As part of its latest investigation for the Colbert Committee, research firm Bain & Company interviewed 75 French luxury houses to find out more about their relationship with new technologies. What should be remembered?
2.3 new technologies per luxury house.
A gradual but tangible introduction. Biotechnology, molecular recycling, 3D printing, artificial intelligence and machine learning for process optimization, artificial intelligence and machine learning for customer engagement, augmented reality and virtual reality, automated optical inspection, scanner, 3D imaging, holography, neural analysis, gloves and haptic displays, radio frequency identification , blockchain, metaverse, NFT: among these 16 areas of innovation, the member companies of the Comité Colbert participating in the study have adopted some 2.3 on average. Here, no leading technology while “only RFID (note: radio frequency identification technology), printing and 3D imaging have an adoption rate of more than 30%” says the report.
This still fragile figure is mainly explained by difficulties in adapting some of these new technologies to the real needs of the sector, which the report examines. But if the question of relevance is the core at the start, the second explanation must also be found on the side of the missing internal skills. A criterion that also illustrates why houses belonging to a group use, on average, twice as many technologies as independent houses…
Luxury: technological handles that serve three major applications.
However, the topic of technological innovation remains in focus. In fact, according to the study, the surveyed houses would test an average of 3.2 additional technologies to integrate into their strategies in a niche ranging from the next few months to the next three years.
Among the priority goals associated with these technologies, the houses will essentially base their hopes on the improvement ofcustomer engagement, a key concept at a time when the pandemic has profoundly changed consumption habits. To do this, many of the luxury brands interviewed in this study intend to rely on immersive tools such as augmented reality or virtual reality. Same story for NFTs: according to the report, an average of 51% of surveyed luxury players are now in the testing phase or planning launches before 2025, a figure that rises to 72% for houses belonging to a large group.
L’operational efficiency also asserts itself as a thriving research field with strong expectations for the concrete applications of RFID, blockchain or even artificial intelligence and its impact on the overall optimization of the supply chain.
And while the awakening of an environmentally responsible conscience tends to gain traction in consumers’ purchase intentions, the last major lever seems to be Sustainable Development. About “new technologies are not yet fully perceived as catalysts for reducing the carbon footprint” according to the study, applications will skyrocket, especially in terms of biotechnology or even high-tech solutions that make it possible to optimize production flows as accurately as possible to avoid overstocking and waste management problems.