While discount shoppers are often thrilled to find good deals on premium brands, the reverse doesn’t always hold true. When a high-end consumer pays top dollar for a “value” product or discovers that their beloved, exclusive brand is now available to everyone down in the bargain basement—that brand is going to suffer.
Luxury ecommerce brands must be careful how they price their products. Creating positive customer experiences can become tricky in the ecommerce world. Leveraging the right pricing strategy for your product listings is crucial. We recommend exploring some of our various methods to increase conversions, lower ecommerce return rates, and meet your ecommerce KPIs, including:
- Product Listing Strategies Guide
- Retail Pricing Strategies Guide
- Retail Markdown Strategies Guide
- Product Page Optimization Guide
- DTC CPG Ecommerce Strategy
- Product Page Optimization Strategy
- New Customer Acquisition Retention Strategies
Brands must stay ahead of the latest ecommerce trends and provide a truly superior online shopping experience compared to their competitors. The latest iOS update has made it more challenging to track customer data across websites to employ effective targeting. Sites must have fast websites with a mobile responsive design that makes it easy for customers to purchase products.
They must also carefully select the best ecommerce business platform that makes it easy for teams to manage site updates and deliver exceptional brand experiences. Many businesses can save time and money by leveraging a headless ecommerce platform or using EDI software integration. Most importantly, they have to have an effective ecommerce marketing funnel and track their marketing analytics to improve their ROAS continuously.
Jeff Deisner, Chief Customer Officer for Nogin, explains the importance of aligning appropriate products, promotional strategies, and brand-level perception to create a positive customer experience.
In the Fashion Ecommerce World, What Are Upstairs and Downstairs Brands?
These are industry-level terms that stem from the physical retail world. Upstairs is shorthand for top-level, premium brands. Downstairs is used to describe lower-quality or discount brands.
If a brand has positioned itself as an upstairs brand, but the product doesn’t align with the other products upstairs, it’s probably not going to be successful. That’s when we need to discuss product strategy and make sure that the product you are trying to sell at a premium price is aligned with premium brand expectations.
How Does Nogin Help Align Product Quality With Brand Perceptions?
Working with our client Bebe is an excellent example of how we do this. In the past, Bebe had one vendor supplying all of the products for the store. Therefore, they could control the level of product being supplied.
Earlier this year, we began to engage with around 15 new vendors supplying products to Bebe. To be successful, we had to go deep to investigate product quality—how it is made, how it fits, what material it is made from—to make sure that we are positioning products in the store that align with the upstairs perception of the store brand.
We had discussions with certain vendors who sold some of their products to discount stores like TJ Maxx and Burlington Coat Factory. Even though the cost may be lower and the margins higher, these products didn’t align with the positioning of the rest of Bebe’s products. If we put those same discounted products into this high-end store, it would be a weight on the brand going forward. Customers would think they are being asked to pay a premium price point for a product that is not perceived as premium.
Our merchant buyers can help navigate these vendor discussions to make sure there is alignment.
How Does Nogin Advise and Build Consensus With Its Clients on Positioning Their Products as Upstairs or Downstairs?
This is an essential aspect of branding, and the best way to objectively manage it is to let the customer speak for themselves. Perhaps the brand perceives itself as premium and can warrant a premium price point, but we disagree and tell them so. Some brands have very emotional ties to their products and don’t want to listen.
But they will listen to customer feedback. So, we let the customers speak for themselves by collecting information from the customer service function of the business—like customers perhaps complaining the product is of low quality and asking why they are paying so much for it, or customers frequently returning products. These are good indicators that the brand is out of alignment over the perception of whether it is an upstairs brand versus a downstairs brand.
What Else Do You Factor In?
Promotional strategy is very important. If your promotional strategy is limited to running deal after deal, you’re going to educate your customer that they don’t need to buy until deep discounts are offered. You’re going to start to position the brand as a discount, downstairs brand.
It’s important to create very specific, customer-based promotions focused on keeping the price points where they need to be while also helping customers feel like they’re getting a deal. This needs to be done very strategically so that customers will continue to buy without heavy discounts.
How Does That Apply in the Context of a Department Store, like Macy’s, Where Everything is Always Heavily Discounted?
Although Macy’s itself is traditionally seen as an upstairs brand, they’re trending downstairs at the moment. They are becoming a very promotion-heavy retailer.
By contrast, Nordstrom has done a great job of offering semi-annual, deep-discount sales that keep their customers engaged. They’re able to promote very lightly throughout the rest of the year and position themselves as a premium brand. Customers also buy because of some of the other benefits — like excellent customer service and liberal return policies — that come with doing business with Nordstrom.
Luxury brand shoppers understand that higher-quality products cost more. They also appreciate—and expect—the elevated customer experience that premium brands offer. Connect with us to learn more about how Nogin can help strategically align your brand with these expectations.
Elevate Your Brand, Drastically Increase Conversions, Lower Operating Costs, and Leave the Techy Stuff to the Nogin Nerds!
Brands simply cannot compete with big retail alone. We saw a huge issue in the ecommerce space. Big retailers like Amazon and Walmart have the resources, funding, and capabilities to squash online retailers.
Many online retailers struggle to maintain profitability as they grow. They are forced to offer exuberant discounts just to sell their inventory, and they have expensive fulfillment and operating costs. Worst of all, brands have no funding for research and development to improve their operations. They also have to fork the bill for expensive backend costs to modify their websites to adapt to the ever-changing ecommerce space.
Nogin has a different approach. We help our partners by taking the heavy burden of operating the complicated ecommerce day-to-day operations off their plate. We handle website maintenance, logistics, marketing, and much more. Our revenue share model ensures that we profitably scale your business.
Joining Nogin allows our partners to utilize our suite of managed services. Our partners never have to worry about re-platforming again. We migrate their site on our proprietary ecommerce platform that uses the best ecommerce software to deploy the best strategies to improve your business intelligently. Our enterprise ecommerce solutions include storage, fulfillment, and marketing automation services that use the same capabilities of big retail, so you can finally compete with big retail. That means you won’t overspend on shipping and fulfillment, offer unneeded discounts, waste money on inefficient marketing. Best of all, we constantly test new strategies with our partners to learn what works and what doesn’t.
That means your brand will use winning strategies and lose the approaches that don’t. We handle all technical aspects to free you to focus on growing your brand. Our partners are all part of our team so let’s fight big retail by using our Nogin. Get in touch with us to see if you qualify for a free site audit and learn how we can transform your business using intelligent commerce that drives exponential results!