Luxury marketers integrated mobile campaigns into different initiatives throughout 2014 to engage and intrigue consumers through several different devices.
Smart watches, Google Glass, mobile applications and geolocation capabilities led consumers through department stores, cities and fashion shows this year. Mobile devices are changing the way luxury marketers reach consumers, especially as young, affluent individuals engage more frequently with brands.
Here are the top 10 luxury brand moments of 2014, in alphabetical order.
German automaker BMW announced that it is extending its BMW i Remote Application to the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch Jan. 10 at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The Galaxy Gear synchronizes with an owner’s smartphone to display essential functions in a more accessible manner. The Remote App provides drivers with accurate assessments of their BMW i3′s status and allows for communication between the two.
For instance, the Remote App lets owners view the battery condition and charge level, service messages and where their vehicle is located. Also, the app enables route planning, such as mapping out a journey and locating charging stations.
Russian jeweler Fabergé hosted a fundraising event in New York, which claimed to be the largest public deployment of Bluetooth-enabled beacons, giving participants in a citywide egg hunt a way to access clues, rewards and other information.
The Big Egg Hunt benefited two nonprofits: Studio in a School and Elephant Family. For the event, more than 200 egg sculptures, each created by a leading artist, designer or creative, were placed around New York, with consumers encouraged to find and check-in at the eggs as well as bid on them via a mobile application.
To participate in the egg hunt, consumers are encouraged to download Fabergé’s The Big Egg Hunt mobile app to unlock clues as they hunt for the eggs.
Using the app, consumers were able to check in when they found an egg. The location of a specific egg remained a secret until 10 people have checked in for that egg. After that, the egg’s location appeared on a public interactive map.
French department store chain Galeries Lafayette is helping consumers plan their shopping excursions with a new mobile application.
Through the app, consumers can map out an itinerary before traveling to the chain’s 10-story flagship Paris store on Boulevard Haussmann. As a main tourist destination in Paris, this app will help visitors to Galeries Lafayette find what they are looking for within the large department store, acting as an extension of the customer service team.
When the app opens, consumers are presented with a search bar and a map of Paris above the fold. The search function allows consumers to find brands, restaurants in-store and customer services.
If the map is clicked, consumers are shown an aerial view of the flagship store, giving an idea of its location compared with landmarks, including the Musée du Louvre and Place Vendôme.
A “Plan my visit” link on the homepage takes the consumer to a section of the app where they can lay out an itinerary by selecting brands or other spots within the store.
Online retailer Moda Operandi launched an iOS mobile application just in time for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York to give designers a platform to showcase their collections in a mobile commerce environment right after their runway shows.
The app includes the same features as the retailer’s Web site, allowing consumers to preorder from a designer’s collection through flash online trunk shows. By expanding its commerce to mobile, Moda Operandi will be able to reach fashionistas on-the-go, and engage with their consumers in another channel.
Consumers can scroll through photos of the looks and swipe them left to discard them or right to place them in their watchlist. Moda Operandi provides feedback, telling consumers if a look they picked was also liked by one of the members of the retailer’s fashion team.
Germany’s Montblanc is extending its writing instrument offerings with the introduction of the new mobile-ready stylus, the e-StarWalker.
Montblanc partnered with consumer electronics brand Samsung to create the technology needed to create a digital writing instrument specifically for the Galaxy Note 4 smartphone. By widening the scope of its offerings into the digital realm, Montblanc will likely see an increased interest among mobile-savvy consumers.
Together with Samsung, Montblanc developed a line of accessories to complement the Galaxy Note 4. The accessories collection combines Montblanc’s leather goods with its fine writing instruments.
To ensure that Montblanc’s heritage is not left behind as the brand expands, the e-StarWalker can be either a traditional pen or a ScreenWriter. The consumer simply switches out the ink cartridge to change the instrument’s usage.
Montblanc’s StarWalker fine liner refill is for ink, while the e-refill is for use on the Galaxy Note 4. Montblanc also developed the Pix with Samsung in mind which also includes a rollerball ink change-out in blue or black.
Department store chain Neiman Marcus has updated its mobile application to provide a quick and easy shopping option for consumers through a new “Snap. Find. Shop.” feature.
Neiman Marcus has paired with mobile visual search firm Slyce to create a shopping feature that allows consumers to snap a photo of an item they like and have the app find a similar item sold by the retailer. Snap. Find. Shop. will likely appeal to the younger, more tech-savvy consumer who is interested in finding the latest trends and styles.
“We know that our customer is very interested in the latest fashion,” said Wanda Gierhart, chief marketing officer at Neiman Marcus Group, Dallas.
“This feature of our shopping app allows our customer to move directly from inspiration to gratification,” she said.
British online retailer Net-A-Porter.com promoted the debut issue of its print magazine Porter with an application that allowed consumers to place their photos onto a digital image of the publication’s cover.
The “I am Porter” app was tied into a social media contest, where consumers could enter to win a shopping spree on the online retailer by posting their magazine cover for their followers. Due to the incentive of the contest, these user-generated images likely spread across social media and created buzz for Porter.
If a consumer chose to go into the photo shoot section of the app, they were taken to a page where they could either upload an existing photo from the camera roll on the device or take a selfie using the camera on their phone or tablet. Once the user has selected an image, they can move it within the magazine cover frame and change the look of their cover.
French department store chain Printemps is helping consumers find exactly what they are looking for in-store with a new mobile application.
The app uses geolocation to let users pinpoint brands, services and their friends inside the chain’s 468,000 square foot Paris Haussmann flagship. Since consumers are very likely to be on their mobile device while in-store, it made sense for a retailer to aid their shopping experience with an app.
Once Bluetooth is enabled, consumers can see their location plotted on a map. They can also search through brands, restaurants and services offered in the store to have those marked on the map.
To find friends, consumers can either create a group, which will give them a passcode to give to their friends, or join an existing group.
Starwood Hotels and Resorts is anticipating the potential surge in consumer interest for wearables with a new Starwood Preferred Guest application for Google Glass.
Designed by the conglomerate’s in-house team, the app leverages Google Glass’s functionality while carrying over basic components of its conventional SPG app. Starwood will likely be applauded by the growing number of wearable advocates who are pushing to make Google Glass and similar items more mainstream.
The Google Glass version of the app lets guests take care of a number of travel matters. For instance, guests can search and book rooms at Starwood’s nearly 1,200 properties by destination or airport code. Photos from hotels and nearby areas can also be viewed.
Perhaps most apt for Google Glass, users will be able to get turn-by-turn directions to properties. The team at Starwood took advantage of Glass’s voice command and geo-location functions for this capability.
Yoox, the official ecommerce partner of Kering, is teaming up with Chinese social communication application WeChat to enhance its consumers’ mobile shopping experience.
As part of the global partnership, Yoox created new official accounts for the United States and Italy on WeChat, as well as revamping its existing Chinese account. Tapping into WeChat’s platform for social shopping will allow Yoox to make the mobile commerce experience more personal for consumers, giving access to live chat and messages from the retailer.
When a consumer is in the WeChat app, she can search for Yoox.com to add it as a contact. Once selected, she can click a button to follow the retailer, and select receive messages to get content from Yoox.
As long as messages are enabled, the consumer will be greeted with a notification that prompts her to chat with Yoox. Clicking on the message brings up a simple tutorial page that explains the features of the retailer's account.