Luxury brands with a global reputation for elegance must have a consistent, high-caliber image across all operations including store presentation, website performance and product quality. To meet this higher standard of client expectations, the same must be true for their last mile delivery experiences.
A recent study by global retail bank Klarna demonstrated an uptick in online shopping within the luxury vertical, with two in five shoppers purchasing luxury products online in 2021. As the increase in online purchasing continues, clients need to see that their luxury experiences are being extended at the store and directly to their homes and beyond. The last thing a luxury client wants is their high-value, high-ticket item hastily delivered to their front door. This not only results in a poor customer experience but could permanently turn the client away from the brand.
However, maintaining quality control across the number of delivery services that exist can be quite challenging for luxury retailers, especially as they partner with third-party logistics organizations to get their products in the hands of eager consumers.
In the luxury world, image is everything, which is why high-end retailers need to provide elevated experiences that are consistent with what they are offering in-store. The level of service required by luxury brand clients means that the concierge treatment applies to more than just getting an item from store to door. Retailers can create new ways to elevate services such as try-on, event-based, surprise and delight, and experiential. To do so, there are various elements they must consider before being able to implement a program of the highest value.
Using technology to maintain brand consistency
As luxury retailers look to extend their white-glove experience to the last mile, they need to implement the proper technology to help them do so. For example, if the retailer is partnering with third-party fulfillment services to deliver their goods, an API solution that integrates into the retailer’s technology stack can give clients the ability to browse, purchase and schedule convenient delivery of their products without leaving the retailer’s website. This way, the retailer can better maintain a consistent brand image throughout the entire experience.
Also, ensuring the shopper has full visibility throughout the delivery process is essential. Luxury retailers should consider implementing additional solutions that give the shopper access to live client and field support teams to communicate any changes in timeline and overall delivery status.
Selecting the proper delivery professionals
Consumers typically venture to a luxury retailer’s brick-and-mortar store for the personalized client experience they receive from start to finish. The at-home delivery experience should be no different. A critical piece of this lies in the type of delivery professionals the luxury retailer selects to deliver their final product.
Just as store associates take the time to personally attend to each shopper at their store, luxury retailers can maintain brand consistency in the last mile by fully vetting their delivery professionals to create an experience consistent with their brick-and-mortar one.
The delivery professional network that the luxury retailer partners with or builds internally should not only work to deliver the client’s product on time, but should also create a concierge-like experience for the last mile. To accomplish this, retailers will need to create specific training programs for their delivery professionals or work with a third-party partner that already has these programs in place. These programs should be designed to give the delivery professionals a complete roadmap of the retailer’s customer experience and provide them with all the tools to properly deliver each product to the client, all the while extending the retailer’s brand identity.
For example, let’s say a client is interested in purchasing a designer dress for an upcoming event. The delivery concierge is able to create an entire experience around the sought-after product. This should include clear and consistent communication and the highest levels of professionalism and care during the delivery process. As well, to extend the personalization that customers have come to expect during a luxury shopping experience, the delivery concierge can allow the client to try on hand-selected dresses by their trusted client advisor to ensure the utmost satisfaction.
Also, another option is to create a “surprise and delight” experience for a client to receive a luxury item at a special event and deliver a product to a loved one.
Creating a white-glove delivery experience
Retailers can take this concierge service a step further with additional features such as allowing the delivery professional to be on standby so that the client can try on the item when it arrives at their front door. This gives the client the ability to see and try the item and decide whether they would like to keep their purchase, exchange it for something else, or return it to the store. From there, the delivery concierge should be tasked to manage next steps for the client, either noting that the delivery was complete, or further serving the client by facilitating an exchange or return.
Creating a last-mile luxury delivery experience
Not all deliveries are created equal. With a consistent brand presentation throughout the last mile, luxury retailers can create elegant and distinct white-glove delivery of their products. This leads to an elevated client experience and creates significant growth in the retailer’s digital business by increasing basket sizes, minimizing returns and increasing overall customer satisfaction.
Brian Kava is CEO of Pickup, an enterprise-grade, last-mile delivery solution for leading retailers, commercial and industrial businesses with a client list including HomeGoods, AtHome and HomeSense. Kava is a recognized leader with 20 years of experience in generating consumer and brand awareness, maximizing product visibility, and developing sales and marketing strategies for some of the world’s most renowned brands including Walmart, Google, Amazon, Home Depot, Whirlpool, Nike and Microsoft. He has spearheaded multiple operational transformations, developed technology platforms into industry-leading differentiators, and maintains an uncompromising focus on high-quality standards, employee-centric culture and customer satisfaction.