Luxury

Luxury Clienteling in the Digital Age

Chapter 1

1.1 Introduction

The current advancement in the technology enable to retain the customer data for a longer period which would track the purchase records instantly among the business sector (Bilgin, 2014). The proposed study on understanding the milestones of marketing in concerning the Luxury products would necessarily needs to be addressed in this competitive business world. The luxury essence keeps changing from the emphasis on the physical that turns to a focus towards the experiential. The pronounced aspect for a luxury brands is unique for its premium quality and consumers keen with the hand made products and craftsmanship (Tungate, 2012). The key component for the luxury brand businesses relies on serving the in-store customer with the experiential enhanced services. The most challenging aspects for the luxury brands in this modern fascinating trendy environment lie with the marketing strategies to attract the customers. The luxury brands operate in-store sales and make an effort to serve the customers visiting their stores to retain the loyalty of the brand. In this new era of computers and advanced technological improvement through the online customer service, the luxury brands face a numerous challenges to adopt the digital marketing strategies (Bekoglu, 2016). The project thus involves in identifying the ways to meet the marketing strategies challenges and build the customer relationship.

1.2 Background of the study

The customer expectation in this modern world towards a brand is not limited only with the quality but with the way of customer experience towards a brand. The customers is well-informed prior to make any purchases with the advent of internet accessibility through reviews and experiences (Boone, 2015). The individual perception among population is nurtured through the application of effective management of the marketing strategies. It is thus utilised by the medium and small sized industries with a successful competing varieties of digital marketing methods for their customers. The customer relationship is thus a threat for an inadequacy of luxury brands in applying the digital marketing strategies (Schwarzl, 2015). In this project, digital clienteling is the focus to emphasis by the luxury brands which is set apart by the retail segment. The customers are given with the persuasive personalised experience and thus digital marketing is incorporated slowly in the marketing aspects of luxury brands. Clienteling could help the brand customers transformed into regular purchaser towards a brand thus makes a huge customer base invariably with the changing trends over a period. It is essential for a firm to retain and serve customers either way through the online or offline mode (Green, 2016). Luxury brand essentially needs to concentrate on the online marketing and service offerings which also triggers in-store visitors with the clienteling approach. Hence the research could enable to identify the possible digital marketing strategies that could reach maximum customers.

1.3 Purpose and significance of the study

The purpose of the study is to investigate the various methods of digital marketing techniques used by luxury brands and the responses of the customers. The digital marketing is expected to be a doubtful aspect to retrieve the success for its innumerable risks and threat of losing the uniqueness when adopted by the luxury brands (Green, 2016). In this aspects, the notion of the luxury brands to exhibit the digital marketing is identified with its application and effectiveness on practice. For instance, luxury brands engage the online customers through sharing the artistic videos like “A Parisian Winter Tale” by Montblanc (Schwarzl, 2015). This presents the luxury brands rather than a shop keeper as a curator with its own space distinctively.  The evolving customer service through the digital means among the businesses shades off the hesitation of luxury brands towards the clienteling approach.

The customer retention as given by data is about only 10 to 30% in considering the luxury and premium brands that impede only with the own products (Tungate, 2012). Therefore it is significant for a digital clienteling approach where there is a high probability for improving the brand equity. The involvement in the social media conversation by the luxury brand not only improves the marketing reach but ensures with the perception of the customers. The customer’s expectation is understood and thus it would enhance the unique product produced by the luxury brands to improve brand reputation (Christiansen, 2014). Therefore digital marketing and social media interaction enables in achieving the brand value and luxury brand challenges in modern era could be eradicated.

1.4 Research problem

The luxury experience in the digital platform for a luxury brands is a biggest challenge (Boone, 2015). It is also accompanied with the effectiveness in facing the needs of ingenuity and creativity for the luxury brands that is steeped in heritage and tradition. The difficulty of brand positioning needs to be consistent that could be accessible to all customers online and offline (Chan, 2015). The possibilities to provide the customers with the complementing customer experience through digital means by adding value to the store visitors. Therefore the research could address these problems and highlights with the effective customer management methods.

1.5 Aim and objective of the study

The aim of the research involves in exploring the challenges faced by the luxury industry especially adopting the digital marketing strategies. It also analysis the various methods used to build the customer relationship and retention by the luxury brands.

Objectives

  • To analyse the efficacy of digital and social media strategies used by luxury brands
  • To identify the need of using digital marketing as a means of clienteling
  • To identify and analyse the luxury customers’ perception of digital clienteling
  • Examining future challenges and opportunities for luxury digital clienteling

1.6 Research questions

  • How effective are luxury brands in using digital and social media marketing to reach their audience?
  • Why is it necessary for luxury brands to use digital marketing in clienteling?
  • Is the brand value and customer association (with the brand) affected by digital clienteling?
  • Is digital clienteling the future of luxury brands?

 1.7 Rationale of the study

The challenges faced by Luxury brands in making strategies of marketing are discussed in various researches. The study explains in emphasising the customer relationship through e-portals, application of social networking and through mobile application (Christiansen, 2014). In this research, clienteling is of prime focus where the luxury brands are afford with the improved interactive sessions with the customers. The forwarded move of the digital world for sales and promotions, the luxury industry is highlighted for its significance and various ways of implementing the digital marketing methods. The researchers in previous studies fail to address the customer perception in relation to the digital marketing methods. Hence this research could fill the gaps on customer perception on luxury brands through the digital marketing in the process of clienteling. The research could allow the industrialists of luxury brands to use this as a reference material for their business application. The different perspectives on digital marketing in clienteling and the essentiality of the strategy serve as a supporting material for future researches.

1.8 Structure of the study

The proposed project study on luxury brands about the challenges faced in digital marketing and identifying the various ways for customer relationship management is presented in a sequential structure. The glimpse of introduction gives the brief on the project that discusses the objective and research accomplishing requirements. The significance and the gaps identified by the research is presented with the previous research consideration about the luxury brands marketing strategies. The key variables for the research is identified and demonstrated with the mode through which identified gaps is addressed. The literature related to the research study is applied to understand the various perspectives of different authors on luxury brand marketing strategy in concerning the clienteling. It is then followed with the research methodology and applying the techniques to collect the research data for analysis. The analysed data is discussed with the theoretical implications. The challenges faced on conducting the research study are explained after completion of the project.

1.9 Outcome of the research

The study analysis the various aspects of luxury brand marketing methodology and the urge for digital marketing is clarified. The competitive business environment enforces the luxury brands to adopt the technology and social media to interact with the customers to retain the brand equity. Though, the hand crafted products and premium quality of luxury brands attract the customer attention, growing demands of brand establishment through digital ways is understood. The customer service in-store with the reputation for the brand would be an added benefit on applying the marketing through the digital clienteling. The research could enable to adopt the possible ways of customer relationship management through clienteling to further retrieve the business profits. The luxury brands on imparting the online marketing could also paves the way for increasing the in-store purchase of buyer is clarified with the literature evidences. The underlying challenges out of the research project would also serve as a measure for proactive approach in future similar researches.

1.10 Conclusion

The project overview is explained in this “introduction section” with the entitled Luxury industry challenges to adopt the digital marketing strategies. The components given in the introduction segment serves as a base for completing the research project in an ordered manner. The theme for performing the research and project execution relied on this introduction segment.

References

Bekoglu, F. B. (2016). Strategic Approach in Social Media Marketing. European Scientific Journal, 12(7), 1857-1912.

Bilgin, F. Z. (2014). International Marketing Compact. Linde Verlag GmbH.

Boone, L. (2015). Contemporary Marketing. Cengage Learning.

Chan, L. (2015, December 21). emerging-markets. Retrieved from emerging-markets-research.hktdc.com: http://emerging-markets-research.hktdc.com/business-news/article/Latin-America/Mexico-Market-Profile/mp/en/1/1X000000/1X0010AQ.htm

Christiansen. (2014). Handbook of Research on Effective Marketing in Contemporary Globalism. IGI Global. Retrieved from :https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Huong_Le11/publication/265396317_Understanding_culture_motivation_and_ethnic_consumer_behavior/links/574e6d2808aec988526bcade/Understanding-culture-motivation-and-ethnic-consumer-behavior.pdf

Green, A. (2016). City branding research and practice: An integrative review. Journal of Brand management, 213-234. doi:10.1057/bm.2016.8

Schwarzl, S. (2015). Online marketing strategies: the future is here. Journal of International Studies, 8(2), 187-196.Retrieved from: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e2d6/1d2b5102fbf86a97ee7ee728fe2311e5e9e9.pdf

Tungate, M. (2012). Fashion Brands: Branding Style from Armani to Zara. Kogan Page Publishers.

