Hublot In­tro­duces Dig­i­tal Bou­tique Pro­gram

The con­cept is in­tended to trans­late the in-store ex­pe­ri­ence to a mo­bile con­sumer.

WWD Digital Daily - - The Reviews - BY MISTY WHITE SIDELL

Hublot to­day un­veils a new dig­i­tal shop­ping pro­gram called the “Dig­i­tal Bou­tique.”

The con­cept is in­tended to be “some­thing be­tween a phys­i­cal visit to the store and an e-com­merce pur­chase ex­pe­ri­ence,” ac­cord­ing to Hublot chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Ricardo Guadalupe.

It en­tails con­sumers book­ing a dig­i­tal ap­point­ment on Hublot's web site. They then log into the in­ter­face via Skype or FaceTime, and are greeted by a Hublot sales­per­son stream­ing in from the brand's New York flag­ship. Rather than a typ­i­cal video chat screen, though, the sales­per­son can share the screen with 3-D an­i­ma­tions, in­for­ma­tional videos and high-res­o­lu­tion pho­tos to bet­ter il­lus­trate the time­pieces be­ing con­sid­ered.

This tech­nol­ogy re­quires a sub­stan­tial tech­ni­cal in­stall at the Hublot store, in­clud­ing high-def­i­ni­tion cam­eras, light­ing and touch-screen com­put­ers.

The Dig­i­tal Bou­tique tech­nol­ogy, built by Stock­holm-based firm B-Reel, has been launched in New York to cover the U.S. mar­ket.

“I think the U.S. is more ma­ture in its un­der­stand­ing of a dig­i­tal ex­pe­ri­ence.

The idea is to go into this world, so you are not just on e-com­merce and click­ing to buy a $20,000 watch. We want to give more of an ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Guadalupe.

“The U.S. mar­ket is well adapted to this kind of project, the coun­try is big so many con­sumers are not able to come to New York to shop. The idea is to give ac­cess to con­sumers, wher­ever they are in the coun­try,” he added. Guadalupe de­clined to re­veal sales pro­jec­tions for the pro­gram, pre­fer­ring a wait-and-see ap­proach.

Much like how Hublot's New York flag­ship will serve as its Dig­i­tal Bou­tique cen­trifuge for the North Amer­i­can mar­ket, the pro­gram's next in­stall­ment would be implemented at its Hong Kong shop to tend to the Asian mar­ket. In China, Hublot plans to in­volve WeChat in the pro­gram.

B-Reel, a dig­i­tal think tank and cre­ative agency, worked for 18 months on the project. Its man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Jes­per Kling, said “We ex­pected to find a so­lu­tion in the mar­ket for what Hublot re­quested and found noth­ing; we had to build this from scratch.”

Kling says that if the Dig­i­tal Bou­tique proves suc­cess­ful, it could set a new par­a­digm for lux­ury on­line re­tail­ing. “We have not seen this level of qual­ity be­fore in term of rich con­tent. It's more or less a trans­la­tion of go­ing into the store and get­ting ser­vice that is ex­pected from a lux­ury brand, it lends it­self to high-price items,” he said.

The Hublot

Dig­i­tal Bou­tique.

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