October 27, 2020

Luxury brands, on the hunt for data to win over the customer | Fortune



It is not a secret that the pandemic has accelerated the arrival of new consumer trends, such as electronic commerce. The mystery that reveals to brands, however, is how to reach users and, above all, how to transmit to them the same experience they get in the physical world through digital channels. A path that goes through knowing consumers better than ever and where data is the most valuable asset.

The problem, according to Carmen Sáenz, an expert in the luxury sector and founder of Best for Less, during the round table The challenges of superdigitalization in the luxury sector, organized by Luxury Spain, is that the brands of products with a higher cost, often do not have enough data volume to know in depth the consumers. That is what explains that high-end industry conglomerates want to take control of large e-commerce platforms, as happened with the purchase of Net-a-Porter by Richemont. “The data about the customer that the digital gives you at a quality level, qualitatively, is not given to you by anyone. That is why firms are getting into this world ”, continued the entrepreneur, who was also the general director in Spain of Audemars Piguet and held various positions of responsibility at Carrera & Carrera and Cartier.

Despite the fact that technology is fundamental in this transformation, to dive in such an informative ocean, the human factor is essential. “Without taking weight away from artificial intelligence, which allows us to develop a much more accurate strategy, the important thing is the human part of that data, knowing how to find what it is that needs to be known through those millions of tables with information that are available ”Saenz commented.

An idea that Google’s sales director for Spain, José Luis Pulpón, strongly agreed with, who recalled that “this is a change, and the changes are led by people, what is needed is to find the talent to help lead this transformation”. For the manager, who emphasized the need for training that contributes to acquiring new digital skills and competencies, the future passes through omnichannel and it is convenient to surround yourself with a team that understands this clearly.

Consumers no longer sharply differentiate between the physical and digital world, but instead see the entire purchase process as a constant succession, where although the last step is carried out in the store, the purchase decision has been made entirely through of the web. Achieving the balance between the two categories is the main challenge for the luxury industry today. This was pointed out by the director of Luxury Iberia Coty, Iñaki Trincado: “A luxury perfume is not just perfume, it is a dream. Can you transmit the dream digitally? Yes, in thousands of ways, but you will always need to smell it ”, he pointed out. This, according to the expert, is the reason why the strategy cannot be limited to the online world, but its strength should not be underestimated either. “Nor can you just leave the perfume in person and wait for them to just smell it,” concluded the manager.

Despite the challenge, never before had there been the opportunity to have the consumer so close, Pulpón insisted, for whom it is time to take advantage of all the possibilities of the audiovisual world to bring the experience expected of the brand from end to end. Along these lines, Sáenz recalled that the dimensions and qualities of communication channels have also changed. “Brands like Gucci have 40 million followers on Instagram, there is almost no medium that allows you to reach that audience. However, these are still vital due to the prescription and the notoriety they provide ”, he developed.

Responsibility

Social networks and digital platforms have made information more accessible, and with it, they have transferred part of the social and environmental responsibility to their clients. “Individual social responsibility has accelerated. In three years, not talking about sustainability in the company will be like not speaking English, “says the founder of Best for Less.

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