Bain & Company divides the luxury industry into 9 segments including: ” personalluxury goods, luxury cars, luxury hospitality, luxury cruises, designer furniture, finefood, fine wines and spirits, private jets and yachts, and fine art” (D’Arpizio, Levato, Kamel, & Mongolfier, 2017).
In this article, we are focusing on the luxury fashion industry and more specifically the online luxury fashion industry. In reference to the Bain & Company report, the segment would be known as the: personal luxury goods segment. The online luxury fashion industry can be characterized as: luxury handbags, luxury garments, luxury jewelry, but even wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses online. In fact, according to Deloitte, even though the challenges that the luxury fashion industry will have to face are multiple, they state that: “growth in the luxury goods industry will continue unlike in several other industries” (Arienti, 2018). They also say that “the aggregate net luxury goods sales of the top 100 companies is equivalent to $217 billion in FY2016” (Arienti, 2018).
This important growth was in fact, boosted by different trends and changes that happened in the luxury environment in the past 2 years (D’Arpizio, Levato, Kamel, & Mongolfier, 2017). One of them, is a change in the distribution channels that is considerably reshaping the personal luxury goods industry sales, online shopping being more and more present and essential when selling personal luxury goods. The inevitable consumer Shift towards online shopping, is in fact, according to Mckinsey (McKinsey & Company, 2018) motivated by the consumer’s online experience. ” On the other hand, at least 40 percent of all luxury purchases are in some way influenced by consumers’ online experience. “ where to buy bridesmaid dresses
This online experience can be enlightened as such: When buying online, a wide range of advantages are present. Taking the example of a wedding or evening dress, customers have limited quantities of dresses they can try and a limited time frame to try them when shopping in a physical store. On the contrary, when buying wedding or bridesmaid dresses online you can spend countless hours deciding, and customizing the product you are interested in.
The online boutique concept by Maison Roula was in fact, motivated by this problematic.
Maison Roula is an online marketplace that offers to its customers a unique shopping experience to purchase easily, efficiently and calmly your dream dress, wedding dress, or bridesmaid dresses online, without being constrained by the quantities of products or time a customer needs when buying such luxury goods, as listed above.
Back to the very beginning. Maison Roula was first created in 2013 by Roula, in Beirut, Lebanon. The store was a physical store. However, in 2019, Lina, her daughter, joined her in her journey. Lina was completely aware of this new problematic: the customer shift towards digital platforms.
In the recent years, according to Luxe Digital, even the oldest and traditional luxury brands went online. They were in fact the last ones to do it, and have for long hesitated being afraid that it would dilute their luxury brand’s image. However, as mentioned above, the sustainable and unmissable growth of the luxury online market sector left them with no choice. Nowadays, it is very likely to find anything you would need online. Emphasizing on the wedding and evening dresses, even if it is a
product that customers would really like, some brands are going also online offering important elements of differentiation to convince the customer to buy online.
In fact, with the internet era and the concept of digital globalization, luxury goods consumers are not only being influenced online but are also buying online. This is why, luxury brands will have to understand that they have to be customer oriented and listen to the evolving changes in term of tastes of their customers (Arienti, 2018). As a significant example, it is said that “consumers in southeast Asia spend about eight hours a day online on average” (McKinsey & Company, 2018).
Lina, proposed to her mother to open an online e-commerce. Roula being from another generation was completely hesitant at the beginning, she really thought that there is no way a person would be willing to purchase wedding dresses or bridesmaid dresses online. However, as mentioned above, with the help of emerging technologies such as: virtual reality and augmented reality it will be easily and more likely for customers to look for their dresses online in the near future.
Another advantage of the online boutique Maison Roula is the fact that you can purchase your wedding or bridesmaid dresses online without being constrained “by the shapes and standardized sizes offered by the market and dictated by trends since your dress will be crafted according to your measurements. When buying bridesmaid dresses online or wedding dresses online at Maison Roula, you buy a dress that is tailored to your measurements, a dress that you can customize.
But there is more to the story!
It is a place committed to women who do not really have the time nor the will to spend countless hours in shops. No constraints on the number of pieces they can try, especially when shopping for a wedding dress. these elements are an obstacle to customers when buying in a physical shop, as mentioned above. Lina emphasizes on the lack of time her customers would possibly have to spend in physical stores. She always designs dresses that convey an important message to all women encouraging them to follow their dreams, to be entrepreneur and workaholic future brides or mothers.
Another crucial element of the story is the message behind Maison Roula’s
dresses. The evening collection at Maison Roula is an ideal spot to find your wedding dress online, your dream cocktail dress or your bridesmaid dresses online. The message behind all these dresses is about being the powerful women we should all be. It’s about being self-confident, being free, being a woman. Lina says the message that should always be stocked in your mind is: “Be yourself, anytime anywhere, everywhere. Wear what you want, what makes you happy, despite all the critics. BE YOU. ”