 Chapter 2

2.0 Secondary Research-Literature review:

Introduction:

Digital technology has an important effect on the business development and progressions(Brexendorf, 2014). Although many of the companies are still considering digital implementation in the firm, it is highly predictable that the social media marketing practices and CRM process has already opened profit value for many early adopters. It is one of the augmented ways to connect and maintain a relationship with their clients(Raskino, 2017).

Fig 2.1clienteling in digital age(Guido, 2011)

2.1 Luxury brands Clienteling in the digital age:

2.1.1 Clienteling understanding and its objectives:

The clienteling marketing is recognized as relationship marketing practice where clients are retained and an effort is attempted to maintain a long-term orientation. The customer’s needs meeting is an element required for meeting this clienteling relationship(Mazzalovo, 2016). The communication channel is a key factor to be considered by the firms while maintaining a long-term relationship with customers. The idea of retaining existing customers is more important to the firm than attracting new customers. In case of the luxury brands, the long-term relationship becomes an important challenge(Guido, 2011).

Clienteling focuses on the creation of values in a contiguous manner with each customer(Anton, 2015). On comparing clienteling and traditional marketing process, the focus on the time (short and long terms respectively), personal and whole communication must be measured. In addition, the market shares development is the primary motive of traditional marketing whereas the customer development is concerned in clienteling(Mazzalovo, 2016).

2.1.2 Customer relationships in luxury markets:

The luxury brands are largely associated with the elements like creativity, innovations, quality standards and creating values (Anton, 2015). These factors lead to the consumer’s needs meeting, status, esteem development etc. Many big brands like Louis Vuitton follow a composed connection with their small customer community in Paris. This way communication is inside a specific boundary with the respective audiences and their needs are assessed(Dyché, 2014).

These luxury brands focus on brand image and identity progression by implementing different theoretical models in the firm. The use of communications like technology-based E-mail, databases, smartphones apps etc to develop and establish the customer loyalty(Guido, 2011). By using the different strategies along with the help of IT tools helps to identify social likes and understanding of customer’s interests patterns. This way individual communication and values are maintained by these luxury firms in order to retain their customers(Poloian, 2016).

2.1.3Development of clienteling:

The clienteling is definitely not a new theory developed in the recent times but is in existence for a longer time(Ellen, 2017). Factors like complexity in maintaining market competition, superior quality standards, customer retention etc are the common factors that induce the firms to adapt to new technologies and marketing paradigms. The IT and its usage in CRM practices are recognized as an important impact that leads to the implementation of social media strategies in business(Brexendorf, 2014).

Since the social media paradigm is the connecting medium with different stakeholders, it builds a common trust and value that meets each of their ends. The use of marketing principles is now an integral part of the business which actually helps in running the firm among the other influencing pressures(Galka, 2014). CRM functions as the tool to retain customers and maintain a connection thus focusing on multiple stakeholder values meeting. This doesn’t mean the firm must solely adapt to clienteling approaches but the stability in maintaining traditional and clienteling gives the relevant growth for luxury as well as other brands(Raskino, 2017). A proper definition does not arrive overclienteling marketing but Guido (2011)mentions this practice as an important tool to develop, boost and retain customer’s base thus creating a mutual value and profit.

2.1.4Information technology and its use in the customer clienteling:

The need for IT approaches is one of the essential elements in clienteling process. It is quite evident that the customer’s power in firm development is huge. The IT has a direct influence in making the customers prefer a particular brand of products during their purchase decisions(Robertson, 2013). In this way, IT impacts are highly affecting the brand development and henceforth every brand focuses on developing such opportunity base for their growth examination(Peelen, 2014).  The understanding of these social factors linked with the customers can help in developing such clienteling partnership for firms(Mosca, 2016).

2.1.5 Challenges to be assessed for the clienteling enforcement:

Raskino (2017)mention that in clienteling relationship with their customers, the strategies which are used and belongingness aspect are the two important elements that decide business ends. When a client feels a sense of the firm and its products, a one-to-one association is maintained leading to CRM strategy success(Dauriz, 2014).

In case of the luxury brands, the CRM value cycles are implemented to bring a continuous and a strong clienteling relationship with customers(Guido, 2011). This cycle includes the achievement of customer’s experiences, their insights of likes and needs through analytical understanding, implementing strategic capabilities which are applicable to the firm etc. The strategic capabilities of using the people-oriented values along with the use of optimized processes and technologies are highly assured in this theory(Sorensen, 2013).

Poloian(2016) mentions the importance of customer-centric strategies and applications are the central model in retaining customers. This pyramid needs to consider satisfactions, experiences, marketing principles, data and CRM strategies in the firms. All these factors and its assessment is given the big challenge for the firm’s client adoption techniques and picking among these choices decides the fate of organization (Scholz, 2015).

2.2The exertion of Social media marketing in business:

Social media marketing is one of the evident tools that bring a personal relationship with the consumers within the speculated boundary(Ellen, 2017). Anton (2015) mentions this social media marketing as a new way to create and maintain a brand identity among their consumers using advanced IT systems. In case of the luxury brands, these social media marketing practices are highly essential to sustain and maintain their relationship with consumers. The new collection posters, current updates on their sponsored events etc are published in FB or Twitter pages thus making the brand to connect with their customers in a more personal community(Mazzalovo, 2016).

The social media marketing is highly assorted with five attributes like interactions, trends, entertainment, customizing and word of mouth marketing principles(Stolt, 2016). Their interaction deals with communication between the brand and consumers through ideas sharing, discussions, and assistance and so on(Dyché, 2014). On the other hand, entertainment is an important element that the firm can use to connect with their clients during their leisure times(Mosca, 2016).

Brink (2013) says it also invokes trendsetting factor by giving news and data related to their industry thus creating their value and involving them in firm’s processes. The customization invokes personal needs meetings thus upbringing the value and trustworthiness along with brands identities. All these factors are contributed to induce a sense of positive worth of mouth marketing for these luxury brands(Sorensen, 2013).

2.2.1 Brand equity creation using the social mediums:

The brand worthiness is one of the identities every consumer opts and wishes for while purchasing.The luxury brands are chosen by consumers for their personal interests and for showing their individual success in the society. This way the luxury brand has created an important impact in the minds of the consumers(Raskino, 2017).

Brexendorf (2014) tells that the brand equity is an important principle that brings the image and awareness together. In similar context, the brand image is considered to be an important identity created by products and its name in the consumers purchase interests and experience  (Nix, 2017). The use of social media marketing helps in meeting those brand equities. The social media marketing develops a brand image among clients thus boosting the firm’s overall brand equity(Peelen, 2014).

2.2.2 Customers reaction on the brand equity:

The brand equity is an important research made by the different authors who summarised the three attributes namely preferences, loyalty and premium paying capabilities as its characteristics(Brexendorf, 2014). A consumer’s brand preferences are favored based on their interest and feelings they feel connected about the brand and its products. In simple words, when the consumers feel attached to the brand from other choices, the brand preferences are invoked(Dyché, 2014). The loyalty of the customers is determined through the continuous purchase of the products irrespective of other alternatives in the market(Peelen, 2014). Some of the consumers feel this correlation with the luxury products and purchase from the firm for an extensive time thus showing their brand loyalty. The consumers who are willing to pay for the quality and brand name are another characteristic which builds brand equity among clients. This way the brand equity factors mentioned above are highly induced by social media clienteling practices(Guido, 2011).

2.2.3 Social media marketing impacts in the consumer response building:

The needs for upbringing the social media marketing are compulsively considered as the important ways to bring the brand loyalty and preferences in the customer’s mind. This can be determined through the social media platforms usage by consumers in the recent times(Dyché, 2014). The premium hotels in business are preferred through the peer rating and reviews posted on these social media platforms which act has an important effect on business image and identity of the firm. The similar methodology is also followed by the premium fashion and phone choices among customers(Stolt, 2016).

