While the ease and convenience of online shopping can't be denied, buying fine jewellery and watches with the click of a button can feel slightly impersonal.
However efficient and well-designed a website, it is virtually impossible to replicate the personalised service and luxurious surroundings of a bricks-and-mortar boutique. Not to mention the worry, however irrational, that one's purchase will somehow get lost in the post.
In the past, many luxury brands have shied away from selling their goods online for fear of diluting their exclusivity and high level of customer service. But now Cartier has teamed up exclusively with Selfridges to offer clients the best of both worlds through its new Click & Collect service. The jeweller is the first brand in the department store's Wonder Room to provide this service, but it is expected that others will follow suit.
Launched this week, Cartier Click & Collect will enable customers to buy Cartier items online from the Wonder Room section on Selfridges' main website and then collect their purchase, presented in the classic red box, from the in-store Cartier boutique.
The new service is available across the brand's core range of jewellery and watches, accessories and leather goods. Iconic Cartier creations such as the Tank, Santos, Love, Trinity and Juste un Clou collections will all be available for clients to order online and collect the following day. It will not include high jewellery, fine watches or items such as rings and bracelets that need to be individually sized for the client.
The partnership is being promoted on the front page of Selfridges' website, where the Cartier section features videos of some of the brand's latest creations, including the Amulette de Cartier jewellery collection and the Calibre de Cartier Diver watch.
"This is the first partnership of its kind for both Cartier and Selfridges, providing an opportunity for clients to purchase online but still experience the magic of the legendary Cartier red box," says Laurent Feniou, Managing Director, Cartier UK. "Clients will come into the boutique to pick up their purchase and still receive the same level of service expected if you were to buy direct in-store. As the UK is one of the most developed and engaged audiences in terms of ecommerce and online interaction, it seemed a fitting place to partner with one of the world's leading department stores," he adds.