One of the main advantages of shopping in the boutique is the real-time interaction. Customers’ decisions might be affected by people around them, from style to product information and so on. However, not all customers are being able to go to the boutiques all the time, in order to reach and interact with these potential customers, more and more brands start exploring “Style Advisory” service via different channels, online chat, phone call, Email, or even some major social media.
In 2016, we tested 34 brands’ style advisory via 5 different channels in China, here are some best practices to share:
Live Chat Example: Dior
Online live chat is an important feature, especially for brands who have E-commerce. However, among our research, Dior is one of few brands in the panel offering live chat in China, and with really good services.
WeChat Example: Michael Kors
Since WeChat is getting so popular and commonly used in China, lots of brands start putting more efforts on this social platform. However, chatting via WeChat is not like live chat on website, where you have the chance to browsing the products during the conversation. Therefore, brands like Michael Kors chose to re-design the product photos, with product name and reference price.
Weibo Example: Burberry
Weibo is another popular social media in China, similar to Twitter. Weibo is more public than WeChat, so lots of brands use it mainly for broadcasting news. Burberry is the only brand in the panel offering customer service and style advisory on Weibo. Customers can leave any question to their Weibo customer service account, the brand usually reply within few hours.
Phone Call Examples: Louis Vuitton
11 out of 34 brands offer style advisory via phone call, and more than half of them have really nice service and being really helpful. The best practice we would like to share is Louis Vuitton. After the phone call, they sent a SMS “Thank you” message with the links of the products they suggested over the phone.
Email Example: Brunello Cucinelli
Style Advisory via Email is helpful as well, however, during our test, not many brands seized this opportunities to at least show customers something. Lots of them did not reply, or just simply ask us to refer to store. Among the brands, who did good job, Brunello Cucinelli could be an interesting case to mention. They took photos of the real products in the boutique as well, this extra effort gave customers a better idea about the materials, colors of the suggested bags! Besides, after a week, we also got a follow up email to ask whether we were satisfied about the answer, and need more helps for choosing products.
There are lots of other ways to deliver friendly and helpful services to customers, and since Chinese customers are always connected, putting more efforts online via different channels is always a smart ideas. For more information about how luxury brands perform in China, you can check out our latest report here: China Online Boom: … yet to come for Ostrich Luxury Brand