The Burberry Network: Big Data and Intel

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In today’s world, shopping, in my opinion, is effortless. Especially with the help of product discovery through sources like social media and the plentitude of fast fashion e-tailer inventories.  Shopping the luxury British original, Burberry, has now proven to be even more convenient. With purchasing, buying experiences, and technology moving rapidly, it’s clever to pursue information readily available and permissible by the customer, and Burberry is taking advantage of their resources.  Burberry has been a gold standard in Hampshire, England since 1856, specializing in chic trench coats for the winter, ready-to-wear outerwear, accessories, and fragrances; a true symbol of fine British urbanity.

Burberry has maintained its prestige from the early years, equipping British soldiers during the First World War and transitioning into the culture of England and the likes of the Queen. Burberry now has royal warrants under its title. Burberry has always maintained a reputable standpoint with its value in society, even till date. So, what is Burberry doing today? One newcomer to the shopping experience is AI, or artificial intelligence. Some say AI is an invasion of privacy, I say AI is an inevitable reality. AI is permissible only by the customer’s consent, which the brand then utilizes for market research and clientele analysis. The information obtained can explore shopping patterns and even interpret individual personality and moods.

We’ve all been stormed by sales associates requesting us to join their rewards programs or loyalty memberships, and many of us run the other way. So, for all the information they actually get a hold of, loads onto the AI database. So, no, it’s not all for their personal commission benefits. Burberry is currently utilizing AI that stores customer loyalty memberships and track reward programs, to propose customized product recommendations. The AI also can identify the customer, their previous shopping history, and even their social media presence to fine-tune Burberry’s products to fit their lifestyle. The intel is advancing so much so, that it can compare one customer to another, and narrow down possible product options based on like-minded customers.

This may seem overwhelming, but luxury brands are progressively applying this method for “fool proof” customer service. If you’ve done any high-end shopping recently, you’ll notice radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags provided with each product. These codes contain unique information stored electronically. This code uses electromagnetic fields to identify the product, color, materials used, and how to efficiently use (or style!) the product.  The electronic details can be accessed using your smartphone.

CEO Angela Ahrendts said in 2014, “walking through our doors is just like walking into our website” and by 2015, this new method resulted in a 50% increase in repeated clientele. For Burberry, repeat is the buzzword. Since the birth of the brand, the repeat customer is the driving force behind Burberry’s success. It’s the strong foundation of a powerful network of loyal patronage. And AI is serving its purpose.

Another prime driving force for Burberry, or for any label, is the styling and product images of the product the brand wants to highlight. Burberry, along with many other luxury services, provides compelling campaigns to “push” their latest collection items. The AI can then distinguish revenue reports and further personalize shopping forecasts. But beware, AI is advancing so quickly that it can distinguish human emotions and thought processes, and clever marketing may lead to inescapable shopping!

Burberry, the explorer of unchartered territory, began testing out the intimate advantages of social media long before, employing the use of Snapchat’s Snapcode. Snapcode allows you to scan the product’s QR code to reveal the brand’s website and product details. Burberry has also collaborated with Apple iTunes for promoting up-and-coming musical talent, celebrity interaction via in-store photo labs, Uber trips to the store, Facebook Chatbots to engage customer conversations, and operating AI in the fight against counterfeit products. Burberry’s new AI system can scan an inch of the counterfeit product with 98% accuracy in detection! Burberry is now incorporating AI into all their product development sectors and areas of possible innovation.

I love to create! I'm a fashion communications student, my ideas come from the sun at dawn. I'm a lefty and I believe glitter is essential for the spirit.

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