Can Digital Assistants, Mobile Payments, Give Luxe Retailers New Edge

February 13, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

With most consumers priced squarely out of the market, luxury retailers depend on a slim share of market, exemplifying the market strategy known as “skimming.” This leaves it in a bad position; it must cater to that niche fully or risk losing vital sales. That’s partially why some luxury retailers are turning to new technologies like mobile payments and personal digital assistants to help turn what might have been a headache into a winning experience.

One of the best examples of this is ModeSens, which brought out a barcode scanning tool that serves as the basis for a shopping assistant platform. This isn’t just a tool that reduces stores to showrooms, but rather, helps better connect the physical and online stores to make a better push toward a truly omnichannel experience.

ModeSens has already delivered some noteworthy connections, including a connection with Farfetch, which allows around 900 luxury brands and assorted boutiques the ability to better connect with a pool of around two million customers. Since ModeSens focuses on delivering information to shoppers, it makes a good complement to other brands and operations.

Thanks to tools like this, customers are more likely to know in advance what items are available and from where. ModeSens’ CEO, Brian Li, actually knows the importance of this close to firsthand; his wife was a personal shopper, and spent a lot of time on the hunt for particular items.

Elevating the retail outlet—no matter if it’s a luxury retailer, a clothing shop or an everyday electronics store—from a showroom into an actual sales floor is one of the biggest challenges retailers face. By giving customers a better idea of what’s in stock, retailers can take advantage of their immediacy benefits to give customers a reason to come in and buy, not just shop. It won’t always be a success—customers will wait a couple days for just what they want if the physical retailer doesn’t stock it—but any success is worth pursuing given the nature of online retail.

Tools like ModeSens may not be the end-all-be-all of luxury retail, but they certainly couldn’t hurt. Even luxe needs a little help sometimes, and turning to mobile payments and other new technologies may be just the way to get it.