommendations are pretty clear: This rose gold floral-shaped bracelet works great with these rose gold floral-shaped earrings. But consider that these recommendations are generalized across all shoppers. A true 1:1 recommendation might take into account that a shopper doesn’t have pierced ears, and therefore wouldn’t be interested in the matching earrings. Instead, a live shopper can suggest another piece from the same line, such as an anklet or ring, to drive up order values.
Assess the color of an item
Let’s be real: Gold is not gold across every jewelry and luxury goods brand. Many brands have their own take on gold, silver, platinum, rose gold, and every metallic shade in between, and it’s not always easy to assess the color based on the photography or renderings presented online. Live video shopping eliminates the guesswork, particularly for brands that carry multiple finishes of a particular tone (ex: matte gold versus shiny, or white gold versus gold).
Look at a product in three dimensions
Virtual product modeling has become de rigueur in the luxury goods industry, allowing shoppers to rotate or zoom a 3D image through any angle to see how it looks from every angle. Augmented reality has further supplemented the experiential side of shopping for luxury products. But there’s still something about seeing the actual product in real time, ideally, on a real person. A live shopping call allows for just that - a shopper can slip on a bracelet or hold up an earring to give the customer a clear vision of how big it is, how far it hangs, or how it looks on a skintone that’s similar to theirs.
Aid low tech customers
The core demographic for luxury goods and jewelry definitely skews older compared to other categories. But many of these shoppers are proudly ‘old school’, happy to build relationships and shop in store. Live shopping is a way to overcome the barrier of needing to find the time or energy to shop in store - aiding low tech customers through the entire shopping process. As long as they can connect to a call and enter their checkout information, they’ll be all set to shop with ease.
Match shoppers to local inventory
Many fine goods brands have brick and mortar stores simply because they recognize the hurdles of shopping for luxury goods online. If that’s the case, syncing online inventory to local stock can be a great way to shorten the sales cycle. A shopper can check online to see if a product is available in stores, and either reserve it by purchasing online, or plan to make a trip in store. A shortcut to an even more effective version of this experience involves a shopper jumping on a live video call with a local retail sales associate. The associate can show an in-stock product to a customer, helping them decide if they want to bother with buying before they visit the store or not.
Find a replacement product or get assistance on repairing an item
Jewelry and luxury goods are built to last - but sometimes life gets in the way. A toddler pulls on a necklace; a watch is worn during a dip in the sea. Instead of having shoppers play guessing games as to what can be done to restore their item, a live shopping call can answer those questions and queue up support in real time. Shopping associates may be able to suggest repair kits or order a repair service. Alternatively if a product looks to be beyond fixing, they can offer a 1:1 replacement or similar product.
Selecting a live video shopping platform for your luxury goods or jewelry business
The opportunity to create an elevated customer experience is at your fingertips. We’ve even written a guidebook on how to get started with live shopping.
The big question is: Who’s going to lead the experience with you? If you’re looking for a live shopping platform, GhostRetail works with customer-obsessed luxury and consumer goods brands to provide a one-of-a-kind interactive co-shopping experience that delights customers and encourages repeat visitors. Want to shop with us? Book a live demo. We’ll see you there.