Who’s missing from social media in 2021? Expensive and exclusive Italian label Bottega Veneta, that’s who. Bottega Veneta, a heritage brand based in Milan, Italy, has gone “404” on us with absolutely no warning. The luxury fashion house has decided to blackout its social media accounts. Why is this news? Well, in the past few years, it has been drummed into many luxury brands that those good ol’ days of exclusivity have now gone bye-bye. To stay relevant and in high-demand, luxury brands have felt the pressure to invest time (and money) into their social media platforms. So what other technology tools could luxury brands use to still be relatable to its target customer? Allow me to enlighten you.
Drop Social Media, & Adopt Relatable Innovations?
Before exploring the game-changing tech solutions available to luxury brands, lets first understand why ‘exclusivity’ is more than just another buzzword used by an over-enthusiastic fashion PR person. It is words like ‘exclusivity’, ‘rarity’ and ‘scarcity’ that drive us, the consumer, to buy that special something that no one else owns. It is being able to offer this type of exclusivity that is fundamentally what luxury businesses have been built on. Some might argue that today luxury has gone too mass, but I still question whether it really has. We currently live in a time where brand visibility has increased thanks microblogging sites like Twitter and Instagram. It is these platforms that have helped some luxury labels not only grow in popularity but also appeal to a customer base that was unreachable before. The problem with visibility is that some luxury brands believe that having such a visible digital presence could threaten their exclusivity status. It is a fear we have seen before; case and point, Parisian heritage label Chanel. The luxury brand launched its first e-commerce website in 2018!
If you are a luxury brand looking to follow in Bottega Veneta’s footsteps, then the good news is that there are ways that you can remain exclusive and connected to your customers. Committing to maintaining your social media presence is not the only way, there is more than one way to skin a cat, and one of those ways is to plough money into state-of-the-art technological upgrades designed to provide your privileged customers with a highly unique experience instead. By financing relatable innovations, luxury brands ditching their Instagram will still be able to reach a specific target audience without reducing their brand’s exclusivity. Just a little bit of “tact and a pinch of science” is needed. So if you are now wondering which innovations will keep your luxury brand connected and exclusive, well one of those ways is seamless payment integration.
When it comes to the potential of seamless payment integration technology, the good news is that there are companies out there, introducing this kind of technology to the fashion industry. It has been designed to give luxury companies a better return on their investment, which means that luxury brands no longer have to work with multiple payment providers to accept preferred payment methods; instead, payment technology has simplified the whole process by managing all transactions in one place. Furthermore, it is worth noting that the payment data is centralised, which means that luxury businesses will get a 360-degree view of their customers across all touch-points.
If you are not sure where to start, allow us to introduce you to the tech brand ENCRY. Launched a few years ago in 2017, ENCRY’s main objective is to make decentralised solutions and services accessible by developing solutions and technological products for implementation in various areas. Striving to integrate options such as crypto for both online and in-store purchases for luxury brands, ENCRY’s Roman Nekrasov told Forbes, “The ENCRY ecosystem is more than just blockchain technology. It is about changing the entire world wide web and its application to daily living. Our products are designed to create a seamless and secure experience for users.”
Another tech tool designed to keep luxury brands connected to their audience without sacrificing their heritage is Eon’s Connected Products Platform powered by Microsoft Azure. Known as CircularID™ Protocol, the platform makes it possible for brands and retailers to introduce more profound and more dynamic relationships with their customers, new revenue streams and business models and a sustainable relationship with our planet.
Founder Natasha Franck believes that connected products unlock unprecedented customer insight and competitive advantage and enable brands to monetise and scale new circular business models such as rental, resale, digital wardrobing, peer-to-peer exchange, styling services, reuse and recycling.
The long-term potential of the Eon’s Connected Products platform and CircularID™ Protocol is immense. With consumer applications’ growth, the Connected Product’s value to customers and data-generated becomes key to a competitive advantage for brands and retailers. In partnership with Microsoft, Eon is solving some of the industry’s most significant data and operational scale challenges, enabling Connected Products to operate side-by-side with existing systems, such that brands and retailers can quickly and efficiently digitise products at scale.
Then there are virtual showrooms. The rise of virtual showrooms has been bumpy, but in 2020, more fashion brands showed interest in putting money into this type of technology due to the restrictions brought on by the pandemic. The luxury brands who have opened this particular door, have been able to up their game and connect with their global customers more seamlessly. As we enter 2021, it seems that the concept of virtual showrooms is continuing to grow and is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
On that note, one of the go-to companies for forward-thinking fashion brands is VOOR. Their objective is to re-shape the traditional fashion business model by providing brands with virtual merchandising showrooms. Digitising technology to cut costs, save time, and further brand sustainability, Voor is the kind of solution that challenges how the fashion industry can be transformed into synchronous, agile, and truly sustainable. Currently, in the beta stage of their web app, Voor has confirmed that they are currently working on extending their technology on a wide array of channels from mobile to VR.
Besides the solutions I mentioned above, the good news is that there are other innovations designed to allow luxury fashion brands to move on with the times without “sullying” their exclusivity status. These include voice-controlled shopping, augmented reality and daresay gaming. The bottom line is that, yes we will no longer be able to live vicariously through Bottega Veneta Instagram account, but should the Italian fashion house decide to invest in redefining exclusivity in technology then I am sure their fans will get their BV fix sooner rather than later.