CHANEL Digital Relaunch – the sensual explosion of beauty that captures the essence of the ‘Maison de Luxe’. But why are they still afraid of E-Commerce?

Superb – at last a Luxury Brand focusses on it’s ‘raison d’être’: beautiful products, their history and the craftsmanship that make them happen. But where is the “order” button?
One cannot order online, and this is.. disappointing and frustrating.

In each of these sites – one for Jewellery and one for Watches – you will browse through the collections in sublime detail, see the designers create them, examine how attention to detail at each step creates unique pieces of art.

A beautiful investment that initiates a cross-channel experience. Watch the collection, search your favourite piece and look at it in infinite detail. Take your time.
The Love Story begins and then… visit a store, if there is one near you. Because you are not allowed to order online.

Yes, that is real Brand Content –  which when allied to efficient CRM creates a new age for Luxury Brands. But the last step is missing: online reservation and/or ordering.

Chanel luxury brands e-commerce meerson

And now, the recurring question: Why aren’t we allowed to order online? Customers want it.. Is it because Chanel – like others – are not fit internally in their organisation, fear the anger of their resellers, struggle with heavily discounted products.. or is it because they have real concerns for their brand image?

Opinions differ here.. but if Hermes now derives 10%+ of its revenue from online and PPR/Gucci Group even more, surely the commercial argument does not hold. Is it just the fear of the unknown?

And now the Brand Protection question: aren’t Chanel more hurt by discount/fake selling sites than they would by properly preempting the E-Commerce space? I think so.

Going back to the sites… Yes, there are flaws – the site’s rich content is let down by poor technical design, usability and development – it is awfully slow and regularly freezes on you..  and I still don’t get how they let this happen… But I don’t care. It is Chanel.

In a couple of month, when all Luxury Brands will have revised their plan and realised that they need to nurture their unique content.. then Chanel will have to reconsider its strategy: They will have to seriously tackle the question of online sales.

They will not be able to hide and avoid these highly strategic questions, and address all the infrastructure and customer service questions.. Surely they have already started, haven’t they?

Chapeau Bas, but it is only the start, the real beginning of Luxury Online.

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.