Tech and luxury have a nuanced relationship. Technology is often pivotal in offering a luxury experience, but we tend to associate luxury with a timeless class that doesn’t involve a lot of flashing screens.
From the moment a customer steps through the door to their post-purchase engagement, technology must act as the silent conductor, orchestrating a seamless and memorable experience while simultaneously fading into the background.
Here’s how to integrate modern technology in luxury experiences in restaurants and retail environments without spending a fortune or scaring off your customers.
A luxury experience begins long before a customer sets foot in a store or restaurant. Integrate AI technology into the reservation system to analyze customers' previous orders, reviews, and preferences to suggest the most attractive offerings, perhaps a new designer collection in a luxury store or a just-released and limited-time seasonal menu in an upscale restaurant.
Once you’ve got their interest, it’s time to start a relationship. Virtual concierge services are AI-driven platforms that interact with customers via smartphones or websites, providing customized recommendations, virtual tours of the store or dining venue, and answering questions.
Virtual concierge services can book reservations, suggest a virtual dressing room, and make special offers like a kitchen dining experience or limited supply product. They can also suggest a deeper connection with a real live staff member if there’s something the AI services can’t address.
A user-friendly online reservation system can go much further than letting customers book a reservation or appointment. Allow customers to choose their specific table in the restaurant and put their order in ahead of time so they can just walk in, sit down, and eat. Create a multistage experience of a retail appointment, booking extras like a manicure, massage, or cocktail along with the retail showing.
The moment a customer steps through the door of your restaurant or retail store is critical. A friendly, personalized greeting from an associate who knows their name is going to make a significantly better impression (setting the stage for greater spending), than a generic greeting.
AI-driven systems recognize, understand, and communicate to staff each customer’s unique preferences as they enter. By accessing a customer's profile, which includes their preferred name, past purchases, and individual preferences, staff can offer a warm, relevant greeting.
Does a patron frequently order a particular wine or dish at a restaurant? Do they expect a glass of ice water before they begin to browse the shelves of a retail store? Having that information in the hands of your staff makes for an engaging experience for the customer from the first step in the door.
It doesn’t necessarily take a lot of staff either, important in today’s staff-strapped economy. Interactive digital displays that recognize a customer through integrated loyalty programs can display personalized welcome messages, suggest new products or services based on the customer’s history, and offer assistance.
Interactive digital menus and catalogs offer guests a visually rich and informative selection process, catered to them. Tempt customers with gorgeous photos and videos of dishes or artfully displayed retail items.
Restaurants can offer detailed descriptions of dishes, origins of ingredients, chef’s notes, and wine pairing suggestions. Based on a customer’s previous visits or dietary preferences, the system can suggest dishes, remember favorite wines, or even alert the kitchen to allergy information or special requests.
Smart fitting rooms are transforming the shopping experience in high-end retail. Equipped with interactive mirrors that suggest complementary items, allow virtual try-ons, or adjust lighting to see how an outfit looks in different settings makes these fitting rooms your new best friend for every shopping trip.
The atmosphere is paramount in luxury. Intelligent lighting systems can adjust the ambiance based on the time of day, the weather, or the area. Sound technology, whether natural sounds, subtle background music, or noise-canceling features, can eliminate distracting sounds and build a pleasant experience.
Sophisticated payment systems allow for quick, secure, and discrete transactions. Interactive digital POS systems can take multiple forms of payment for the customer’s convenience. High end customers are perfectly happy with the speed and convenience of this kind of payment system, despite there being some stigma about it in luxury (source).
After the customer leaves, AI-powered systems can analyze their preferences and purchase history to send personalized follow-up messages; updates on new arrivals or menu items that match the customer's style, invitations to exclusive events that align with their interests, or new surveys about their experience or purchases.
It can even send care prompts, like a reminder to oil a leather belt or condition luxury shoes, adding a thoughtful touch that shows the brand really does care about the customer’s experience and the customer themselves.
Luxury brands can also deepen the customer's connection with the brand post-visit with immersive brand storytelling in their follow-up communications, like stories about the craftsmanship behind a purchased item or the origins and inspiration behind a menu item.
Technology in luxury establishments can build better experiences and make deeper connections. As technology becomes ever more firmly grounded in our everyday lives, it becomes increasingly apparent that luxury restaurants and retailers need to be taking advantage of it as well.
Revel's POS system offers a sophisticated solution that puts valuable customer data (and the ability to take payments) right at the fingertips of staff, simplifying a customized experience.