Luxury shopping – should you buy in store or online?

Louis Vuitton store London

The luxury market is booming and has continued to grow over the last decade. Social media and celebrities have been two major factors in keeping our attention on the big name luxury brands and keeping everyone interested in buying the latest fashion pieces.

With most brands, the trend has been that the majority of shopping is done online and fashion retailers such as Asos, Pretty Little Thing and Missguided have taken the lead with this, becoming huge giants in the industry. On the flip side of this though, it has been affecting the sales on the high street and we are losing a lot of stores. This isn’t the same for the luxury market though as there are a lot of positive points for shopping for luxury goods online as well as in store.

The Online shopping experience

In 2017, luxury e-commerce grew by 23% which is more than three times faster than total luxury retail growth. Net-a-Porter were one of the first to bring global luxury fashion house products all together online. The online shopping experience that you get with them is fabulous, from the beautifully packaged parcels that they send you, to the extra special services they have such as delivery within the same day in London. Since the success of Net-a-Porter, there are now a lot of other similar websites such as FarFetch, Matches Fashion and My Theresa to name a few.

Luxury brands themselves though were pretty slow when it came to getting into e-commerce – Chanel being a good example of this. Perhaps they didn’t expect online shopping to become as huge as it has or perhaps they were not too bothered until they realised that every brand was moving into the digital world.

Netaporter shopping

image @ Pinterest

Savvy online spending

75% of luxury shoppers research online before they make their purchase which is a huge figure, however 72% of shoppers say that they actually prefer to purchase in store. This does not surprise me and I feel exactly the same way. If your going to spend a large amount of money on something you want to feel the product first, check that it fits and get an overall feel for what you are buying. A lot of shoppers are now doing this the other way around though, by trying the item in store first, and then buying it online using discount codes. Luisaviaroma are the best at offering discount codes and flash sales and are perfect for savvy shoppers that want to save themselves some coins.

Netaporter shopping

image @ Pinterest

Top 5 reasons to shop for Luxury goods online

  1. Using discount codes to get money off and for cheaper than the price you would pay in store.
  2. Some people feel uncomfortable shopping in designer stores which can have a reputation of being snooty with unhelpful shop assistants.
  3. It is a quick and easy process, with often same day delivery and a good returns policy. Some designer boutiques will not allow refunds, but give you in-store credit only.
  4. You can browse a selection of designer brands all under the one online destination.
  5. You can search for the same item over various online stores to find the best deal and again, often cheaper than in the boutiques,

The in-store shopping experience

For me, shopping in an actual boutique is a much more exciting experience than shopping online. Consumers want to feel special and be offered a good quality customer experience when they are buying luxury items. In stores like Louis Vuitton, Dior etc there is often a queuing system where you have to wait to be served by one of the sales assistants. This can take quite a long time which is the downside of this. However with the majority of these brands, you need to build a relationship with an SA (sales assistant) and they will help you when it comes to reserving the latest pieces from the new collections. Hermes is one of those brands where this is crucial. If you ever want to purchase a Birkin bag, you will only ever have the chance if you are a known regular shopper with a solid relationship with an SA.

Saint Laurent handbag

Beautiful surroundings

Luxury stores know that we are living in a digital world now but they still want us to go into the stores. They know the importance of looking fabulous and are creating insta-worthy spaces to inspire people and encourage new visitors into the store. This is great advertising for them as images are posted onto social media and it gets everyone excited about going to visit the store. The Alexander McQueen store on London’s Bond Street is like an art museum with a huge egg in the doorway like something out of a Lady Gaga music video, as well as having the windows covered with nets holding bejewelled beetles. Louis Vuitton have just opened their newly refurbished store and it is also incredible – which was to be expected. And look at the Dior flagship store in Paris – the displays they put on the front of the building are so beautiful and worth the visit to see them.

