Fine jewellery brand Annoushka believes that remaining nimble with digital client servicing will be crucial to business, in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The brand, which celebrates 10 years in business this year, has built an enviable portfolio of bricks and mortar stores in premium postcodes alongside own brand concessions in London, Hong Kong and China; but the company has been clever to not take its eye off more creative clienteling platforms, which empower their sales staff and allow them to sell to clients in a digital reality.
“With a global epidemic in hand which has almost entirely frozen travel for a population who account for 60% of luxury sales outside of mainland China, never have our virtual sales platforms been more important to us as a business and for our global clients who may be feeling entirely isolated,” cites creative director of the eponymous brand, Annoushka Ducas. “Our upcoming campaign will ensure our global clientele know they can access us through a myriad of connected platforms.”
The British brand prides itself on offering an exceptional customer experience and has been willing to embrace in innovative new platforms to do so.
Seeing an opportunity to extend the in-store experience to the global tech savvy customer, Annoushka, an early adopter of Whatsapp and WeChat as sales channels, was the first European jeweller to integrate HERO – a messaging app, which instantly connects online customers with in-store teams via chat, text and video– mimicking the in-store experience in real time.
HERO even has a ‘little black book’ functionality, which connects clients to the team member who previously worked with them.
A year from launch Annoushka’s global sales teams have accounted for £100,000 worth of sales through HERO alone and the conversion rates speak volumes; Annoushka reports a 180% conversion increase when clients come through the app.
In December 2019 HERO accounted for 11% of the overall online revenue for the month and the company predict a continued increase as retail habits shift and customers are increasingly concerned about coronavirus.
Annoushka is also reporting an increase in customers connecting with their local Annoushka store via Whatsapp. This is most apparent, but not entirely unexpected in the Bicester Village store, a destination dominated by Chinese and Korean shoppers, where Annoushka report that “mail order” (a colloquialism for all sales taken through Whatsapp and WeChat) have accounted for 16% of overall sales over the last year, peaking last month (February 2020) to a record 22% – a direct reflection of lower footfall in-store due to COVID-19.
“If there are customers who still want to shop and that brings them a little bit of joy at an awful time, then we’ll continue to go above and beyond to make that a special, fine-tuned experience. We want our customers to know that in spite of the terrible global situation and whatever the future may hold, we’re on hand,” says Ducas