Tiffany & Co. is an international symbol of luxury. It has been since its founding in 1837 and is best known today for its innovative jewelry design, diamond engagement rings, and yes, that lovely Tiffany Blue Box®. In fact, the Tiffany Blue color is so well-recognized that it has its own number (#1837) on the Pantone Matching Scale. Talk about superior branding.
The global design house’s prestige has carried it through the decades but like other luxury brands, it’s recently felt the squeeze of changing customer expectations. Despite the realities of consumer behavior, luxury brands have typically been slow to adopt things like digital and mobile tech. However, more than 80% of luxury shoppers are digitally-influenced when buying high-end items. This is despite the majority of luxury sales still taking place in stores.
What all of this means is there needs to be a balance between digital and white glove customer service. Tiffany & Co. is committed to this modern customer experience, both in-store and online. As a result, it’s earnings this time last year were soaring. At the time CEO Alessandro Bogliolo said delivering an “exciting” omnichannel experience for customers was a priority.
We see the fruits of the brand’s labor! In our 2018-2019 Omnichannel Leadership Report, Tiffany & Co. is number nine overall. It is also in the top five of the Personalization & Engagement section of the research. Let’s dig a bit more into what the brand is doing right.
Shopping shouldn’t be hard work. Recently, a colleague walked into a luxury goods store with a picture of an item a loved one was pining for. The experience consisted of several calls and print outs just to pinpoint the exact item and where it was available for purchase. Not ideal, right? Especially when he was willing to make the big-ticket purchase on the spot.
This is definitely not the Tiffany way. Instead, store associates are armed with mobile devices to access information digitally and amplify the customer experience. At the jewelry counter, for example, associates and customers are often interacting over devices. These company-provided devices help the associates look up goods on product detail pages, and also bring up customer’s shopping profiles. Right on the spot, they can add notes and preferences to ensure the shopper receives personalized service each and every time she shops.
Even more, Tiffany store associates can engage shoppers outside the store. With their devices, they can contact shoppers to build a rapport and win their loyalty. This is the future of clienteling.
Tiffany & Co. recognizes consumers today are more comfortable making expensive purchases online. It operates its own e-commerce sites in 13 countries as a result. But the importance of brick and mortar has not been lost on the brand. One of its strategic priorities is enhancing in-store presentation, which is apparent in the strong incorporation of associate mobile devices.
“The integration of the physical stores with online sales, creates a ‘seamless’ omnichannel experience,” said CEO Bogliolo. While the brand is working to makes its physical locations more engaging, more fun, and more modern, leveraging digital as often as possible is it’s new normal.
Forrester’s Luxury Retail Forecast found omnichannel shoppers are four times more valuable for luxury brands than single-channel shoppers. Offering a high level of customer service is an innate part of the luxury shopping experience, likely never to falter. But be like Tiffany and bridge physical and digital stores. It’s good for your bottom line.
Want to see which other brands we ranked alongside Tiffany & Co. in our Omnichannel Leadership Report? Download it today or reach out about a customized copy.