Dior store Paris

Dior store Lady Dior bag

Dior store Paris

Top 5 reasons to shop for Luxury goods in-store

  1. You get to experience the overall feel for the brand so much more in-store.
  2. For the first class customer service and experience
  3. Being able to build a relationship with an SA so that you have a point of contact within the brand and they can help you to source items before anyone else – especially those extra special items that are hard to track down or sold out.
  4. Your purchase will be wrapped in their branded box, tissue paper and carrier bag which will be beneficial if you are a collector or if you plan to sell the item in the future.
  5. Being able to try on the clothing, to check the fit and feel of the products you are buying so you can be 100% sure that you are happy with it.

Saint Laurent packaging

Saint Laurent packaging

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog post. How do you prefer to buy luxury goods?

What was the last thing you bought?

I would love to know your thoughts so leave a comment below.

Trend Report: Mini handbags

Jacquemus mini bags

image @ Jacquemus Instagram

Mini handbags are having a major moment. They are all over Instagram, were spotted being worn at the recent fashion weeks, as well as making numerous appearances on the red carpet. In a world where mobile phones are turning into the size of laptops, and sneakers are getting chunkier by the day, I wonder, what is it about these teeny tiny handbags that is getting everyone excited, and is it worth spending the money on something that doesn’t actually have enough space to carry anything?

The Jacquemus effect

French designer brand Jacquemus were responsible for bringing this trend back and in a big way. Simon Port, the designer behind the brand is known for his use of bold bright colours and structured simple silhouettes. Jacquemus had every model carrying a mini bag for their AW18 show, which led to his bags being spotted on celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Rihanna.

Jacquemus mini bags

image @ Jacquemus Instagram

The Le Chiquito bag was then introduced which was even smaller. These mini bags can be worn across the body as well as with the top handle feature. At just over 4 inches wide though, the £450 price tag is a little eye watering. This particular style is consistently selling out and has everyone trying to get their hands on one. These have become THE stand out piece that you will instantly recognise as Jacquemus and have really elevated the brand into the accessories spot light.

Jacquemus mini bags

Jacquemus mini bags

image @ Jacquemus Instagram

Mini bag mania

We are starting to see other brands incorporating similar mini items into their range. Chanel have bought out a classic flap handbag which has a mini coin purse attached, as well as a waist bag with 2 mini purses which are just gorgeous. Louis Vuitton have their own version with the latest ‘muli pochette’ bag which is a body bag with a detachable round coin purse.

Chanel Flap Bag & Coin PurseChanel Waist Bag & Coin Purse

Although mini bags are not entirely practical, they are a cute addition to an outfit, and perhaps it’s a good way to stop yourself from carrying around everything including the kitchen sink. Just a bank card, your keys (possibly your phone but unlikely) and you’re good to go! Carrying large heavy handbags is really bad for the posture after all.

I can definitely see why celebrities are loving this trend as they will have a team of people in the background carrying the real items that they need on a daily basis.

Mini handbag Edit

Here are a few of my favourite mini handbags available at the moment.

Chanel Clutch With Chain
Chanel Clutch With Chain
JACQUEMUS Le Chiquito Micro leather tote @ MyTheresa
JACQUEMUS Le Petit Chiquito leather tote @ MyTheresa
JACQUEMUS Le Bello leather belt bag @ MyTheresa
ASOS DESIGN micro grab bag with curved flap and detachable strap
GUCCIBroadway crystal-embellished elaphe tote
JACQUEMUSLe Porte leather pouch @ Netaporter
And Other Stories Beaded Handle Mini Leather Bag
Boohoo Faux Snake Mini Lock Grab Bag
Zara 2-PACK OF MINI NEON BAGS
Zara Animal print mini crossbody bag with scarf
Topshop – CINDY Lime Mini Cross Body Bag
Miss Guided diamante buckle mini bag
Topshop Half Moon Mini Grab Bag
Topshop Cow Print Grab Mini Bag

Personally, I do like a small handbag but feel that the mini styles are a bit of a step out of my comfort zone. Sometimes with designer items, it seems that the smaller the item, the higher the price becomes and I would rather invest in a classic designer handbag that I know I will get a lot of use out of for seasons to come. I don’t like carrying a load of stuff around with me but I at least expect my bag to hold everything that I do need for every day use!

What do you think of the mini handbag trend?

Are you loving them or do you think they are a bit of a pointless fashion trend?

Leave me a comment below xx

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