Many reports suggest that the customers prefer the online groups’ comments and reviews for their brand preferences. Robertson (2013)mentions that these types of social behaviors are highly seen among the teenagers who are interested in clothing and other accessories purchases. The brand preferences also invoke a new positive sales channel for the firms to market and sell their products. When the clienteling relationships of firms are maintained, the stronger is their communication and the sales channel assessments. In addition, the brand preferences are induced thus showcasing the importance of social media marketing preferences in luxury brands image and business developments(Sorensen, 2013).

2.3 Marketing theory of the luxury brands:

The recent changes in the luxury brands fondness are due to the application of the new marketing theories that build a successful clienteling ideology(Anton, 2015). This change is identified mainly because of two important reasons- unique brand image building and global distribution networks. Popular brands like Apple, Audi etc focuses on this clienteling principle that helps them in developing a unique brand image and worthiness(ShopIgniter, 2017).The live wires model focuses on this speculation where the high investments made in retail stores are signified. The growing trends in digital media business help the brands to engage and maintain a sustainable relationship with their clients(Peelen, 2014).

CRM practices followed in the luxury brands should enforce an effective communication, data protection about the clients thus showing an uninterrupted shopping experience(Dyché, 2014). In addition, the value creation is seen through the Omni-channel branding which is also highly central to brand identity and recognition. Social media platforms are also used as an opportunity for building up an extended relationship with clients(Robertson, 2013).

2.3.1 Social media- a form of social business:

The brand identity and the authenticity must be properly retained by these luxury brands to ensure that they are valued by customers choice. The use of information sharing through fashion blogs is one such option to develop digital stakeholder’s relationship (Galka, 2014). The different stages of clienteling relationship are defining objectives, recruiting and selecting members and hence designing contents to measure and optimize them. The budgets allocation for this clienteling can inflict a positive trust and image amid the clients. The effective use of social media tools and practices can directly develop the marketing and PR functions but also aids in other department functioning (Peelen, 2014).

2.3.2 Core clienteling relationships:

The luxury brands must convey a dedicated relationship with their clients to impose a clienteling association. The digital revolution plays an important role in the CRM and client relationship thus upbringing an opportunity for the business to grow(Galka, 2014). The online business has opened new gates for the firms to build a fresh business channel. The social media affiliation programs help in discovering the client’s needs and to build a long-term relationship(Poloian, 2016). Clienteling relationships maintained in firms have an important influence on the creation of the individual value, ethical and valuable responsibility thus upholding the key stakeholder’s relationships(Raskino, 2017).

2.4 Luxury fashion brands E-marketing:

Clientelingisexplained as a technique used for enhancing the relationship with prospective customers of an organization. According to Clarke (2016), this could be achieved by collecting information regarding customers’ preferences, purchasing pattern by supporting employees in making offerings more personalized. This increases the competitive advantage of the organization in luxury industry. In consideration of digitization, it has revolutionized the contemporary business world. There are significant benefits of using social media such as customer acquisition, the range of products and services options, continuous flow of data, enhanced interacting with customers and among others(Duffy, 2014).

Krishnamurthy(2016) explained purchasing power of customers has increased tremendously through e-commerce and Clienteling process due to decreased proximity to the availability of products and services. As customers are capable of gathering information, compare, differentiate the prices offered between products of different companies. Despite the presence of most offerings in online one could say there are much better choices available through offline means(Krishnamurthy, 2016). The most admired feature of online means is its omnipresent nature through which offerings could be achieved at a successful level. According to Clarke(2016), the charge incurred on the offerings made is not an important factor that stimulates customers in purchasing of online luxury offerings, but it is an ease of purchase in terms of availability and quality.

It offers products and service round the clock and its omnipresent nature of offering regardless of products and services(LLC, 2013). According to Krishnamurthy (2016), another important reason for customers being interested in online luxury offerings transitions is due to the range of offerings it has increased the impact of Clienteling experience. One most important advantage of e-commerce is being able to purchase products and services 24/7. As per Duffy(2014), the brighter angle of online media Clienteling is eliminating the cost of advertising through outlets. According to Chaffey (2016), the crucial factor of development of e-commerce business in the luxury industry is it unbiased policy for any customer across the globe.

As per McDonald(2016) online luxury offerings could also be the range of design and variety of models made available for customer’s choice. This improves Clienteling experience for both customers and employees of the organizations and eases the process of offerings by organizations(Dauriz, 2014). Social media enables companies in collecting customer’s preferences and offering those products and services which are not available in traditional retail stores. According to Zappalà(2016), the most important disadvantage of e-commerce is its security threat due to the presence of hackers and threat to confidential data present in online. Thus, Clienteling through online means could be the threat to the organization due to the possibility of theft in personal data and financial fraud(Dann, 2014).

Thus, e-commerce users could also be at threat of having viruses and Trojans in their database. Frost states customers share their financial information such as credit card which could be stolen. As per one of the surveys conducted by BCG dominant age group in e-commerce transaction is in between 18-35 in luxury products and services industry. Thus to optimize e-commerce transactions of organizations there is a necessity of integrating online means. Newlands(2015) explains through such means of e-commerce security Clienteling process is most affected hampering performance of organizations. During e-commerce transactions customer’s experiences unwanted popup and information that influences the Clienteling process and impacts on rate purchases(Duffy, 2014).

As per Frost(2015) disadvantage through the practice of e-commerce is lack of brand experience by customers such as servicing at customer interaction points. For example: as per one of the founders of Natalia of online luxury fashion store says it is a service offering rather than being a lack of brand experience in Clienteling process. According to Zappalà (2016), one more reason for customers not interested in online transactions is lack of tangibility of products and logistics cost involvement. There is few number of luxury brands available in the market that drive the luxury brand industry, for example, Burberry, Gucci and Juicy Couture among others.

According to Krishnamurthy(2016), there is 53% of share among the age group of 18-35 who are aggressively involved in the online purchasing. This decreases clienteling experience of customers as there is a less interaction with company employees concerning the promotion of products and services in a personalized manner(McDonald, 2016). Frost(2015) stated online social networking also acts as a means of Clienteling process for customers. These include websites and blogs act as a virtual world for enabling customers in purchasing activities.

As per Dann(2014), advertising and promotion through online make a significant difference to the organizations offering luxury products and services. This shows impact on Clienteling process of organization in luxury industry. Advertisements and promotional activities through online means cannot be utilized for providing persuasive Clienteling experience by employees of the company for customers of luxury industry customers(Clarke, 2016).

2.5 Theoretical framework:

This chapter explains about theoretical background by the application of aims and objectives of the study. Frost (2015) states this is to obtain insights into relationships between luxury fashion products and social media. The meaning of fashion brands, online luxury brands, and social media will be explained in this chapter.

Definitions of luxury:

According to Duffy(2014), luxury is defined by the society thus it is not a neutral aspect of society and evolves according to civilization. The meaning of luxury is changed depending on the cultural background and civilization.

The traditional definition of luxury:

As per Krishnamurthy (2016), there are some significant disagreements between general and specific considerations in literature. The contrast in between the luxury and nonluxury brands are to be identified in this literature. In consideration of advertising the luxury could be explained as pleasure and experiencing at sensory levels through offerings(Zappalà, 2016).

According to Newlands(2015), most important factors for the sustenance of luxury are observed through the following an increase in purchasing power of customers, democracy, globalization, and communication. Democracy enables people regardless of their status in accessing luxury products and services. McDonald (2016) stated an increase in purchasing power enables customers in acquiring desired products and services at any point of time. Globalization even helps people to enjoy benefits of luxury products and services by eliminating stratification of society and increasing the purchasing power of customers(Newlands, 2015).

The final factor that affects the luxury is communication that enables customers to interact virtually through social media and online means eliminating geographical and other differences. Krishnamurthy (2016) stated clienteling experience is enhanced by the above mentioned four factors in the luxury industry. Newlands(2015) explained it contributes to the Clienteling experiences of customers through organizations social media platform. Social media has enabled customers in being acquainted with various cultural and geographical differences with their own. According to McDonald(2016), online platform has been stimulating customers in adopting the lifestyle of celebrities and leave luxury lifestyle across the globe.

