Digital Trends and Luxury

All digital should not be a tool to make products more exclusive, but the experiences of consumers

Much has been written from a few years ago about how the online and offline worlds are integrating, or must be integrated, in the luxury brands so they don’t lose that status. And although many companies refuse to invest in the Internet and the digitization of their brands, the longer luxury brands do it, the more it will cost to catch up with the technological advances and the fast pace with which new devices that connect brands with consumers are being developed.

It is no easy task, since in 2020, that is within just five years, it is estimated to be more than 30 billion (30,000,000,000) connected devices to the IoT (Internet of Things / Internet of Things), of which 7.3 billion will be personal devices by the time world population will have exceeded 8 billion, of which over 50% will have no access to Internet or such digital devices. However, these figures can vary considerably when Facebook Drones projects and communications via lasers begin to function.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

Among the huge variety of digital inventions that appear daily, only a few have been implemented by the most prestigious luxury brands. All existing devices can be classified based on their relationship to the individual as:

  • Devices in direct contact with the individual: Here we find all the devices used to control the ‘Self’ as smartwatches to control the time and stay connected and organized, the weareables with biological, sleep and vital signs measurements, as well as new versions of Google Glass to be designed as fashion items for which it has reached agreements with companies like Luxottica announced last year.
Interactive mirror with RFID technology Burberry London
  • Devices for saving time to inquire about the product or brand: As it’s the case of Burberry’s digital flagship store in London featuring a hundred screens that emit streaming content and RFID systems to modify the content of their screens as the users carry different products in their hands. Here, we cannot fail to mention all mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets with their apps integrated with the in-store experience, or the case of Dior Eyes in an attempt to bring the experience of the walkway to the shops through virtual reality
  • Devices to enhance the user experience: As is the case with the Apple iPad integrated into the Bentley Mulsane or advanced automation and design such as Bang & Olufsen Home Integration.

However, all this technology has a dual purpose, besides wanting to meet the above goals, it aims to obtain the maximum possible information about the user experience and their buying motivations.

That’s why luxury brands are facing a series of challenges on which it is not easy to decide, despite the pressure they constantly suffer from the market and the media to take the digital path.

  • Management and analysis of information: Better known as BIG DATA, the volume of information that these brands are able to receive worldwide is huge and if it’s not properly planned and the analysis is well structured so that they can draw conclusions from it that will facilitate decision-making, the entire investment in technology, implementation and data collection, will come to nothing, which may represent several million dollars. A risk that no manager is willing to take lightly
  • Replication and global implementation: The implementation of a technology only in one city or one country, it does not provide a lot of information to brands, so they should try to replicate and deploy this technology in different countries with different cultures and ways of thinking. Taking language and cultural issues lightly can cost the brand to undo all the technological project, or at least a large part of it. On the other hand, the enormous cost that can lead to implant a technology in hundreds or thousands of stores around the world, is also a difficult challenge to overcome for luxury brands, which for small brands is a big plus.
Bentley Mulsanne Executive Interior Concept
  • Cyber ​​security: An increasing number of cases of large corporations whose servers have been attacked by hackers and from which are drawn millions of personal data of their respective customers, including credit cards, bank details, and of course, the data about their use and consumption of products that can be sold to third parties. The implementation of the highest possible security of their systems, not only including the protection of servers, but also protecting all those devices that send user information and strengthening its communication protocols, is a must
  • Responsible Eco-nsumerism: Luxury brands must take into account the enormous impact that the introduction of IoT will have on the ecosystem and the society, and pursue a sustainable development of their technological innovations, consider the use that consumers can do at the same time and try to leave not only a minimal footprint, but a beneficial return for both the ecosystem and for society as a whole
Gafas Dior
Dior sunglasses
  • Learning curve: A greater technological sophistication, it is presupposed greater learning curve and if the new devices that luxury brands are seeking to integrate into the life of their customers does not drastically reduce the curve, having in mind the huge number of lot appliances and devices that connected millennials own, the first to be abandoned will be more time consuming to learn and use, and the ones that offers them less benefits
  • Customize the experience: The biggest challenge of all, is to get the whole network of touch points of the brand in store, e-commerce, social networking, devices and apps created by them, must serve to create a unique and unrepeatable experience and it has to be felt as unique by each user

Those brands that successfully face these challenges will have control of the digital wave and the market.

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