Chapter 5

How Luxury Brands Deliver
Great Online Shopping Experiences

With the technology and design available on ecommerce platforms and through innovative web developers, luxury ecommerce retailers can offer their customers rich, luxurious, and highly personalized online experiences that mimic the feeling of being in stores.

Focus On Imagery & Storytelling

Fashion and luxury goods naturally have an element of romance to them. Consumers imagine themselves using and wearing items, how they will be perceived, and how that will make them feel.

To that end, luxury ecommerce retailers should focus on the consumer-as-hero when highlighting brands, product lines, and specific items on their sites.

Aside from storytelling, global luxury brands should focus on creating trust with their imagery. Editorial-style photography can create a powerful, aspirational mood and enhance a brand, but customers also want to know what the item will look like on them. 

To help consumers make a confident online purchase, luxury ecommerce businesses should focus on creating an immersive shopping experience that allows shoppers to look at (and zoom in on) products from all angles, inside and out. Photos of different models with different body types wearing the item will show consumers how the products look in real life (for example, it’s difficult to gauge the size of earrings, scarves, and handbags without seeing them on a model).

The key is to remember what makes the best, most luxurious service so memorable: A sense of being deeply cared for, without having to worry about a thing. 

When luxury ecommerce businesses use a strategic, customer-focused selection of imagery to recreate that experience, they make magic. 

Lean Into Social Commerce

Social commerce was practically designed for the luxury goods market. These visually-driven environments give luxury ecommerce retailers a platform for highlighting features, offering promotions, gathering consumer data, and offering high-resolution product images.

“Social commerce needs to be on the radar of every luxury goods business,” says Sarah Elizabeth. “Millennials and GenZ are accustomed to being able to purchase products they see on social media without having to leave the app. But there’s a caveat: Time and effort have to be put in to make the experience as seamless and luxurious as possible. Otherwise, glitches (like posting something that’s been out of stock for weeks) can damage your brand reputation.”



Pinterest’s visually-rich nature is ideal for product promotion, with high-resolution images and a feature called Pinterest Lens that lets consumers take pictures and use the app to find related products online. Its augmented reality component allows users to “try on” products before buying. While Pinterest doesn’t offer in-app purchasing, luxury ecommerce retailers can easily link to their ecommerce sites for transactions.



Instagram offers an exciting opportunity for luxury ecommerce retailers. With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram combines the visual appeal of Pinterest with the transactional ease of an ecommerce site.

The channel’s Instagram Shop is a curated store that uses Facebook algorithms to personally recommend products for users. This means the millennial, Gen Z, and Gen Y users will see more of the products they search for in a store created just for them. It essentially targets and attracts customers to luxury brands.


Make the Check-out Process Flawless

The most common reason for cart abandonment on ecommerce sites is a difficult check-out process. Luxury goods retailers can’t afford to have cart abandonment, especially when it comes to high-value items that may only be bought once in a lifetime.

Here are several ways to ensure a seamless checkout experience for consumers:

  • Reduce hassle and friction by streamlining forms.
  • Make it easy to checkout as a guest, prompting customers to register after their purchase.
  • Facilitate auto-fill of address and payment details from phone browsers.
  • Use lookup tools for zipcode or postal codes.
  • Default to a numeric keyboard for entering payment card information, phone numbers, and zip codes.
  • Expand payment options to include PayPal, digital wallet tools such as Apple Pay, and other alternatives.

Use Caution With Fraud Filters

Fraud filters are the automatic rules that give retailers authority over transaction approvals.

Using them without a manual review process and an understanding of fraud indicators is a surefire way to generate false declines, which can undo the entire customer experience and create disastrous online buzz. We’ll talk more about fraud filters and false declines in the next section.


Provide Concierge Service With Chatbots

In an industry where personal service is essential, artificial intelligence-driven chatbots can create the concierge-level service that consumers expect from global luxury brands. They provide customers a richer, more interactive buying experience by answering product questions, checking on available stock and helping buyers choose from similar options.

Again though, luxury ecommerce brands who invest in these technologies should be prepared to commit to excellence when it comes to the customer experience. An intrusive or low-quality chatbot experience is worse than none at all. 

Chapter 6

Fraud Risk in Luxury Goods Ecommerce