As per Dann(2014), products or services to become a luxury should be having seven characteristic features as follows. It must be able to connect with emotions, serve pleasure, and give hedonistic experience to prospective customers, purchased for high price-functionality ratio, qualitative made to last, connected to cultural background and heritage, available in few places, it personalizes customer’s preferences and enabling customers to attain social privilege such as status(McDonald, 2016). Chaffey (2016) states these features has supported Clienteling experiences and enabled organizations to personalize their offerings to customers.

Towards consumption of luxury:

According to Newlands(2015), luxury offerings made by organizations are making the significant impact on customers. This impact includes lifestyle changes, attitude towards offerings are changing Clienteling experience and process(Frost, 2015). There has been the initiation of new luxury markets in various geographical locations and social media is contributing to the change in customer’s attitudes. Zappalà(2016) states that trend is navigating towards the experiential level of luxury products adoption have been significantly observed in societies such as North America and Europe among others. The societal change is moving customers by Clienteling process through the observation of luxury from quantitative to the qualitative prospect of customer perception(Krishnamurthy, 2016).

It has also supported in the elimination of social stratification and rather became individual specific and logic attached to the adoption of luxury offerings made by the company. Therefore current generation individuals are well aware of the Clienteling experience hence they themselves indulge in researching the luxury offerings. According to the report of BCG customers are much concentrated on aspects of well-being, the value of product or services experience and societal status through luxury offerings. Luxury has been observed as a means of expressing oneself through usage(Krishnamurthy, 2016).

Social media:

Social media has been a platform for expressing and sharing one’s feelings after the adoption of luxury products and services(Chaffey, 2016). This supports the users in interaction and sharing through various means of online features with the communities. According to Frost(2015), it could be observed as blogs, messages, data, and videos among others. Social media platform offers means for enhancing Clienteling process such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn etc.

The trend of growth in social media:

The information that has been generated by the users are playing the major role in the field of social media. As per Dann(2014), there are numerous websites and users available for the development of social media platforms. Some social media platforms have the significant positive impact on the Clienteling experience(Krishnamurthy, 2016). As there are known differences between social media and traditional media platforms. According to Clarke(2016), these differences could be in the form of quality of the information, updating frequency, and user-friendly nature. Thus social media platforms are in general are based on pull marketing strategy as customers from various backgrounds are drawn towards organizations offerings.

Luxury fashion brands in the context of social media:

In contemporary situation, customers have been focused on brands satisfying their requirements rather they demanding for the specific feature of products and services. Frost(2015) explains utilization of social media enables organizations in obtaining desirable information about the customer’s requirements as customers interacts in a significant manner with each other. The social media platforms are moving forwards form traditional Clienteling process to the social media Clienteling process to enhance customer experience(Chaffey, 2016).

Luxury online paradox:

According to Frost(2015), luxury offerings made by organizations enables customers to access 24/7 purchasing options. This has changed the relationship with customers with companies across the globe. Online platforms are being acted as a democratic feature where anyone could be able to express their feelings regardless of their background(Dann, 2014). Luxury brands do not only offer sensual experience at an enhanced level but also hearing, seeing and taste are factors that are considered.

2.6 Conclusion:

The literature review gives a clear description of how the clienteling marketing can be advantageous for the luxury brands and preference development. The use of social media marketing and IT evolution in branding can bring an essential prospect for boosting the firms’ strategic capabilities.

References:

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Brexendorf, T. O. (2014). Advances in Luxury Brand Management (fifth edition) Springer.

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LLC, L. i. (2013). Clienteling & CRM: Key factors for Luxury Success. Retrieved from Cegid US: http://www.cegid.com/us/clienteling-crm-key-factors-for-luxury-success/

Mazzalovo, G. (2016). Luxury Brand Management: A World of Privilege (second edition) John Wiley & Sons.

McDonald, M. (2016). E-marketing: Improving Marketing Effectiveness in a Digital World (Third edition) Financial Times Prentice Hall.

Mosca, F. (2016). Global Marketing Strategies for the Promotion of Luxury Goods (fifth edition) IGI global. Retreived from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Gianluigi_Guido/publication/307597678_The_Relationship_between_Fast_Fashion_and_Luxury_Brands_An_Explanatory_Study_in_the_UK_Market/links/57cbb9cf08ae89cd1e84541f/The-Relationship-between-Fast-Fashion-and-Luxury-Brands-An-Explanatory-Study-in-the-UK-Market.pdf

Newlands, M. (2015). Online Marketing: A User’s Manual (Third edition) John Wiley & Sons.

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Peelen, E. (2014). Customer Relationship Management (fourth edition) Pearson Education.

Poloian, L. G. (2016). Multi-Channel Retailing (fifth edition) Bloomsbury Academic.

Raskino, M. (2017). Digital to the Core: Remastering Leadership for Your Industry (third edition) Routledge.

Robertson, N. C. (2013). Electronic Customer Relationship Management (third edition) Routledge.

Scholz, L. (2015). Brand Management and Marketing of Luxury Goods (third edition) Anchor Academic Publishing.

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Sorensen, H. (2013). The Definitive Guide to Customer Relationship Management (fourth edition) FT Press.

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Zappalà, S. (2016). Impact of E-commerce on Consumers and Small Firms (Second edition) Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

Chapter 3

3.Research Methodology

3.1 Introduction

The third chapter of this research play a relevant role to identify the methodologies and research instruments to achieve the study aim and objectives.  This has helped the researcher to gain detailed view to different aspect of a research process. This chapter draws attention to the methodologywhich overview the research design aspects and different research methods for the selection and collection of data, its analysis and interpretation. This chapter include the research philosophy, approach, design, methods adopted, data collection approach, sampling procedure, data analysis and its representation to carry out the research in a systematic manner. This chapter introduces the research instruments and methodologies adopted to fulfil the study aim and objectives.

3.2 Research Philosophy

The research philosophies are foundation of a research to guide the researcher in taking appropriate decisions for approach, strategy and research techniques based on different philosophical values to answer the research questions. The research philosophy guides the manner in which research data about particular research objective should be obtained and analysed to be used to reach a valid outcome. It helps the researcher to understand research nature to develop background knowledge and logic that formulate assumptions and opinion of the researcher (Moon and Blackman, 2014). The assumptions play an important role in determining the research strategy and methods and for knowledge development about the research nature and issue.

The philosophies are categorised into epistemology, ontology and axiology. Epistemology relates to philosophical values to recognise, develop and accept knowledge by alternative methods to approach conclusive results for the research (Bahari, 2010). This philosophy suggests positivism and interpretivism. Ontology try to comprehend that knowledge exists or is a product of mind and this philosophy suggests realism and idealism whereas axiology relate to value judgement by researcher.  Another philosophy is pragmatism which accepts multiple realities and concepts that support action and modify the philosophical values of positivism and interpretive within the scale of a single research as per nature of each research question. Within the scope of this study, the fourmain research philosophies are positivism, pragmatism, interpretivism and realism. Positivism adopts the attitude of a natural scientists to develop research strategy using existing theory and development of hypothesis. The testing of hypothesis directs the development of theory and make use of highly structured methodology. It is based on actual knowledge related to facts of the research problem which is gained through experience, observation, experimentation, etc.

The interpretivism philosophy supports subjective interpretation in natural environment or reality to build a new theory about the research issue whereas realism theory considers beliefs and thinking of human in social system for the research issue. Pragmatism philosophical value is based on the research nature which combines the research approaches and make use of different procedure, methodology related to research issue.

However, the researcher has chosen positivism research philosophy over other philosophies as it offers flexibility in develop understanding of each research questions through measurable techniques and understand research issue which provides a foundation to conduct this research. It provides a fundamental principle to fulfil data requirement along with its analysis and use to arrive at reliable, valid and consistent research outcome.This philosophy helps in generalisations through structured methodology and obtain factual knowledge though quantifiable observations that is easily measurable through statistical analysis (Collis and Hussey, 2013).Thus, the positivism philosophy also guides basis principles to fulfil the data requirements with appropriate research methods to yield reliable results and provides an apt structure for the researcher to investigate and analyse the challenges faced by marketers in clienteling in digital marketing strategies in luxury retail industry.

