The new reality for people who want to buy is to search online for what they need and have it conveniently shipped to their home. According to the Netcomm Retail 2023 study, over 33 million Italians made purchases online this year, 39% more than in 2019.
Certainly the pandemic and the impossibility of going out have led many people to get into the habit of turning to e-commerce, but physical stores are by no means destined to disappear. As long as you know how to offer the customers exactly what they want and to motivate them to leave their house and to come to your store for shopping.
The footwear sector is no exception, especially when it comes to the premium segment, which includes handcrafted shoes and high fashion brands.
What are the customers looking for when they go to a shoe shop? Let’s look together at some recent data.
Luxury shoes and experience
According to the ninth Altagamma Consumer and Retail Insight panel, conducted by the committee of Italian luxury brands, in 2024 customers who are part of the high-spending segment plan to make a lot of purchases.
In fact, the research shows that 40% of high-end consumers expect to increase their shopping volume next year.
These people have very high spending power and spend at least 5000 euros a year on luxury goods. Why do they choose to go to retail? Because what they are looking for is not a simple product but an experience: only in the physical store can they find the assistance and welcome treatment they are used to, and receive the best piece of advice.
While it is true that many consumers go to the store to see the products up closer and then choose to buy online at a lower price, this principle is less valid for those who have no (or almost no) spending limit. Moreover the data says that very often the reverse path also occurs: according to Netretail 2023, in 40% of cases consumers find out about the product online and then choose to buy it in store.
How come? Again according to Netcomm, it is a question of customization: although online technologies offer an increasingly customized experience based on the data provided by the user, it is still difficult for computers to guarantee the same level of personalization of choices, communication and experience that can be obtained in the store.
What technology do customers expect to find in shoe stores?
Buying the shoes, it is impossible for an e-commerce site to offer the experience you feel when wearing them. In case of handcrafted footwear, this experience is particularly gratifying: the customer in the shop feels the perfection of the stitching and every detail under his fingers, is able to fully appreciate the nuances of color and the softness of the leather, smells the characteristic scent of the quality materials.
Although artificial intelligence is also becoming increasingly popular in the world of e-commerce (with solutions that even allow you to virtually try on products), the tactile and emotional component still plays an essential role in the purchase of high-end products.
However, even those who choose artisanal products are increasingly tech savvy, and therefore use technology regularly in their day. The recent KPMG Retail Report says that 55% of consumers are more likely to purchase from retailers that offer, for example, varied and advanced payment solutions.
Not only flagship store
The Digital Innovation in Retail Observatory of the Polytechnic University of Milan has confirmed the rediscovery of the point of sale by Italians, also reporting that large stores have shrunk by 12% over the course of a year.
On the other hand, shops with smaller sizes and a more widespread presence in the area are growing in number, in which the staff is able to take care of the individual customer with the utmost attention and offer a customer experience characterized by listening and consultancy.
If you are a high-end footwear retailer, to conquer your audience in 2024 you should:
- Offer a superior shopping experience
- Guarantee the adequate technological contribution to simplify purchasing and payment process
- Offer your clients products that are able to excite when touched and worn, such as handcrafted footwear.
There are several handcrafted shoe manufacturers in Italy, but not all of them are able to guarantee the excellence that can truly surprise your customers.
Fratelli Borgioli, a historic Tuscan artisan brand of men’s footwear, produces Made in Tuscany shoes appreciated all over the world for generations. Their creations have made Fratelli Borgioli a brand appreciated by international fashion houses (with which they have long-standing collaborations for the creation of exclusive lines of footwear) and by all lovers of beauty. They will surely win over even your most demanding customers.
Furthermore, thanks to the Premium Reseller program we support our retail partners with exclusive services.
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