Successful luxury brands have not only differentiated themselves by providing high-quality, well-crafted products, but also by giving customers access to exclusive, limited edition, or customised products.
Even with the advent of the internet, the same premium advantages are still being served. However, of late, more high-end stores have jumped on the pre-ordering, by-appointment-only bandwagon. But what does this mean for customers like you?
Contrary to assumptions that come with pre-ordering and appointment-setting as somehow being additional inconveniences to luxury goods shoppers, they actually come with a host of advantages:
1. Ensuring product availability
Most limited edition, exclusive products are exactly that. Not everyone who wants them or can afford to buy them will have access to what they want instantly. You may favour one colour over another, or a certain feature such as a different strap for a watch, for example.
By pre-ordering, you not only ensure that your requirements will be met, but also reasonably expect the boutique to provide you with excellent alternatives as well.
Pre-ordering and appointment-setting can be easily done online with just a few clicks, or in the old-fashioned way, i.e. by phone.
Even your store visit itself is streamlined since you are an expected guest. There will be staff ready with your pre-ordered goods, and prepared to assist you with your selection.
3. Optimal use of time, especially if you are visiting more than one store
Having pre-ordered the items you want and a schedule set up, means that going to different stores should be a breeze.
You need not worry about going off schedule because you’re not a drop-in customer who will have to wait for their turn to be served by sales staff.
4. Personalisation of your visit
Depending on the product and boutique, the extent of customisation may vary.
In fashion, for example, customers who pre-order and set an appointment may have access to personal stylists. They may also have a chance to browse through personalised, curated products, as well as get minor adjustments done on-the-spot.
5. Access to professional advice and helpful suggestions
Customers are not only treated as valued clients in luxury goods shops, but are also considered VIP guests. By this, it doesn't only imply being served some refreshments during your visit.
Sometimes an in-house expert or advisor will be present to educate you on the finer points of a product, such as exactly how it is made, how the materials are selected, and other background information. If you are uncertain about your choices, you can also expect to receive honest, professional feedback to help you make an informed decision.
6. Invitations to private or exclusive shopping events
If you're lucky, and already an established customer, you may even be invited to private viewings and exclusive shopping events that are limited to just a few.
You may have a chance to see products before they are even released to the public. Now, isn't that the ultimate VIP experience?
So, really, when it comes to luxury goods shopping, the benefits to be had with pre-ordering, and appointment-setting are aimed at streamlining the customer experience. Be sure to take advantage of it for your next shopping trip.