3.3 Research approach

According to Gray(2013), the research approach give justification to decide on method to source and collect research data, analysis and its explanation from broad assumption to inclusive data interpretation. It lays out the plan and procedure which comprises of steps from assumptions to specific methods of research.In simpler terms, it offersexplanation for methods used to collect and analyse the research data. Under the data collection, the techniques of qualitative and/or quantitative can be adopted and data analysis comprises of reasoning techniques which can be either deductive or inductive. The deductive and inductive forms the two main approaches for any research. Deductive approach formulates hypothesis and tests the rationality of the theory by exploring a known phenomenon. Here, reasoning begins with theory to a new proposal which indicates general to the specific and the observations reject or confirm hypothesis. Thus, this approach involves exploration of theory, establishing a theoretical framework and observations through use of statistical analysis.Here, the conclusion is arrived at logically form the research premises (Gray, 2013). This approach is also referred to as top down approach due to its reasoning from general to specific. On the other hand, inductive approach involves specific observation to reach wide generalisations and do not involve testing of hypothesis. This approach the use of qualitative data. The inductive approach involves the use of combination of different secondary data and establish a strong link among the research objectives and findings form the raw data(Gray, 2013). The main emphasis of the inductive approach is to obtain a theoretical understanding and explanation of a phenomenon.For this research, the quantitative data collection is adopted by the research and follows the deductive research approach. The deductive approach provides the chance to the researcher to seek explanation for the casual relationship among the study variable and existing theories and concepts. It also provides the researcher the flexibility to measure and evaluate the study concepts numerically and helpful in generalisation of the findings of the research for the population sample to certain extent. In addition to this, the deductive research approach favours the use of quantitative data.The deductive approach is also suitable with the positivism philosophy.

3.4 Research Design and Methodology

Research designs provides a framework to shape the research process that conceptualise the research issues with choice of appropriate research methods (Creswell and Creswell, 2017). The research methodology involves theoretical assumptions to identify the design of the research and methodology for obtaining and analysing the data. It assists the researcher to undertake investigation for each research objective in a systematic manner. Together these take account of theoretical assumptions to understand the methodology for collection and analysis of the data.  This is helpful for the researcher realize the aim and objectives of the research in a systematic manner to explore the challenges faced by the luxury industry towards adoption of digital marketing strategies and determine the techniques use for clienteling for developing customer relationship and customer retention for luxury brands.

There are three main types of research design that fulfil the data requirement are qualitative research method, qualitative research method, and mixed research method which include both qualitative and quantitative designs. The mixed research method combines the research designs to attain the objectives effectively to obtain valid and reliable outcomes. The use of qualitative design is preferred to fulfill the need to acquire data to understand human behavior and opinion, attitude, feelings and nature (O’reilly and Parker, 2013). This research design gives less relevance to analytical techniques for the data analysis and interpretation. At the same time, it put more focus on the methods use of collect/obtain data to derive new concepts and build a theory. This is time consuming and has is expensive to conduct. However, when the researcher need to analysis the numerical or statistical data to fulfill data requirement then quantitative design is preferred for data obtained through survey, questionnaire, polls, etc.(Creswell, 2013). This research design emphasizes the use of statistical analysis to develop link among the known and observations and learning by carrying out research.  Under the quantitative research design, the data is analyzed using quantitative techniques which also require a detailed understanding of the descriptive or inferential statistics by the researcher to comprehend the relationship among the study variables(Creswell and Creswell, 2017). On the other hand, this method takes less amount of time and is economical as compared to qualitative or mixed method research design.Thus, to generate reliable outcomes there is need to analyses the measurable factors with the use of quantitative design.

As the nature of existing research is measurable, the researcher has adopted the qualitative research design to explore relationship among the study variables (Choy, 2014).As the main focus of the existing study is quality of research data to develop result generalisation by measure response of the study participants the qualitative research is useful to gather information and data required to carry out the existing research seamlessly. It also allows the researcher to undertake reasoning from broad and generic perspectives towards specific perspectives to establish a theoretical framework and arrive at conclusive results. The qualitative design is also suitable to undertake content analysis of data to find valid results (Cortina et al., 2017).Thus, to determine the factual knowledge, the concepts and variables are evaluated in this research design. The qualitative research design is useful for the researcher in completing the research in moderate time frame in order to achieve the research objectives and helps to focus on the specific areas.The following step is used to identify the appropriate methods to collect the research data.

3.5 Method of data collection

The collection of data from different sources is essential step to address the research questions and evaluate finding to determine the research nature (O’Leary, 2013). The choice for collection of data methods is influenced by the nature of research, type of study variables, resources availability, need for accuracy and skills of researcher. Apart from this, the time, effort and cost factors are also important factors that influence the selection and choice of methods for obtaining research data and fulfil the requirements of data for statistical or content analysis or other form of data analysis to obtain inferences from the study sample about the target population. The two main methods to source data for a research are primary methods and secondary methods of data collection. The primary methods of data collection include qualitative to obtain non-quantifiable data by interview, open ended questions, observation, focus group, etc. and quantitative methods collects measurable data through close ended questions in questionnaire, survey, opinion poll, experimentation, etc. On the other hand, secondary methods collect data already present in published market research, journals, books, etc.

For this research, the researcher has adopted both the methods of data collection to obtain primary and secondary data. Under the primary data collection, fresh data is obtained by the researcher through questionnaire method as it is economical, less time consuming and easy to administer. It also allows the researcher to obtain data indirectly by means of email. The interview method fulfils the requirement of qualitative data with the help of systematic compilation of close ended questions.

In the secondary data collection, the data is to gathered as comparable data from review of existing journal and articles literature of other researchers related to the research topic. The secondary data provides support to research observation by understanding the research question (Goodwin, 2012) and seek explanation from the review of existing literature to address research questions. Thus, the secondary method is used by the researcher to enhance the level of validity and reliability of the overall research. The researcher has employed both the methods of data collection to compare findings and develop better understanding of the theoretical concepts and theories for the research topic.

3.6 Sampling procedure and sample size

3.6.1 Sampling procedure:The sampling procedure is a crucial aspect in research for identifying an appropriate samplewhich is representative of the population. The procedure of sampling for a research involves selection of a subgroup from the populations to participate in the research process. The sampling needs to be done in a way that ensure that the sample participants chosen for the study represent the larger group or the population from where the participants were chosen. This is essential to develop a wide-ranging generalisation. Thus, two main sampling procedures available for researcher are probability and non-probability methods of sampling.

Under the probability method of sampling, the procedure involves simple random sampling, stratified sampling, systematic sampling and cluster sampling. All these methods provide the participants equal chance of getting selected. Thus, every unit in the population has a chance of getting chosen for the participation in the study. On the other hand, in the sampling procedure of non-probability methods there is possibility that the population is not well defined. The sampling procedure includes judgemental or purposive sampling, convenience sampling and quota sampling. These sampling methods do not focus on drawing interpretation or some inferences from the sample to represent population.The common reason of preferring this sampling procedure is owing to its fast implementation and relative less costly as compared to the probability sampling procedures.

For this research, the researcher has adopted random sampling method under probability sampling. The sampling procedure of simple random sampling allow the researcher to derive samples from population in a simple way by development of sampling framework of participants of interest from the population. This makes it easier to draw subgroups from this framework so that each participating member of populations has equal chances of getting selected. The samples from the population are selected by random process which ensure that the remaining samples has same chances of selection. The non-probability sampling method was not preferred as it can lead to selection bias whereas probability sampling provide advantage of equal chance of getting chosen for the participants of the population and provide flexibility to choose members to arrive at valid results. It can be noted that this method is also useful to the researcher to avoid any researcher bias as well as selection bias thus, this sampling method is preferred by the researcher as it promote impartial selection of the participant for this quantitative research.

3.6.2 Population Sample:This refers to choosing the subset where the resulting sample represents the entire population. This is imperative to undertake statistical analysis and to ensure accurate and reliable generalisation for the larger group. The population sample for this study include participation of employees from luxury brand retail companies. Thus, it highlights the population from where the researcher has included the participants of interest for this study.

3.6.3 Sample Size: To define sample size in a research is a prime feature for observed, experimental or empirical study. It involves choosing the number of participants to contribute in study and for statistical analysis to make inferences from statistical sample for a selected population. In qualitative research, the sample size is comparatively small as compared to quantitative research which require a larger sample size for accurate and precise estimation from the samples. The quantitative research can take sample size ranging from six to up to fifty samples from the target population (O’reilly and Parker, 2013). However, the sample size for the qualitative research can be from fifty to two hundred or more depending upon the nature and objectives of the research to certain a successful content analysis to arrive at inferences about target population.

