TREND Highlights: Luxury Fashion Digital Innovators

 

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One week on, we reflect on the key highlights from TREND: Luxury Fashion Digital Innovators hosted at the Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design on the 28th of March.

The event kicked off with a forward-thinking talk from Rachel Arthur, Chief Intelligence Officer at TheCurrent. Arthur discussed three key trends for today’s fashion consumer: Instant gratification, intelligent relevancy and trusted transparency. Throughout her presentation, she highlighted the importance of implementing technology only when it’s relevant to the end consumer.

“68% of Millennials now demand an integrated, seamless experience, regardless of the channel”

With examples like Farfetch and Gucci partnering to please today’s on-demand economy, luxury brands are rethinking their supply chain processes to keep up with shorter cycles and faster deliveries. Instant gratification is present in the overall customer journey, from the research stage to final purchase. Luxury brands are also offering more and more personalised products for their customer. “Fendi recently announced they have launched an online customisation option for its shoppers; teaming up with e-commerce platform Farfetch to provide made-to-order handbag designs.” – Arthur remarked.

Thecurrent

With regards to intelligent relevancy, Arthur highlighted the importance to look at data and learn how to analyse it bearing in mind the consumer’s privacy. “Understanding how AI machine learns to process that data is key to make the best use of it afterwards. Today’s fourth industrial revolution is allowing brands to get back to the one-to-one personalised experience via Artificial Intelligence. Farfetch’s store of the future is an example of this”.

However, even in a world where everything is expected ‘yesterday’, consumers are demanding for transparency and a greater need for purpose. “This desire for trust is driving brands to attempt for more sustainable production methods at all levels, from luxury to high-street brands.”

THE WORKSHOPS

Dave Murray, Executive VP at RewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it gave a workshop on how to make social shoppable. Murray remarked how today’s source for brand discovery is mainly social media and how brands are becoming savvier with targeting through social channels. Her sister company LIKEtoKNOW.it is the technology that allows consumers to discover brands through a simple screenshot from their favourite influencers. “For brands, having the chance to track ROI accurately is a key requirement today to better understand how to allocate their marketing budgets”.

Yanko Slavov and Svilen Valentine, founders at Sizemeup.xyz hosted a workshop that discussed how to redefine the online customer experience outlining the problems with sizing online. General research showed that:

8/10 people have returned at least one piece of clothing online
6/10 have returned clothing because of wrong sizing
This confirmed that there is a problem with the current customer experience and sizing. Valentine demonstrated how many retail websites show hundreds of different options with regards to sizing and how it’s essential that retailers think about what is primarily important to the customer in terms of the user journey. Slavov then reflected on Rachel Arthur’s keynote talk whereby she spoke about how other industries are focusing on improving customer experience. Here, Yanko used examples from finance, travel and hospitality with Monzo, Uber and Airbnb respectively.

“How are fashion and retail brands reacting to these digital innovations in other industries? Think about how your customers are constantly interacting with these innovative apps and platforms and how they may feel unhappy when faced with the often over-complicated user journey in fashion and retail.”

Slavov outlined the basic principles behind the Kano model and how brands should consider what dissatisfies, satisfies and delights their customers. It’s important that this Kano model is regularly revisited, as what delights your customers now will become a basic expectation before long.
“The more features you develop for your customers, the more satisfied they are likely to be.”
Valentine then gave a roundup of how, as well as simplifying the customer journey, technological innovations like the Size Me Up platform can also significantly increase the brand sustainability through a decrease in returns and packaging.

THE PANEL

The panel debate, formed by Helen Brocklebank, CEO at British luxury association The Walpole, Nick Blunden, Chief Commercial Officer at The Business of Fashion and Ana Andjelic, Chief Brand Officer at Rebecca Minkoff discussed key issues in luxury such as the evolution of influencer marketing, the distribution strategy and the use of blockchain in luxury.

“According to data from Instagram, 60% of users find new products on Instagram. 70% are more likely to make mobile purchases after seeing a product of Interest”

Nick Blunden highlighted that influencer marketing has been there for a long time and that the main difference today is authenticity. “With Instagram shoppable going live brands now have the ability to analyse the data of who is clicking which posts and what products are driving mobile sales, which can help improve the brand’s eCommerce strategy” – Blunden concluded.

In relation to Rachel Arthur’s keynote, Helen Brocklebank discussed how luxury brands are implementing innovation. “Farfetch are setting the agenda in what on-demand concerns. Vashi is also a fantastic example of how to use AI in luxury and be highly personalised. Quick is good – but slow should also be accepted.”

The debate finished with an overview of today’s need for sustainability and the political involvement from some fashion brands. Ana Andjelic highlighted that fashion brands are often too focused on the product and forget the overall value of their brand. “There are more and more limited editions available in order to give that feeling of scarcity and enhance sales, but brands should also care for building a deep relationship with their consumers and create that sense of community”.

Click here to see the event images.

Don’t forget to join the discussion on LinkedIn and Twitter!
We look forward to seeing you at the next #TRENDbyVERB in Summer!