tech trends

Digital luxury experiences: Top tech trends changing the landscape

Monday 12th Feb 2024 |

The luxury industry is known for its heritage and long history, its ability to deliver excellence, and its longstanding history. The elevated prices are often directly correlated to higher quality, and many consumers naturally gravitate toward these items. The fact that they can act as investment pieces is also an important reason for many, as well as the fact that craftsmanship is typically the end goal.

Technology is at the other end of the spectrum, being inherently new and innovative. However, the fashion industry needs novelty in order to survive and keep up with the times. And in the usual manner, integrating new technology will be sophisticated and complex.

Artificial intelligence

AI is one of the latest additions in the tech world and undoubtedly the one that attracted the most controversy. That’s because aside from its ability to foster growth and development, artificial intelligence has always raised questions about data safety, the development and propagation of fake news, as well as the risks posed by human workers becoming obsolete, leading to mass unemployment. That’s on top of the more existential threats that many believe are either far-fetched or too far into the future to be worth thinking of at the moment, such as singularity and what that would mean for life on Earth.

However, at the moment, artificial intelligence is increasingly integrated into different sectors and businesses. The luxury industry is just one of them. Some brands already use the technology to power the shopping experience and make it more customised, something shoppers are eager to try. It’s good for the brands, as the customers who benefit from a one-to-one experience are statistically more likely to spend more, and it benefits the buyers as they find the goods they need.

Integrating this technology will also elevate the company’s reputation. Personal shoppers and assistants that are powered by AI are becoming increasingly commonplace as a result. Artificial intelligence is still in its early days, but as the technology continues to grow, there will be even more opportunities for innovation.

VR

Virtual reality has the potential to completely revolutionise many different areas, from school classrooms to doctor’s offices. It can allow you to travel anywhere in the world, explore new landmarks, and essentially provide immersive experiences regardless of where you are. Everyone must try the VR Experience at least once and explore its many possibilities. In the world of luxury fashion, virtual reality is changing how brands interact with their customers, providing them with an interactive experience.

Augmented reality can also be employed to visualise how a product would look in a particular setting, such as on an avatar. This adds an extra layer of engagement before making a purchase, making it more likely that a customer will buy something. Some brands, such as Chanel or Louis Vuitton, have already integrated try-on features for online shopping or to showcase their products in new ways. Gucci has integrated virtual showrooms into its buying experience, expanding store functionality and transforming how brands interact with customers.

Metaverse

When the metaverse was first discussed as a concept, potential users were thrilled about its possibilities. However, it wasn’t as revolutionary as many people expected, particularly after the rise of artificial intelligence. But that doesn’t mean brands have also given up on the technology. In fact, many have included it in their procedures or plan to do so in the future. That’s because the metaverse has a lot of potential to allow users to express themselves through fashion. The tech is also part of an immersive digital experience.

Some brands have already created virtual-only luxury items, such as Gucci Virtual 25 sneakers that can only be worn in virtual landscapes and online worlds and were used for avatars on Roblox. Metaverse Fashion Week returned for a second year in 2023 and included an expanded and developed schedule. While attendance was somewhat lower, analysts believe consumer interest will remain relatively similar, as buyers are interested in new experiences and what they offer.

Digital identity

The importance of preserving the integrity of business data has become increasingly visible over the past few years, and technology promises to solve any issues that might stop brands from reaching their goals. Solutions that preserve digital identity and allow supply chains and procedures to be more transparent are highly sought-after. The reason is that they help businesses become more trustworthy, increasing customer engagement and interest.

Supply chains can benefit from physical-digital links that record all steps of production. This way, companies have a straightforward track record of their sustainability and ethical markers and know which areas they should improve moving forward. The concept of the digital-physical blends the two worlds to create an overlap between communications and marketing and bridge the gap between the online and the real world.

Making supply chains more transparent is crucial for the luxury sector, mainly because these goods are most likely to be copied. Counterfeit items are a big problem, especially since they are becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate from the real thing. When paying a considerable sum, you want to be sure that the product you get is authentic, of premium-quality, and you can enjoy it for years to come.

Omnichannel optimisation

The concept of omnichannel refers to all the integrated mediums used to sell goods and services. It provides a new and improved shopping experience that customers can enjoy no matter which platform they use. Personal data is also vital; businesses need it to deliver an optimised experience. Luxury retailers will continue to adopt automation to offer more efficient and accurate services, such as the ability to inform prospective shoppers about the in-store availability of different products, exclusive releases and limited supplies for the products the customers prefer.

To sum up, the luxury sector will use technology to expand over the following years. Transparent merchandising is more critical than ever, as supply chains remain chaotic in the aftermath of the pandemic due to regional conflicts and strained geopolitical situations. Businesses are keen to invest in the infrastructure they need to become faster and better at what they do so they can withstand their competitors.

Upgrade your pancakes this Shrove Tuesday