The sample size for this research comprises of 6 participants which are existing employees belonging to field of sales and marketing. The sample size decided for the study belongs to six luxury companies. The sample selection was restricted to only luxury retail companies in the UK whose employees can be easily accessible through email.

3.7 Methods of Data Analysis

To address the research question and identify conclusive outcomes from the responses/observation, the collected research data needs to be analysed and evaluated in the most proper systematic way. Thus, the data analysis is the most critical process of a research process.  The analysis of collected data confirms the relevance of the research data and provides meaningful information for its successful interpretation of reliable research outcomes. The analysis of data done with caution and proper application of statistical knowledge ensure the achievement of research aim and objectives in an effective and efficient manner. There are several data analysis techniques available to fulfil research purpose such as content analysis, statistical analysis, factor analysis, etc. Content analysis is used by the researcher to analyze the data obtained from interview process that helped to analyze it based on the theories and concepts drawn from literature review. The data is analysed by considering research objectives and used to determined to extent to which the objectives are obtained.

3.8 Research Limitation

In any research, the planning and executions area of research methodology forms the backbone of the study. It is also obvious that these areas or overall research methodology have possibility of forming limitations for the research which may or may not be in control of the researcher.  Some of the few limitations for the research taken into account are identified in the research methodology of the study. Firstly, the research has focused on only qualitative method and did not employ quantitative research methods to ensure a detailed understanding of the research questions. Also, the use of interview method might lead to achievement of limited outcomes as compared to questionnaire method. This method is significant to collect the views and opinions of the respondents in depth. But, use of interview method can form one of the limitations of this study for limited options for response based on interviewee response and researcher selection to obtain results. It can also be noted that the sample size that was chosen for this study can also be a considered as a limitation to determine more significant relationships from the gathered research data. The content analysis is much better carried out from larger sample size to represent population distribution towards much more generalize form of results in a research. This is evident from the fact that larger the size of the sample the high significance the analysis holds in the qualitative research design. Moreover, it can be identified that time and cost involved in undertaking quantitative research design so researcher did not prefer it.

3.9 Ethical Consideration

The consideration of ethics forms an integral part of a research process. To achieve the research outcome in an effective and efficient manner, it is essential for the researcher to consider the ethical issues (Ponterotto, 2013). The researcher of the study has followed the ethical practices to support the research aim and objectives and to develop knowledge and reduce the chances of error or mis-representation of data during the conduct of the research. The researcher has followed a collaborative approach with mentors and colleagues to get any assistance with the existing research. The researcher also followed the university guidelines and parameters laid down for overall study which was helpful to remove any ethical issue for the completion of the research process in the most appropriate manner. In this context, the issue of plagiarism, copyright, access of information from valid sources and privacy and confidentiality of respondents regarding response towards the interview is undertaken into account. To avoid ethical issues related to secondary data collection the use of proper method of referencing is followed by the researcher (Ritchie et al., 2013). The in-text citation practice is also employed by the researcher to avoid the negative impact on the overall study. Thus, the researcher has taken account of ethics for the secondary research. The ethical consideration during the primary research allowed the researcher to preserve the values such as respect and fairness to the respondents as the contributor of this study. The ethical consideration was implemented to protect the study contributors from any kind of stress and discomfort, preserve integrity and maintain confidentiality of information as responses to the questionnaire provided by the sample population.

References

Bahari, S. F. (2010). Qualitative versus quantitative research strategies: contrasting epistemological and ontological assumptions. JurnalTeknologi, 52(1), 17-28. Retrieved from: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.898.9785&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Choy, L. T. (2014) The strengths and weaknesses of research methodology: Comparison and complimentary between qualitative and quantitative approaches. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 19(4), pp. 99-104. Retrieved from: https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/37208325/N0194399104.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIWOWYYGZ2Y53UL3A&Expires=1519367905&Signature=6H%2FWwwrz1impa8akIo4IPVaS0Cs%3D&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3DThe_Strengths_and_Weaknesses_of_Research.pdf

Collis, J. and Hussey, R. (2013) Business research: A practical guide for undergraduate and postgraduate students. UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Cortina, J. M., Aguinis, H. and DeShon, R. P. (2017) Twilight of dawn or of evening? A century of research methods in the Journal of Applied Psychology. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(3), pp. 274. Retrieved from: http://www.hermanaguinis.com/JAPcentennial.pdf

Creswell, J. W. (2013) Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. London:Sage publications.

Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2017). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. USA: Sage publications. Retrieved from: http://www.ceil-conicet.gov.ar/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Creswell-Cap-10.pdf

Goodwin, J. (2012) SAGE Secondary Data Analysis. UK: SAGE.

Gray, D. E. (2013). Doing research in the real world. USA: Sage. Retrieved from: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/4511/52a94c97687ac0c42238cb4b1481dbe1d8cd.pdf

Moon, K. and Blackman, D. (2014) A guide to understanding social science research for natural scientists. Conservation Biology, 28(5), pp. 1167-1177. Retrieved from: http://appliedecology.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Moon-and-Blackman-2014-Guide-to-social-science-research.pdf

O’reilly, M., & Parker, N. (2013). ‘Unsatisfactory Saturation’: a critical exploration of the notion of saturated sample sizes in qualitative research. Qualitative research, 13(2), 190-197. Retrieved from: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1468794112446106

O’Leary, Z. (2013) The essential guide to doing your research project. USA: Sage.

Ponterotto, J. G. (2013). Qualitative research in multicultural psychology: Philosophical underpinnings, popular approaches, and ethical considerations.Retrieved from: <file:///C:/Users/DR3058~1.PRA/AppData/Local/Temp/Qualitative-Research-in-Multicultural-Psychology-Philosophical-Underpinnings-Popular-Approaches-and-Ethical-Considerations.pdf>

Ritchie, J., Lewis, J., Nicholls, C. M., &Ormston, R. (Eds.). (2013). Qualitative research practice: A guide for social science students and researchers. USA: Sage. Retrieved from: http://www.sxf.uevora.pt/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Ritchie_2003.pdf

Chapter 4

Data Analysis and Results

4.1 Introduction

In this chapter, the researchers emphasize on the analysis of the collected research data which is study primary data obtained through questionnaire method to explore the challenges faced by the UK luxury industry in adoption digital marketing strategies and find out ways to develop long term relationship with customers and their retention approach.The questionnaire is designed to examine the view and opinion of the study participants for each of the research questions.

For this research, 100 questionnaires were distributed through email to the marketers working in different luxury retail companies across the UK.63 questionnaires were received from the respondents and were considered for analysis to obtain reliable and valid interpretation and outcome.In addition to this, the data findings from the analysis of primary data was studied to find any correlation with the secondary data findings.  MS excel spreadsheet was used to conduct data analysis of the primary research data as responses received for the different questions of the questionnaire form. The data is distributed in tabularform and graphical representation of data is done using MS excel functions for better understanding and interpretation of study results.

4.2 Demographic Analysis

  1. Gender
GenderResponseAnalysis – Percentage (%)
Male4470
Female1930
Total63100

The figure 1 represents the analysis of a demographic characteristics, gender. It can be analyzed that majority of the respondents (70 percent) for this quantitative research were male. The participation of female in this process was less which was only 30 percent.

  1. Age Group
OptionsResponseAnalysis – Percentage (%)
Less than 3046
31 – 403353
41– 501930
51 – 60711
61 and above00
Total63100

Another demographic characteristic, age is analysed in Figure 2. The response highlight that most of the respondents fall in the age group of 31 – 40 years and second highest respondent group belong to 41 – 50 years which represent 53 percent and 30 percent respectively.   It was calculated that 11 percent respondents were above age of 51 – 60 years while only 6 percent respondents were below 30 years.  Thus, from the respondents age analysis it can be identified that the questionnaire received responses from age groups up to 60 years which was positive for the research to get viewpoints from participants belonging to different age groups.

