At the end of 2018, Bain & Company in its report “The future of luxury: a look into tomorrow to understand today” showed that by 2025 the online channel will represent 25% of the market value. Today it represents just the 10%. This means that in the next few years about the half of all luxury purchases will be possible thanks to new technologies, and almost all luxury purchases will be influenced by interactions that will take place online. Furthermore, the continuous evolution of cultures and consumer needs will increasingly influence fashion and luxury, and the brands will have to learn to dialogue with them to remain relevant.
A scenario that even today finds its interpretation and application, with luxury brands becoming increasingly careful to realize not only products, contact points, communication channels and initiatives to build strong relationships, but also experiences based on listening and on centrality of people, with the aim of fully understanding their expectations and needs during the entire purchasing process, enriching their online and offline experience, creating a dialogue with a multi-channel perspective in order to be able to better understand the evolutions in their desires and needs.
But that’s not all! Luxury brands like Moncler and Fendi have decided to adopt open innovation models such as the hackathon (a neologism born from the expression “hackers marathon”) aimed at listening to and engaging company employees, who are people with different professionalisms and experiences, both capable of bringing value and innovation in processes and products.
This great transformation is also tangible in the realization of customer experience innovation projects held by the main luxury brands. Today, they know to have to create a reconnection with their customers through their direct involvement and the integration of quantitative and qualitative methods in the flows design.
We have accompanied important brands in the realization of this trend: from the validation of the new interface of the e-commerce site, through listening and involving users of different cultures and nationalities during the launch phase; to the involvement of internal figures, such as sales assistants, who have directly contributed to the improvement of the experience of using the tablet application for sale at boutiques. Finally we redefined the user experience of the digital channels of a brand, first through an analysis of the perception of its different brands in the main markets; subsequently we designed and confirmed the different points of contact with the end users through recursive validation cycles with the users: information architectures designed in a participatory way and tested remotely, in different countries, to understand their clarity and the availability of information; live usability test, with the help of the eye-tracker, for the analysis of the interactions with the new site interface, up to the involvement of people to measure the impact of the adopted solutions and the new design.
The qualitative and quantitative multiplication of connections and information makes it increasingly necessary to shift the focus of design with people and re-establish the relationships between those who produce and those who use, those who conceive and those who live. Even in this sector, being close, listening to and interpreting people’s needs is fundamental if we want to give a new meaning and greater value to experiences and products. Only by living a “reconnection” we can understand and learn how much care and listening are essential and fundamental elements to improve the quality of the experience – and therefore the life – of people. Their participation in the definition processes of the “customer experience” is now necessary if we are to succeed in sustaining the very rapid evolution of the needs of the final consumer, increasingly conditioned by experiences in different but complementary sectors. Companies today experience a transition from the open innovation paradigm to the constant transformation of internal skills and the adoption of increasingly advanced user experience tools, thanks to the contamination of the sector’s most innovative marketplaces.