Ask any fashionista if there is a difference between a jacket that costs $200 and one that costs $3000 and you will hear a resounding “YES!” High-end and luxury brands know that a person who buys a $200 jacket is not the same kind of person who chooses a $3000 jacket. More often than not they have different motivations.
The shopping experience for both jackets will be quite different too: You can buy a $200 jacket at almost any store. The customer service you will get will be a common one — no one is going to offer you a tea or a coffee. The store will look like many others. You’ll see many other jackets lying around, and will probably be searching for one on a rack. The store cannot afford to waste precious space, after all.
On the other hand, look at the offline retail experience of buying a $3000 jacket… The store is likely to be designed much better than average. Every detail is carefully thought out. Every product is a star, and each jacket has its own space devoted to it. Items are carefully ordered, and may be tailored to the shopper’s tastes. Often the brand will carefully choose music, aromas and textures to evoke certain feelings and emotions in the shopper, and put them in the perfect mood to buy.
Even the experience of owning the item itself is different. One will be used as daily wear, serving a fashionable yet mainly utilitarian purpose. The other is meant to create a style statement. It’s a status symbol, and its owners will give it the care that status demands.
This brings us to an important question. If the client type is completely different for each product; if the retail shopping experience is different, and even the ownership experience is different… why, then, are the eCommerce experiences of contrasting brands — the low-end, mid-tier, and high-end — so similar? Why are very different customers being treated the same across eCommerce websites?