Luxury Brands: Towards an Omnichannel Experience

Olivia Poblano

Student thesis: Master thesis


Retail is now becoming an omnichannel experience, where consumers can use both offline and online channels to shop. The ultimate goal for luxury retail brands is to be able to provide a seamless experience along all channels while keeping track of their consumer. Since luxury brands are known for their outstanding service, they are expected to be able to keep up with the same quality of service along all channels. Unfortunately, many luxury brands still fear the adoption of a digital strategy due to the risks associated with it. A lack of digital strategy means that luxury brands are not yet able to provide an omnichannel experience. Therefore this research paper tries to uncover the ways in which luxury brands can begin to embrace the use of online channels. The goal of the paper is to understand how the different online touchpoints can help luxury brands improve the customer shopping experience. The touchpoints considered in this paper include luxury brand website, e-commerce and seven social networks. An inductive approach is applied to analyse the results from surveys and data collection by observation. The research is based on three main theories; the purchasing decision journey, CRM and the consumer-based brand equity model. A comparison is made between the goals of affluent consumers and those of luxury brands when using online channels to expose the gaps. The uncovered gaps allow the development of three new models (inspired by previous theories); the CBBE including online touchpoints, a consumer decision journey with the online touchpoints and the new, non-stop decision journey. These models act as an initial guide for luxury brands to understand at what point in the decision journey the touchpoint is most effective. This thesis provides insight into the online channels and the role they play in an omnichannel approach. The results suggest that luxury brands should not only focus on the current strategy, but also prepare for future innovations in digital. The recommendations provided aim to enhance the luxury consumer experience therefore, increasing consumer satisfaction to lead to higher brand equity.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages111