Although e-Commerce sales of personal luxury goods have been growing steadily, the category still has low online penetration: only 8% of luxury goods sales came through online channels in 2016. However, that share is forecast to more than double to 19% by 2025, according to McKinsey & Company data, as online shopping becomes more prevalent at the high end.
Like many luxury brands, CH Carolina Herrera refrained from selling online for many years, focusing instead on its own stores and relationships with retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue. The brand’s stance changed as more consumers began to expect seamless omnichannel brand experiences, and Carolina Herrera sought to deepen customer engagement.
“It was essential for us to move our unique shopping experience to the online world and to help our customers better identify with our brand values,” said Pilar Pérez, Human Resources Manager of STL in a statement. “To do just that, it’s key for us to find partners like IBM that add value to the company and all of the new projects and technological challenges we are addressing.”
North American E-Commerce Sites To Debut Soon
The CH Carolina Herrera site is available in English and Spanish and can be accessed from both mobile and desktop/laptop devices. Its e-Commerce functions are currently available to customers in 17 European countries. In the coming months, online stores will be launched for the U.S. and Mexico.
“We have implemented the IBM Watson Commerce solution in the IBM Cloud, which offers coherent and transparent omnichannel shopping experiences on mobile devices, social networks and stores,” said Ignacio Estevez, Associate Partner Distribution for IBM Global Business Services Spain. “The solution provides intelligent fulfillment by streamlining the order management process with a single order and inventory view across the fulfillment network. Customers can place and receive orders from any channel, obtain a delivery commitment and track the status of the order.”
IBM Commerce employs “cognitive technologies to constantly analyze the behavior of online shoppers,” Estevez added. “This allows companies to make quick adjustments and optimize the customer experience.” For example, merchants can find and address issues that cause shopping cart abandonment, or figure out why a particular marketing campaign does not work as well in one geographic region as another.