CRM & Luxury Brands – What for? Poor for Segmentation, but rich for Experience?

Many of us measure and understand the power of nurturing and mining a clean and relevant customer databases to create, manage, broadcast and measure campaigns. Some of us daily experience the richness of the data collected – behaviours, purchase patterns, customer service.. etc.. both explicitly and implicitly. But what is the value of this information in the context of FASHION & LUXURY?

CRM – as a business process and from the perspective of Customer Segmentation  – is extremely valuable for brands and retailers distributing goods which are purchased regularly or in cycles – food, groceries.. even books, and other necessities and cultural items. Profiles and suspect/prospect groups can be created in many cases.. and ‘predict’ patterns and interests.

But is there a FASHION/LUXURY CUSTOMER PROFILE?

Some say, it does not exist and that data collected will seldom tell you if this customer is likely to be more interested in an item, or even in a category – unless it is purely gender-defined.

Another point is about the difference between Single Brand and Multi Brand retailers.. Observers have noted that a rich dialogue can develop directly between Brands and their Customers… but that Multi-Brand retailers face a challenge here and still have to find their ways..

So why engage in CRM?

Well… I think that Luxury and Fashion brands should really put CRM strategy and process at the top of their List. I also believe that CRM professionals should really re-think their approach to Luxury Brands.

Despite the objections above, which I totally support – it is not because a lady purchased a leather motorcycle jacket last fall that she will buy another one next fall.. but this means she follows fashion – I believe that CRM should be a top priority for any Brand wanting to optimise its customers’ experience.

A good, clean and properly managed consumer and customer database will help you take the pulse of your experience – what do customers search for, but do not find, how do they interact with your brand across channels, and what do they complain about? and on and on..

Easy? Well, I have not seen many customer-focused and ongoing CRM analysis in many luxury brands!

What is your take on that?

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Alexandre Meerson is an E-Commerce consultant expert in Cross-channel Retail for global Luxury & Lifestyle Brands. His consultancy – ‘La Boutique de Luxe’ – helps Brands deliver Commercial Innovation and Change through superb Customer Experience, Digital Marketing & International Distribution.
The founder and curator of the Digital Luxury Brands online networking group, Alexandre constantly researches ways to combine Brand Experience with Product Knowledge and Hard Working E-Commerce to generate sustainable revenue, profit and customer loyalty.
Alexandre heads up ‘La Boutique de Luxe’, a specialized multichannel marketing and sales consulting firm. His unique blend of experiences on behalf of prestigious Luxury & Lifestyle Brands and recognized B2B Businesses places him in a strong position to share his expertise in the fields that underpin successful online retail and business transformation.