When I think of Amazon, I think cheap, decent quality products that I can get shipped to my house within 2 days. I don’t necessarily think of a luxury shopping experience.
Luxury brands were feeling that same vibe for the longest time, but now, desperate times call for desperate measures. Since Coronavirus has thrown a wrench in the plans of almost all retailers, they have to get creative. Despite avoiding partnering up with Amazon for a long time, luxury retailers have decided to finally give it a go as a way to stay afloat.
However, it became clear to almost every luxury consumers immediately that it was a bad partnership. Common Threads is the luxury Amazon storefront that was launched in collaboration with Vogue, but it really doesn’t feel much different than any other storefront on the website.
Fashion writer Christina Binkley said of the experience:
“They finally got their foot in the door, but if you look at the customer experience, it’s the same experience as buying coffee filters or something. The imagery isn’t better, the information you get about the product is actually less in some cases than you could get about those coffee filters.
One of the most important components of a luxury retail experience is the “extra-ness” of it. You want to feel pampered, catered to, and fully informed. Especially if you’re going to drops hundreds to thousands of dollars on an item, you want it to feel a little more significant than your one-click order for toilet paper.
Plus, the visuals the go into selling luxury fashion are one of the main ways that you bring the perceived lifestyle to life. It just feels weird seeing a flat lay of the clothes, unstyled.
Because of Amazon’s massive visibility, it makes sense for struggling brands to partner with them. But if care is not taken to create an experience that works for both the Amazon platform as well as the loyal (and lucrative) luxury customers, you run the risk of cheapening the experience and doing more harm than good.
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Hannah Michelle Lambert is the Social Media + Events Coordinator at Worthix, as well as the host of the monthly CX News Recap segment. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan.