Ever since the world has gone digital, fashion has been awaiting its smooth passage through technology’s pearly gates. The promises awaiting it on the other side has haunted digital strategists far and wide. However, the ride hasn’t been a smooth one. There were many blunders along the way and shockingly slow reactions to the fast-paced world of digital. Brands are still perfecting their e-commerce offerings with some, just hoping on the 10-year-old bandwagon – their digital footprint leaving naught but a slight dent. In this case, slow and steady does not win the race.
Despite luxury brands embracing new technological frontiers by adopting digital channels across the board, their presence is one and the same. Their mobile app reads like their e-commerce website, albeit fitted on a smaller screen with swipe functions. The message is the same: buy me. However, Gucci, just like it did with its sartorial aesthetics is transforming the fashion app. Michele strikes yet again.
For brands, an omnichannel strategy is aligned with their growth strategy. More channels equals more exposure equals more market shares equals more sales… the basic formula reads quite linear. But the incentive to download mobile apps only exists for avid consumers of the brand as “65% of mobile users say they often end up abandoning apps they had downloaded for free to try out and almost half, 46%, prefer mobile sites to apps” (1). Whilst e-commerce is indeed gaining steam in the world of luxury, m-commerce is lagging behind.
But the incentive to download mobile apps only exists for avid consumers of the brand as “65% of mobile users say they often end up abandoning apps they had downloaded for free to try out and almost half, 46%, prefer mobile sites to apps”
Consumers are savvy. Blind loyalists they are not. But like the animals collected two by two under Gucci’s ark, so is its customer base. Spreading the Gucci love far and wide, the brand has proven itself as the leading label in luxury fashion brand digital innovation. According to Retail Dive, “Gucci proves adept at translating core brand association to digital channels. Gucci’s social media interactions have doubled in the past 12 months” (3). Branding has paid a large part to their success. Through their successful campaigns, Gucci Meme, Gucci in collaboration with Coco Capitán and their Star Trek inspired Gucci FW17 film campaign, the key lies in building connectivity.
Pushing digital innovation to the fore, Gucci’s mobile app offers an immersive lifestyle experience where buying isn’t the key message. By making use of their strong social media presence, the brand is actively promoting their app by pushing through a new initiative dubbed #GucciPlaces. What is it exactly, is it a product or a new collaboration or a campaign? It doesn’t check any of these boxes. Instead, #GucciPlaces is “dedicated to those seeking the unexpected in travel and experiences, [it] will establish a network of curious sites around the world” (3). Essentially it’s a project for the brand to share with its audience places that hold significance or have provided inspiration to the House. Whilst not entirely without monetary motive, the project does away with exclusivity, enabling anyone – potential consumer or existing consumer – to interact with the brand. It encourages social media users to share their experience to form creative communities, check-in to places ‘curated by Alessandro Michele’ and most importantly provide additional insight into the brand such that users feel connected.
As the newest addition to the Gucci app, its existing offers include wallpapers, DIY games, Gucci collaboration filters, and a mini archive of inspirational images. Whether you’re a diehard Gucci fan, a fashion enthusiast or just a curious by-passer, everyone is welcome to the wonderful world of Gucci. By focusing on building customer experience through storytelling, Gucci has given back consumers jurisdiction over their individual tastes because “for millenials, expression is such a core value of what we espouse and what we purchase” (4).
By focusing on building customer experience through storytelling, Gucci has given back consumers jurisdiction over their individual tastes because “for millenials, expression is such a core value of what we espouse and what we purchase” (4).
Generating a loyal audience in the fickle world of digital media has proven to be the number one challenge facing brands, especially those in the luxury sector. Allowing their users to create shareable content to strengthen its online community through transparency is a surefire way to maintain consumer loyalty. Excuse us while we skip the shops with the guarded sales associates, take a day trip to Chatsworth Estate and still be immersed in the world of Gucci.
(1) 2016. ‘Attitudes Towards Mobile Apps’. Mintel Report
(2) Howland, D. Nov. 30 2016. ‘Gucci Passes Burberry on L2 Digital IQ Fashion Index’. Retail Dive
(3) Gucci. @Gucci. “Dedicated to those seeking the unexpected in travel…” Instagram. July 19 2017
(4) Biron, B. April 14 2016. ‘Customization is the Next Fronti For Luxury Retailers’. Digiday