  1. Experience
OptionsResponseAnalysis – Percentage (%)
Below 2 years 35
 3-5 years2032
6-10 years3251
 Above 10 years812
Total63100

From the data shown in above table and figure 3, it is observed that that the most of the respondents (51 percent) have a 6 – 10 years of experience in the field of marketing. 32 percent respondents have 3-5 years of experience while12 percent respondents were having more than 10 years of marketing experience. The percentage of respondents that low market experience of less than two years accounted for only 5 percent in this research. This had increased the possibility to receive well understood and thought responses to the questions from well experienced respondents. This was also useful in obtaining valid results that were considered to be reliable for each research question.

4.3 General Analysis

  1. Marketers in different Luxury retail brands in the UK
OptionsResponseAnalysis – Percentage (%)
Gucci1117
Louis Vuitton 1422
Cartier 1016
Rolex813
Hermes 1321
Moët &Chandon711
Total63100

From the above table and figure, it can be analyzed that most of the respondents were from Louis Vuitton and Hermes which represents 22 percent and 21 percent respectively. The participation of marketers from Gucci were 17 percent, Cartier were 16 percent, Rolex were 13 percent and Moët &Chandon were 11 percent. Thus, it was observed that responses were received from different luxury retail brands belonging to fashion clothing, bags, accessories (watch) and wine to provide a broader perspective to the study outcomes.

  1. Motivation to use or adopt digital market strategies for clienteling in luxury retail brands
OptionsResponseAnalysis – Percentage (%)
To get 360° customer across all selling channels1625
Improve the brand identity to develop consumer relationships1422
Improve Customer relation management (CRM)1829
Protect brand image in complex business environment 58
To understand customer style and preference 1016
Total63100

From the above responses, the main motivation factor for the adoption of digital marketing strategies is recognised to improve the customer relationship management for luxury brands which is represented by 29 percent respondents. Another motivational factorsuch as to get all-inclusive view of customer from different selling channels which is supported by 25 percent respondents whereas the motivation to improve brand identity to develop consumer relationship was preferred by 22 percent respondents. The findings also point to understand customer style and preference for which less respondents (16 percent) provided support.

  1. Current or past issue is being solved through luxury digital clienteling
OptionsResponseAnalysis – Percentage (%)
Poor knowledge of sales associates58
Customer-centric shopping experience2133
Grow revenues (increase customer spending)1118
Develop brand loyalty 1727
Market competitiveness 914
Total63100

 From the primary data findings, it is recognised that the issue of developing customer-centric shopping experience is being resolved through the use of digital strategies in clienteling for luxury brands in the UK.  This received responses from 33 percent respondents. Also, 27 percent respondents viewed that to tackle the issue of developing brand loyalty is managed though luxury digital clienteling.

  1. Current trend to use digital marketing in clienteling for luxury brands
OptionsResponseAnalysis – Percentage (%)
Gather and utilise customer historical data/information1524
Increase customer traffic and boost lead conversions 1727
Increase customer transaction size813
 Identify top 20 percent customer 2336
Total63100

 The above primary data highlight the responses received for the current trend/ need of the luxury retail organisation to make use of digital marketing techniques in clienteling. The above figure show that highest number of respondent (36 percent) who consider the current need to identify the top 20 customers as reason for use of digital strategies. While 27 percent respondents increase customer traffic and boost lead conversions for its online and physical stores as current need which is being fulfilled by digital marketing approach. It is also analysed that obtaining customer data and utilisation of customer historical data/information as the current need for which responses were received which belonged to 24 percent respondents.

  1. Popular methods to build the customer relationship in digital age
OptionsResponseAnalysis – Percentage (%)
Use of social media for visual and ads & email marketing 2133
 Increase customer traffic & boost lead conversions 00
Mobile/website advertising 1422
Brand heritage-storytelling1727
Enhance interaction/service level1118
Total63100

 From the above responses, to develop customer relationship in the digitalised era it is found that use of social media marketing and email marketing for visual experience and advertisements is highly preferred method. This option is represented by 33 percent respondents. It is also analysed that storytelling is another useful approach for developing brand heritage among the luxury consumers todevelop effective long-term relationship. This is supported by 27 percent respondents. Apart from this, 22 percent respondentschose mobile and website advertising while 18 percent respondents chose for enhanced customer interaction and level of customer services to develop long term relations with luxury consumers.

  1. Preference for the customer retention strategies used retail organisation
StrategiesChoice for Level of preferenceResponseAnalysis – Percentage (%)
Emotional Customer engagement 1 -High 1930
2-Moderate 2946
3-Low1524
4-No preference 00
Customer loyalty/reward program1 -High 2133
2-Moderate 2438
3-Low1829
4-No preference 00
 Digital Personalization 1 -High 4978
2-Moderate 1422
3-Low00
4-No preference 00
Use Email/social media marketing and content marketing strategy1 -High 63100
2-Moderate 00
3-Low00
4-No preference 00
Total 63100

From the given table and figure, the question is analysed for the preference of retention strategies for the luxury consumers. It was found that the use of Email marketing, social media marketing and content marketing strategy has received a high preference for retaining customer for luxury products/brands by 100 percent respondents. This is followed by digital personalisation which is also given high preference by 78 percent respondents. However, only 33 percent and 30 percent respondents considered loyalty or reward programs and customer engagement as high preference for retaining their consumers but these are given moderate preferences by marketer.

  1. Effectiveness of digital and social media marketing in understanding target market, fast response to changing customer preference/product recommendation and personalisation
ChoicesResponseAnalysis – Percentage (%)
 Strongly agree2540
Agree 2946
Neutral914
Disagree00
Strongly disagree00
Total63100

 From the above responses, there is a positive agreement for the effectiveness of digital and social media marketing in the understanding target market, fast response to changing customer preference and product recommendation and personalisation for its luxury consumer. It is found that 46 percent agree to the question statement whereas 40 percent respondents strongly agree to this. At the same time, only 14 percent respondents remained neutral and there was no disagreement received as response in context of this question statement.

  1. Brand value and brand association is affected by digital Clienteling
ChoicesResponseAnalysis – Percentage (%)
Yes4775
No1117
Can’t say58
Total63100

 From the above table and figure, it is indicated that most of the respondents (75 percent) show an agreement to the brand value and brand association is influenced by digital clienteling. On the other hand, 17 percent also show disagreement with this question statement while only 8 percent respondents have shown no response for the impact of digital clienteling on brand.

 

  1. Major challenge in adoption of digital marketing strategies
OptionsResponseAnalysis – Percentage (%)
Employee resistance to change 2235
Lack of clear vision to fulfil digital customer needs 00
Lack of understanding of digital transformation potential 00
Leveraging of customer data from multiple source 1829
Lack of digital competent and expertise staff 2336
Total63100

 From the above responses, the main challenges identified in adoption of digital marketing strategies are lack of digital competent and expertise staff and resistance from the employees. These are supported by 36 and 35 percent respondents respectively.  On the other hand, the views of 29 respondents identifies that leveraging of customer data from multiple source is a key challenge in adoption of digital marketing platform.

  1. Challenge for luxury digital clienteling
OptionsResponseAnalysis – Percentage (%)
Transfer of luxury brand identify to digital space 1625
To interpret customer tastes/preferences00
Overexposure of product813
Lack of personal touch 1727
Incorporate digital transformation in organisation culture2235
Integrating online and offline strategies 00
Total63100

 The above primary data highlight the responses received for challenge encountered for luxury digital clienteling. The above figure show that highest number of respondent (35 percent) consider incorporation of digital transformation into the culture of the organisation in clientelingthrough use of digital strategies. While 27 percent respondents have given choice for lack of personal touch while 25 percent accounted for transfer of luxury brand identify to digital space as their challenges.  At the same time, it is also analysed that 13 percent respondents have faced the challenge of overexposure in digital clienteling for their luxury brands. This can be due to the risk of fake/ counterfeit products for branded clothes and accessories.

