Luxury ecommerce pioneer: “Just call it commerce”

Ecommerce News

Tony King, Executive Director of King & Partners, a pioneer in the field of ecommerce for luxury brands, thinks that people should stop talking about ecommerce and just call it commerce.

King, who launched Gucci.com in 2000 making him an early adopter in the luxury ecommerce sector, said that “brands need to stop thinking about e-commerce and offline as separate silos” in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily.

At Gucci, he was part of a tiny digital department consisting of just four people, which meant that he had to do far more than a web design director usually does. He says that this taught him a lot about the need to integrate web design, logistics and data management, and informed his current holistic approach to ecommerce marketing.

“Brands come to us primarily looking for help with online, but quite often they need to makes changes that affect them fundamentally as a company” he explained. These changes usually involve a change in mindset among a company’s chief executives, but can also mean changing the technology used to help sell the company’s products.

King believes that many of the big names in fashion and luxury goods have an advantage in creating narratives, in that they have genuine stories to tell in terms of their brands. Shoppers tend to shy away from the unknown, he says, so it is important to make them feel comfortable by highlighting positive experiences that customers have had with their products. Companies often avoid storytelling in product listings, confining it to their blog, but King has found that it can help justify the higher prices for luxury goods by giving shoppers an emotional connection to the product.

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“Right now, my role is as much about creative ideas and content creation as it is about consulting our clients on technology products, languages and solutions” he concludes.