Luxury brands urged to embrace new technologies

Luxury brands need to use new technologies and offer experiences for their customers, the second Luxury Society keynote event in Shanghai has been told.

UCO Cosmetics CEO Arthur Zhang told the event that the early-stage eCommerce model of simply providing a platform for selling products online is dead.

He said key technologies being experimented and improved upon in China include augmented reality, virtual reality and live-streaming.

“The millennial generation in China, which already numbers about 300 million people, seeks experiences and emotional connection – they are not just bystanders,” DLG China partner/MD Pablo Mauron told the audience of more than 150 luxury-industry brand executives. “As a result, live-streaming has become a medium for them to express themselves.”

He told how brands such as Maybelline, Montblanc and Swarovski are taking advantage of these new opportunities.

Underlining the key message of the event that eCommerce is changing, CEO Thibault Villet of luxury fashion eCommerce platform Mei.com told how a live-streamed show in collaboration with TMall resulted in 65 per cent of the products featured quickly selling out.

Meaningful data

Social customer-relationship management (CRM) makes highly targeted messaging and engagement possible, the event was told by Four Seasons Hotels Asia Pacific director of marketing communications John Hamilton. He said the luxury hotel chain has been gaining meaningful data about its customers, which in turn has driven growth. In the past year, through trial-and-error and optimisation, the group has defined a CRM-led content strategy on WeChat.

Celebrity and key-opinion-leader partnerships can make a big impact in China, said East Entertainment commercial director Qing Dai, who spoke of her experience of partnering luxury brands with appropriate celebrities. One of Easy Entertainment’s most successful was in linking up Cartier with singer/actor Lu Han.

Baidu GM for East China Wan (Grace) Zhang said Cartier was the most-searched luxury watch brand among the generation born between 1990 and 2000, linked to Cartier’s collaboration with Lu Han.

Other speakers at the event included Four Seasons Hotel Pudong (Shanghai) GM Arthur Ho, writer Casey Hall of Women’s Wear Daily, Digital Luxury Group founder/CEO David Sadigh and MD for China Pablo Mauron, Baidu senior project manager Di Fu and Sephora China digital manager Vanessa Qian.

Attendees included representatives of Alexandre de Paris, Baume & Mercier, Bottega Veneta, Bulgari, Cartier, Chanel, Chaumet, Conde Nast, De Beers, Dior, Hublot, Loewe, LVMH, Marc Jacobs, Massimo Dutti, Michael Kors, Montblanc, Nars, Net-a-Porter, Nike, Sephora, Shiseido, Swarovski, TAG Heuer, Tiffany & Co and Vacheron Constantin.

Luxury Society, published by Digital Luxury Group, is an online destination for luxury-brand executives covering digital and technology matters and with more than 40,000 members across 150 countries.

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