Selling high-end products is very different from working in low- and mid-level segments. Tactics that work for mass-market products can fail miserably. It doesn’t mean you should ignore the basic rules of online marketing – but you have to adapt them to the clientele you target. In this article, we will cover some of the things you can do to optimize your website to ensure the best conversion in the luxury segment.

1. Make your website look expensive

High-end brick-and-mortar shops look differently from their cheaper counterparts. They have their own atmosphere, and visitors immediately understand it when they enter. The same should be true about a website. But how does one convey the impression of luxury and expensiveness without physical representation? ConversionXL did a study on this, and it boils down to a few simple rules. Clean your website of banners, popups and anything else that can disrupt the experience. Make your design clean, simple and subdued. Use fewer colors and avoid bright ones. Use more white space. Avoid clutter – for example, don’t display many products on the same page, as it suggests lower prices and lower quality. Make sure every product position counts.

2. Concentrate on images

Remember that you are selling expensive items that the customer is going to pay a lot of money for and that are going to accompany him for a long time. For example, if you sell Cartier watches in a brick-and-mortar store, the customer will probably look through many models, try them on, touch their surface, see how they feel. The only way to approximate it in an online store is to fill your product page with high-quality images concentrating on different aspects of the product: close-ups of individual parts of the watch, ability to zoom in to see the texture of the surface, the ability to see how it looks on one’s wrist and so on. If you want to sell a product that is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, you have to let the customer see it in as much detail as possible.

3. Make product descriptions individual and emotional

Having only technical details listed on the product page may be passable for a low- or mid-level store that sells hundreds of similar low-price products, but for a high-end store doing this borders on insanity. In other words, each product should have an individual description, and it should convey feelings and emotions. Try to imagine what a store clerk would tell the client about this product, and express it in written form.

4. Don’t use price tactics

Clients who buy luxury goods aren’t price-conscious in the same sense as those shopping in lower price segments. Most of them don’t mind paying extra if it gets them the best product and/or experience. Moreover, if you lower the price many of them will take it as a sign of decreased exclusivity and broader availability of your product – a sign that will probably make them look for a store that caters for a more select audience. So, if you run sales, do it but rarely. Luxury brands are about experience, not price – which means that if you want to promote them, you should focus on improving the experience, not decreasing the price. These improvements may include free shipping, free personalized engravings, gifts from the store and so on.

5. Create the feeling of scarcity and exclusivity

Selling luxury items is all about exclusivity. The client should feel that he is one of the very few who are going to have this item. Price already does its job by showing that only a few are able to afford it, but you should drive it further home. Use “limited quantity available” messages, signaling that the client should make a decision fast if he wants to get the product.

The same goes for scarcity. The client should feel that just having an opportunity to buy this product make him one of the select few. Some stores, for example, don’t sell certain items outright – they let visitors join draws or waiting lines that maybe will make them buy an item. Others won’t even post the price on the site, emphasizing that they are selling to those who aren’t bothered by such things.

Selling high-end products means learning a whole new set of rules and tactics – and we hope that this article will give you at least a basic understanding of what you need.