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How Luxury Brands Are Harnessing Digital Products

Discover which tactics luxury brands use to make the most out of digital products, such as in-house automation, virtual and augmented reality, and SEO.

How Luxury Brands Are Harnessing Digital Products

Luxury brands can often stagnate due to their traditional values and a reliance on their well-established reputation. It can often seem logical at the time: as long as revenue keeps coming in, why bother changing things? However, this attitude is dangerous: it allows up-and-coming competitors with more modern mindsets to steal a huge portion of the luxury market. This, in turn, impacts significantly on revenue.

To avoid this fate, it’s crucial that luxury brands embrace new technologies whenever possible. By utilising cutting-edge digital products, luxury brands can compete with their new rivals and better engage with new audiences, such as young, digitally native consumers.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the ways that luxury brands are investing in digital products: from implementing new in-house automation to supporting external tech companies. We’ll explain the advantages of these technologies, and why you should consider digital products for your own luxury brand.

Ralph Lauren UK: In-House Digital Transformation

Looking to better serve its customers, Ralph Lauren UK began exploring a digital transformation project. In general, the project’s aim was simply to uncover new efficiencies. More specifically, the UK team sought to allow their in-store stylists to engage customers with more efficient and personalised service.

So, they contracted Future Platforms to help modernise their internal processes through the use of digital products. Between 2015 and 2018, Future Platforms updated the Ralph Lauren click-and-collect process, designed an online booking system for the in-store styling service, and released an in-house digital product (a tablet-based app) to help stylists stay up-to-date with their inventory levels. All of these new digital assets integrated Ralph Lauren’s signature branding to ensure design consistency.

The key benefit of the digital transformation, as well as the use of digital products, was a huge boost in efficiency. Specifically, relevant information became much more accessible to in-store personnel. With this improved access to information comes more effective service, which leads to a better, more streamlined shopping experience. This is the end result of most digital product use: a fantastic example of a luxury customer experience.

Gucci: Fascinating AR Visuals

Despite its over a hundred year history, Gucci is actually relatively forward-thinking for a fashion brand — especially when it comes to design. A great example of this is how the label has embraced cutting-edge technologies like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

Both technologies can display incredible visual designs to the viewer, but the delivery differs slightly. VR technology creates an entirely digital 3D environment, which a viewer is immersed in using a VR headset. AR technology, however, overlays digital assets on top of the real-life environment. AR is more accessible (only requiring a smartphone camera) whereas VR is more immersive.

So, how is Gucci embracing these technologies? For their 2018 campaign, Hallucinations, Gucci offered the chance to view interactive artworks by artist Ignasi Monreal at VR stations located in select stores. Additionally, Gucci released a digital product for the Apple Vision Pro VR headset in 2024, where users can watch a VR-optimised documentary about the Gucci creative director Sabato De Sarno.

As for AR, the Gucci mobile app has included an augmented reality try-on function since 2019, which is consistently updated for higher quality. The function allows users to “try on” virtual versions of different outfits before investing in the real thing.

Both technologies can be seen as eye-catching marketing strategies, but the AR tool in particular is a great example of how utilising modern digital products can help improve the customer experience in luxury brands.

Tiffany: Playing to Their SEO Strengths

Tiffany & Co. is one of the largest jewellery brands in the world, with a total market value of $16.04 billion. The company, more colloquially referred to as Tiffany’s, has entered the public consciousness in a way few other brands can hope to do: they are to diamonds what Rolex is to watches and what Ferrari is to luxury cars. When it comes to technology, this level of brand recognition is reflected in the form of incredible SEO, or search engine optimisation.

New York-based business intelligence firm L2 found that Tiffany “shines at keyword visibility”. They achieve this by leveraging a highly recognisable brand name with clever SEO strategies, such as keyword clusters and establishing high website authority.

The end result of these tactics is that Tiffany’s dominates search engine results pages for keywords like “engagement rings”, as well as their own brand name. SEO, while certainly not a modern technology, is often an aspect of modern business that’s overlooked by luxury brands. While these brands do incredibly well in terms of reputation and word of mouth, TIffany’s offers an example of a brand that’s reinforcing their online presence as well.

LVMH: Growing Digital Startups

LVMH is a conglomerate formed of multiple luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton, Moet, Dior, and Tiffany & Co. As a leading entity in the luxury market, they are responsible for igniting many of the more interesting business developments of the last few years. Part of this is the LVMH accelerator programme, La Maison Des Startups.

La Maison Des Startups is an LVMH project to identify and fund technologies that could benefit the luxury sector, such as customer service automation or visual design tech. One of the recent targets is Bodyguard.ai — an AI-powered content moderation tool that helps brands reduce toxic or offensive content posted on their social media.

Initiatives like La Maison are a crucial part of ensuring technological progress in the luxury space, such as the adoption of digital products.

Work With Future Platforms to Build Engaging Digital Products For Your Luxury Brand

If you’re looking to modernise your luxury brand and are interested in the digital products and cutting-edge technologies we’ve listed above, get in touch with Future Platforms today. Our team of skilled developers understands how to appeal to a variety of audiences with well-made, tastefully designed mobile apps and branded websites.

We have years of experience working to meet our clients’ needs, and can help you achieve any of your goals, whether that means broadening your audience with a new app, or automating your internal processes with in-house software. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, get in touch.