Luxury in Net-a-Porter’s iPhone App

Isaac Mostovicz writes that luxury in the hand can be accessed anywhere...


Brand loyalty can be created by offering consumers luxury on their schedule. Now that many people have smartphones, luxury houses and retailers are reaching out to these users with smartphone applications so that people can experience luxury brands wherever they are.

It’s an interesting and engaging marketing strategy — people actively choose to install and engage with these applications, and the companes that offer them hope (and expect) that they’ll lead to eventual sales. Earlier this year we saw Chanel begin to offer an iPhone app to show off its newest collections. Now a luxury retailer, Net-a-Porter, has created an iPhone application that allows customers to browse their catalog of luxury items and even make purchases from their iPhones. Alison Loehnis, the vice president of sales and marketing at Net-a-Porter, called this sort of application “the new shop window,” saying that people are ready to move beyond making online purchases from their computers.

I think people may be slightly uncomfortable with making large purchases over their phones initially, but this will decrease as people realize the benefits of being able to purchase what they want from anywhere. One potential benefit: someone might be able to purchase a limited edition luxury good right when it goes on sale while she’s out and about, rather than having to wait at a computer (or miss the opportunity to purchase because she couldn’t get to a computer fast enough). Being exceptional and doing what you want when you want is more of a Lambda characteristic — I believe that they will be the ones to embrace mobile luxury purchases first.

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