The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about significant changes in the way luxury brands operate, with a particular focus on the digital realm. As physical stores face closures or restrictions, brands have had to shift their attention to digital channels and enhance the online shopping experience for their customers. Hapticmedia, a French ecommerce startup led by CEO and co-founder Henri Foucaud, understands the importance of this transition. The company specializes in 3D modeling and visualization solutions, supporting luxury brands in their digitalization efforts. Some of Hapticmedia’s major clients include renowned groups such as Richemont and LVMH.

In a recent interview, Foucaud emphasizes the shifting landscape of luxury ecommerce and the need for brands to reinvent themselves to meet the evolving expectations of their customers. He acknowledges that while physical stores and e-commerce were once seen as separate entities, they now complement each other. Research suggests that over 80% of consumers have their initial contact with a product online, often through their smartphones. Consequently, it is essential for brands to create a successful online shopping experience in order to retain customers. Although physical commerce still holds a prominent position in Europe, e-commerce is experiencing rapid growth. For example, China has seen online sales of cosmetics surpass those of physical stores. Overall, the pandemic has undeniably expedited the significance of a brand’s website as its primary showcase.

Adapting to the e-commerce boom requires luxury brands to embrace change and acknowledge that traditional methods are no longer sufficient. Simply presenting dreamy images on glossy paper and showcasing beautifully handcrafted products are no longer enough to capture consumers’ attention. Luxury nowadays involves influencers and a connection to the real world through renowned public figures. E-commerce sites must evolve to cater to the influential Gen Z consumers in China, who are driving the growth of luxury groups. This evolution necessitates greater interactivity and customization options.

Hapticmedia’s solutions play a crucial role in supporting the digital revolution in the fashion and beauty sectors. With a focus on personalization, cosmetic brands are allowing customers to customize not only their product but also its packaging. Hapticmedia’s project for Guerlain, called ‘Les Abeilles,’ serves as an exemplary case, enabling customers to personalize every aspect of their perfume, from bottle size and color to engraving and decoration. This level of customization creates an emotional connection between the customer and the product.

Despite the advantages of e-commerce, there are still barriers to complete reliance on online shopping, such as concerns regarding delivery and the inability to physically touch or try items. However, Hapticmedia provides solutions to overcome these challenges. Through their Virtual Try-On technology, which combines 3D modeling, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence, customers can virtually try products and gain insights into their look and feel. Accurate 3D models of the products are essential for this technology to be effective.

Another drawback of online shopping is the absence of personalized advice or a tailored shopping experience. To address this issue, many e-commerce sites now offer instant messaging systems for direct communication with sales representatives. Additionally, customers can schedule video conferences with salespeople to enjoy a more personalized and interactive shopping experience.

Gen Z represents a vital target audience for luxury brands, as they possess extensive digital skills. While some luxury brands may have been slow to adapt, they still have the opportunity to win over these consumers. Luxury groups such as LVMH and Richemont have robust infrastructures and collaborate with startups that incorporate the latest technologies. While certain company cultures may resist change, embracing new ways of operating has become non-negotiable. Brands face the risk of decline or even disappearance if they fail to adapt to the digital revolution.

Additional Links:
[Click here]( to visit Hapticmedia’s website.
[Click here]( to learn more about LVMH.