  1. Opportunities for luxury digital clienteling
Opportunities Rating ResponseAnalysis – Percentage (%)
 Brand differentiation and extension in online and global market1 -High 2438
2-Moderate 3962
3-Low00
 Leverage increased role of digital/mobile technologies/visual social networks1 -High 63100
2-Moderate 00
3-Low00
Enhance luxury consumption and shopping experience 1 -High 63100
2-Moderate 00
3-Low00
Product recommendation (based on historic data and purchase pattern)1 -High 1321
2-Moderate 5079
3-Low00
 To increase customer traffic in online and physical stores 1 -High 1422
2-Moderate 4978
3-Low00
Total 63100

From the above facts and figure, it is analysed that to leverage on the increased role of digital/mobile technologies/visual social networks and to enhance the luxury consumption and shopping experience of luxury consumers are considered to be the main opportunities for luxury digital clienteling by digital marketers of luxury retail companies in the UK. These options received 100 percent response for high rating for these opportunities from all the questionnaire respondents. The other opportunities such as brand differentiation and extension in online and global market received high rating as response from 38 percent respondents while to increase customer traffic in online and physical stores and product recommendation opportunity accounted for 22 percent and 21 percent respondents respectively. On the other hand, product recommendation and increase customer traffic are consider to be moderate opportunities by 79 and 78 percent respondents whereas brand differentiation and extension in online and global market as moderate opportunity received was favoured by 62 percent respondents.

  1. Clienteling is the future of luxury retail marketing
ChoicesResponseAnalysis – Percentage (%)
 Strongly agree2743
Agree 1829
Neutral711
Disagree1117
Strongly disagree00
Total63100

 From the above facts and figure, it is indicated that 72 percent (43+29) respondents show an agreement towards the role of clienteling is the future of luxury retail marketing. However, only 17 percent respondents do not approve its clienteling in future luxury retailing.At the same time, 11 percent respondents remained neutral in responding to this question. The finding reveals that majority of the marketers in UK as study respondents hold relevance to clienteling in the luxury retailing in the digital environment.

Questionnaire Form

  1. Gender: 
  • Male
  • Female
  1. To which age group you belong?
  • Less than 30 years
  • 31 – 40 years
  • 41– 50 years
  • 51 – 60 years
  • 61years and above
  1. How many years of experience you have in the marketing and sales field?
  • Below 2 years
  • 3-5 years
  • 6-10 years
  • Above 10 years
  1. You are associated with which major Luxury retail brand in UK?
  • Gucci
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Cartier
  • Rolex
  • Hermes
  • Moët &Chandon
  1. What is the main motivation behind your organisation to use or adopt digital market strategies for clienteling in luxury retail brands?
  • To get 360° customer across all selling channels
  • Improve the brand identity to develop consumer relationships
  • Improve Customer relation management (CRM)
  • Protect brand image in complex business environment
  • To understand customer style and preference
  1. What current or past issue is being solved through luxury digital clienteling in your organisation?
  • Poor knowledge of sales associates
  • Customer-centric shopping experience
  • Grow revenues (increase customer spending)
  • Develop brand loyalty
  • Market competitiveness
  1. In your view, what is the current trendtouse digital marketing in clienteling for luxury brands in your organisation?
  • Gather and utilise customer historical data/information (Data management)
  • Increase customer traffic and boost lead conversions
  • Increase customer transaction size
  • Identify top 20 percent customer
  1. What are the popular methods used to build the customer relationship in digital age?
  • Use of social media for visual and ads (Pinterest,Instagram, Facebook) and email marketing
  • Customer feedback form/survey
  • Mobile/website advertising
  • Brand heritage-storytelling
  • Enhance interaction/service level
  1. Please provide your fondness of the customer retention strategies used in your retail organisation? (1-High preference, 2- moderate preference, 3- low preference, 4- No preference)
  • Emotional Customer engagement
  • Use Email/social media marketing and content marketing strategy
  • Customer loyalty/reward program
  • Digital Personalisation
  1. Do you agree that digital and social media marketing are effective to reach target audience for understanding target market, fast response to changing customer preference/product recommendation and personalisation?
  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree
  1. Do you think that brand value and brand association is affected by digital clienteling?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Can’t Say
  1. What have been the major challenge in adoption of digital marketing strategies for the organisation?
  • Employee resistance to change
  • Lack of clear vision to fulfil digital customer needs
  • Lack of understanding of digital transformation potential
  • Leveraging of customer data from multiple source
  • Lack of digital competent and expertise staff
  1. According to you, which of the following is the main challenge for luxury digital clienteling?
  • Transfer of luxury brand identify to digital space
  • To interpret customer tastes/preferences
  • Overexposure of product
  • Lack of personal touch
  • Incorporate digital transformation in organisation culture
  • Integrating online and offline strategies
  1. According to you, rate the opportunities for luxury digital clienteling? ( 1 – high, 2- moderate , 3 -low )
  • Brand differentiation and extension in online and global market
  • Leverage increased role of digital/mobile technologies/visual social networks
  • Enhance luxury consumption and shopping experience
  • To increase customer traffic in online and physical stores
  • Product recommendation (based on historic data and purchase pattern)
  • To employ advanced site search tactics (SEO)
  • Personalization of emails and omnichannel efforts
  1. Do you agree that Clienteling is the future of luxury retail marketing?
  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree

Chapter 5

Discussion

This chapter of the research discuss the results based on primary research findings and attempts to correlate the primary finding with the secondary data findings to arrive at conclusive results.

From the data analysis, it can be discussed that researcher was able to receive responses from both male and female marketers belonging to different age categories which had been helpful to receive perspective to get a wider understanding and supported to increase relevancy of this research. The majority of respondents were having an experience of more than six years in the marketing field (collectively 73 percent) which represents experienced respondents that add to the reliability of this research.  The study has included the luxury companies from fashion, leather goods, shoes, watches, jewellery, perfumes, bags and lifestyle accessories along with fine winery and champagne as luxury goods to cover wider aspects of digital clienteling for the existing study.

The data analysis findings provide valuable insight on the motivation to use or willingness to adopt the digital strategies for clienteling the luxury consumers was to improve the overall customer relationship management (CRM). It can be discussed that digital strategies such as use of mobile devices, developing apps to provide product information, collect relevant customer data, analyse customer search options and to engage and communicate with customers are effective to develop relationship with customers. Thus, digital strategies have allowed the luxury retailers to have close connection with their customers and to have a complete customer knowledge of preferences, needs, purchase history through digital technologies to offer personalised services, product recommendationwhich is essential to develop a more effective CRM tool for the sustainable growth of their luxury products/brands. The results also highlight that clienteling in luxury retail through digital strategies has been vital to infuse a customer centric shopping experience in their physical and online stores. This can be due to better customer interaction and knowledge awareness of the branded products about availability, specifications and alterative choices from the touch of a button. This has also lead to develop consumer centric value proposition to enhance overall shopping experience of luxury consumers.In addition to this, the current need/trend to use digital marketing in clienteling for luxury brands is to identify top twenty percent customer as per the questionnaire results.  It can be discussed that for brands such as Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Gucci the consumer expect a high-class buying experience which the luxury retailers strive to master to give preferred experience by identifying their top customers and understanding their needs, taste and preferences. It can be related to the 20/80 rule or Pareto rule according to which the top twenty percent customers can drive maximum sales around 80 percent.

In the context of building customer relationship and customer retention, it can be discussed that the marketers of luxury brands use of social media and email marketing and brand heritage-storytelling are the popular methods to build customer relationship.The social media is an effective medium to interact, engage and involve customers to associate with brand and to develop bond among the brand and customers. Similarly, storytelling is an effective way to build brand and influence the lifestyle feature of the brand and about craftmanship/brand heritage.

From the data analysis results, it can also be conferred that the study has taken account of the different preference as high, moderate, low, no preference for the different customer retention strategies of the marketers in the luxury retail organisations.  It is observed that the use of email marketing, social media marketing and content marketing strategy is given high preference as strategies to retain the luxury customers. This can be due to the effectiveness of social media channel to connect with customers, promote its brand story and provide luxury value to its loyal customers. In a similar way, content marketing and use of email marketing is useful to promote relevant content and send personalised email as per the interest and preference of the luxury consumers to encourage to visit online site or physical store by providing information about products of interest and new arrivals, new launch information, invitation, etc. and to better engage with customers at all touch points by designing content that retain customers with the brand. However, it is important to note that email distribution with relevant content is essential to capture and hold the luxury consumers with the brand. Another retention strategy receiving high preference is digital personalisation. It can be discussed that personalisation provide a unique and enhanced luxury shopping experience and to keep customers involved with the brand. Through personalisation, the luxury retailers have more possibility to enhance luxury consumption, increase customer spending thus, boost sales. This is also helpful to identify consumer needs to provide an enhance customer services and seamless shopping experience to ensure high customer satisfaction from buying exclusive products.

 

 

 

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