International Expansion: A How-To Guide to Maintain Luxury Experiences as You Scale
Emerging global markets present unprecedented growth opportunities for the luxury industry. With a rapidly growing middle class in countries including India, Vietnam, and Mexico, premium shoppers in international markets are graduating to the luxury sector.
But as luxury brands and retailers set out to reach these new audiences, they’re finding that scaling their businesses overseas is easier said than done.
Fortunately, innovative technology solutions are helping luxury brands streamline internationalization. From international marketing to site translation and operational red tape, these solutions simplify processes without sacrificing the quality and efficiency that the luxury customer experience demands.
In this article, we’ll consider how luxury brands and retailers can maximize their international expansion strategies while prioritizing the best-in-class experiences they’re known for. Let’s take a look:
Develop a Targeted Marketing Strategy
Reaching your global customer base isn’t one-size-fits-all. In reality, your customers in Japan will respond differently to marketing campaigns than your customers in Argentina - especially when taking into account language and seasonal variability.
Building a global marketing strategy requires businesses to think like locals. To tap into the mindset of their global shoppers, brands, and retailers need expert insight and data into each country's luxury customers.
Expert Digital Marketing teams can unlock these insights to help you develop effective, targeted marketing strategies. Backed by experience and data, these teams can guide you toward relevant channels and translate your content to ensure it resonates with your target audiences.
The best Digital Marketing teams take your strategy further by launching paid campaigns that seamlessly align with your SEO strategy and tailor your CRM to each market. This cross-channel approach allows you to authentically connect with your customers at every stage of their journey while maintaining your luxury retail experiences.
Beyond reaching new consumers, targeted digital marketing drives conversion. When Thom Browne partnered with our FARFETCH Platform Solutions (FPS) Digital Marketing team, it saw revenue from international orders nearly triple from 27% in year one to 72% in year four.
Deliver a Localized Brand Experience
Your internal communications teams carefully craft every element of your brand’s copy to convey a unified message. However, upholding this standard of care across translations can be difficult to navigate.
As your business scales internationally, it's essential you partner with the right localization team to bring your elevated tone of voice and luxury perspective to life. After all, most customers prefer to shop in their native language, and luxury customers expect accurate translations online.
Developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) software are helping luxury brands and retailers simplify these processes with new translation capabilities. At FPS, for instance, our proprietary AI software is backed by the luxury industry’s most robust dataset, trained on years of translating pages on the FARFETCH Marketplace. Our solutions are bolstered by our fashion-literate human editors who ensure each piece of content is grammatically accurate and aligned with each brand's unique tone of voice.
Delivering these localized brand experiences is easier to achieve in some regions than others. Countries like China are notoriously difficult to break into, especially with the prominence of regional commerce applications. Our partners at CuriosityChina are experts in localizing content and operations to deliver luxury experiences across touchpoints in the Chinese market. Their deep knowledge of local social and shopping platforms breaks down communication barriers and helps brands configure WeChat Mini-Programs, activate on Tmall, connect with local influencers, and leverage their long-standing partnership with Alibaba to elevate customer journeys.
Provide Quality Customer Service Globally
Luxury customers shop across every time zone. This makes it difficult for brands to meet their shoppers' needs in real-time without relying on impersonal chatbots or losing their unique point of view. For most luxury consumers, high-quality customer service is still at the center of their retail journeys, whether they’re shopping in-person, online, or from anywhere in the world.
According to Bain & Company and Comité Colbert's recent Luxury and Technology Report, 61% of luxury customers ranked their relationships with sales associates as the key factor in a remarkable retail experience in-store or online. As brands and retailers scale internationally, they must maintain quality customer service experience by extending local language services to live chat, expanding their phone hours, and creating localized email correspondences optimized for global time zones.
Beyond being accessible, it’s essential that your customer service team understands the intricacies of global shipping and delivery, inventory availability, and escalation processes to ensure the same standard of care across global regions.
Interested in learning more about how FPS can help your business maintain your luxury customer experiences while you expand globally? Contact us here.
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