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How Can Smart Innovations Bring About Prolific Disruptions For The Luxury Industry?
- 27th Mar 2021
Introspection before Disruption
Innovation these days isn't a luxury but in fact a necessity. Every industry is constantly innovating but in order to be truly disruptive means to reinvent the technology or a business model in a way that it creates niche markets and completely disrupts the current market. It is a trend completely diverse and far off from the traditional innovation methods like sustaining innovation which focuses on improving the existing technology or products. Prime examples for disruptive innovation can be the cases of Airbnb and Uber. However things are stirring up in the luxury industry and these incumbent brands have now realised the need to do something different and gain that first mover’s advantage. To begin with, it is key to shy away from the traditional ways of doing retail and radically making over the entire consumer experience. There are a few key drivers affecting and shaping up the retail industry of tomorrow.
1. Phygital Retail
This pandemic has been a testament to the fact that the lines are constantly blurring between the physical and digital world. SAP, a software developer is collaborating with Harrods to develop a technology which provides consumers with personalised recommendations from the in-store screens based on what they are wearing. Virtual try-ons not only create an enhanced online shopping experience for consumers but also help bas consumer confidence while they shop in luxury of their homes. In fact AI and AR based try ons have contributed to an increased brand engagement and retail sales. Burberry launched a new AR project using Google Search technology to allow people to try on items before punching them. Shoppers looking for Burberry handbags or wallets have an option to view the product in 3D on their smartphones, isn’t that cool?
2. Experiential Stores
I’m sure you all would agree that the hallmark for luxury brands is that impeccable consumer experience and brands would leave no stone unturned when it comes to providing that seamless experience. Louis Vuitton recently opened a cafe connected to their Osaka flagship and stepped us up with its experiential game.
3. The Caring Mindset
Brands should be adopting the “caring” mindset to understand their consumers better and provide them with a seamless buying experience. One way to do it is by providing personalised solutions using AI and analytics. Cartier designed its own customer care system known as “Cartier Care” to help them build meaningful relationships with their clients. Caring for customer needs can go on a long way for brands to build loyalists or brand advocates.
4. Let’s Pop Up
In this instagrammable age consumers are constantly looking for something fresh and new NEW. Retail stores are like static web pages and chances are your consumers might soon get bored of the same layout. However many luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Chanel are trying to change that by setting up Pop Up shops to excite discerning and new age consumers.
5. Zero - Inventory Stores
Researchers and brands have now adopted and proposed a novel model known as ZIS stores or Zero inventory stores. The idea behind this creation is to transform the physical stores as platforms where shoppers can see, touch and experience products while ordering it online.
A wonderful example of ZIS stores is that of Canada Goose which opened its experiential shop in Toronto where consumers can try on the brand’s jacket in a simulated snow storm. Ordering in the store is done via iPad and it directly gets shipped to the customer's house avoiding the need for actual stock in the store, I mean to be honest, that’s genius!
The time now is not only to study your consumers but empathize with them. Brands should not only focus on innovating but creating meaningful innovation which transforms their lives for the better.
To sum things up, “You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”