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Crafting Impactful Digital Luxury Journeys for High-Net-Worth Clientele

An expert view on tailoring digital experiences for Ultra- and High Net Worth clients in the modern era of luxury commerce.

Ultra- and High Net Worth Individuals (U)HNWI, and digitalization are closely related since the digital world has a big impact on the luxury market and requires thoughtful adjustments for individualized experiences. It is critical for businesses looking to succeed in this changing environment to acknowledge the unique opportunities and challenges associated with meeting the preferences of this discerning clientele in the digital sphere.

In 2022 and 2023, the global economy grappled with significant challenges, resulting in a notable decline in economic growth. While (U)HNWIs continue to hold a position of strength and of importance for luxury brands, the number of affluent individuals surpassed HNWIs, emphasizing diverse wealth accumulation. Additionally, brands maintain concerns about the financial returns associated with the affluent demographic when compared to their counterparts among (U)HNWIs.

Simultaneously, the luxury sector witnessed a profound digital transformation in 2022 and 2023, driven by advancements in visualization, personalization, augmented reality, and the widespread adoption of digital channels. Luxury has been pushing the envelope of seamless integration of digital and in-person interactions, and their Customer Relationship Management systems have, in many cases, become truly advanced. Nevertheless, it is crucial to note the divergence in fortunes. Luxury digital platforms are experiencing a decline, or at best, a strategic retreat. Luxury brands now face the task of navigating diverse expectations of (U)HNWI. Furthermore, (U)HNWI as a segment is considerably small and to serve truly personalized experience, the segmentations of luxury companies are getting increasingly complex, and eventually difficult to generate value in the value chain. Moreover, if digitalization and new commerce are to evolve to their promised potential, the Internet and digitalization, which have never been famous for making things scarce, must be leveraged wisely.

Ultimately, the future of digital luxury revolves around achieving a harmonious blend of advanced technology and human craftsmanship, providing tailored and emotional journey for the discerning clientele.

To stand out, luxury brands need to:

  1. Make technology a natural part of the offer for (U)HNWI in their journey
  2. Leverage digitalization as a driver of a traffic to the brick and mortar
  3. Adjust the operating model and tools to tackle challenges like varying digital aptitudes, and operational complexities when serving a fragmented customer base
  4. Continue exploring the forms of innovative commerce relevant to the brand
  5. Bridge the gap between physical and immersive experiences by emphasizing the importance of emotions in customer engagement, utilizing storytelling as a driving tool

Leading author

Jana M. Arden

Director – Consumer Product, Retail, and Manufacturing at Capgemini Invent