Fashion Retail in the digital Age
Credit: Alexandra Boutin
According to a recent survey by the Nielson market-market research group, the average American spends nearly four hours a day on computers- including mobile devices. Moreover, nearly 25 percent of that time will have been spent on social media. The tremendous influx of retail technology has changed the perception of how consumers purchase during this transitional time. At present, fashion and jewelry, brands are exploring ways to work with technological devices—primarily mobile. Even when they are in silent mode, they tempt us with the promise of limitless information. Moreover, and more importantly, most of us feel naked without the phone nearby.
At present, many fashion luxury analysts see the rise in online consumerism and the resurgence of modified shopping habits. But don’t expect established retailers to redesign their profitable products or their old way of doing things. Many of the fashion retailers do not have the expertise, funding or insight to make substantial change. They can, however, evolve. Since the advent of the internet, mankind has adapted to changes — many times reluctantly. In some cases, a bias against technology can create a recipe for failure.
It’s surely no coincidence that luxury fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel have been announcing drastic corporate changes. Many established fashion retailers focused largely on and were convinced that various technological advances were out to get them. As anyone who’s spent time in the luxury industry knows, there’s plenty of opportunity in technology. The technical work of combining data with inspired marketing should not be underestimated in today’s fashion market. There is a complex task to create and drive a new consumer conversation in the twenty-first century.
On a more positive note, some luxury brands are paving the way for the new market. Moreover, they are already advanced in this process – Burberry, Far Fetch, and De Beers are using social media, mobile and even blockchain technology to safeguard their connections with consumers into the future. Technology innovation is out-pacing most retailers that weren’t born in the digital era, and with a plethora of marketing tech solutions available, it can feel like a daunting task knowing the right ones to use. But it’s imperative retailers go on this journey to thrive not fade away in this new world. The modern shopper today hasn’t the bandwidth to view fashion and jewelry brands prior to making a purchase.
I recently reviewed one such retailer that has capitalized on using digital tools to extend its window of opportunity to make it a core part of their business. Red Luxury has been growing throughout the digital space. In 2017 the company signed on Ginette NY. And in 2019 the brand acquired the famous US fine jewelry brand, Pamela Love. More importantly, though the use of highly sophisticated web and marketing tools, revenues have more than doubled for both brands, and the model has proven to be successful one in the new frontier on retail.
I had a chance to speak with Red Luxury founder David-Emmanuel Cohen about how fashion retail is learning to adapt to new platforms, how he digitally enhanced the retail strategy to progress adjacently with a modified consumer and how the brands goal is to scale fashion activity in web marketing, social media, sales and supply chain manufacturing.
David-Emmanuel COHEN – Co-Founder
Credit: Adrianna Favero photography
Joseph DeAcetis: Why is the old way of luxury retail no longer working? Give examples.
David-Emmanuel Cohen: In my opinion, the luxury retail industry has already been changing significantly to adapt itself to the rise of key ecommerce players like Net-a-porter, Matches and Farfetch. The bankruptcy of American Department stores like Barneys and the recent struggle of Neiman Marcus & Lord & Taylor has epitomized the end of this model. All have too many stores and have pushed for too many discounts while losing their purpose. Department store chains account for 30% of the total square footage in the USA and their downfall will trigger a bigger retail remodeling and an even deeper rethinking of the shopping experience. RED Luxury has been able to double its annual retail sales between 2017 and 2019 from $7M to more than $15M.
Joseph DeAcetis: Talk to Forbes about how and why you digitally enhanced your retail strategy to move forward adjacently with a modified consumer?
David-Emmanuel Cohen: When I’m thinking about our consumer I’m not only thinking about millennials or generation Z but also someone who is looking to express a message, an identity as well as his or her own values when purchasing a product. For example, the reason why we acquired the brand PAMELA LOVE in 2019 was because all of the gold used is recycled and recyclable with a designer who is creating jewelry with a strong purpose and a message to a loyal community of consumers with a 65% repeat purchase. Our first shop was opened in Paris and includes a piercing parlor with a 6-month waiting list. This happened after we posted our opening party on the Instagram page of the brand.
PAMELA LOVE Pamela Love was created in 2008 and is now a leading actor among the fine jewelry … [+]
Courtesy of Pamela Love
Joseph DeAcetis: Talk to Forbes about what your service offers today’s consumer to better guide him to point of sale.
David-Emmanuel Cohen: Across all our brands part of our portfolio we are pushing for web to retail campaigns with Facebook or Google, but I believe that this is not enough. We are now starting to incorporate Artificial Intelligence technics to keep guiding our consumer the best way possible. However, in my opinion, after COVID-19 the main value of our group is our people and I have the chance to have a team of 100 super talented people who make the value of RED LUXURY and who are in the end the best way to guide our clients.
Romain BENICHOU – Co-Founder
Credit: Adrianna Favero photography
Joseph DeAcetis: Walk us through Red LUXURY Markets unique sales and marketing platforms.
David-Emmanuel Cohen: RED LUXURY Group strives to promote differentiating products through alternative distribution networks. Our goal is to scale their activity thanks to our dedicated and passionate team: a gathering of experts in web marketing, social media, sales, supply chain and manufacturing. With our offices in New York, Geneva, Dubai and Hong Kong we strengthen our worldwide presence and promote our portfolio throughout high end and qualitative concept stores, department stores, ecommerce channels and high-end watch & jewelry shops. We partner with celebrities, fast growing talents and models to create limited editions around our jewelry brands.
Joseph DeAcetis: What void are you fulfilling in the luxury retail marketplace?
David-Emmanuel Cohen:We are selling our products in more than 2000 high end watch and jewelry stores around the world today and I believe that none of them is 2030 ready. Luxury is about having the time to create a relationship with a customer and to deeply understand what this customer needs and what. My partner Romain Benichou and I are already working on new ideas to reinvent the luxury retail space of tomorrow with not only an experimental shopping but a lifetime memory for our clients.