Viva Technology, the annual global event celebrating innovation, brings startups and business leaders together for a groundbreaking hybrid in-person and online 2021 edition from June 16-19. The in-person show at the Porte de Versailles in Paris is augmented by a special online platform. LVMH has a high profile at VivaTech with the multifaceted LVMH Gallery, featuring an eco-designed Lab plus an e-Lab open throughout the event. Here are some LVMH highlights from the first day of this premier showcase for innovation as the Group continues to craft the customer experience of tomorrow.
Innovation and entrepreneurial spirit figure at the core of LVMH’s DNA. Under the banner “Where Tech Meets Luxury”, the Group is present at this year’s edition of VivaTech to spotlight an array of customer experience innovations at over a dozen LVMH Maisons, as well as the 28 finalists in the LVMH Innovation Award competition. Spokespersons, leaders and experts from LVMH were omnipresent during the first day of the event at both the Lab and e-Lab, presenting innovations designed to revolutionize the customer experience of tomorrow. These innovations span multiple business sectors, reflecting the rich diversity of the LVMH ecosystem, bridging such diverse areas as artificial intelligence, sustainable development, the digital transformation and diversity and inclusion. “Innovation is a founding and unifying value at LVMH,” notes Group Managing Director Toni Belloni. Every day, at every level of the Group, in every department, we continually strive to elevate the long-term appeal of our Maisons. And innovation plays an essential role in increasing this desirability.”
Innovation to accelerate the digital transformation
The pandemic seriously impacted our attitudes and consumption habits. LVMH Chief Information Officer Franck Le Moal and Michael David, Chief Omnichannel Officer, talked about how Covid-19 accelerated the digitalization of all LVMH Maisons. While online sales grew during the pandemic, digitalization above all made it possible to maintain strong connections with customers. “That’s priceless,” notes Michael David. “Covid-19 was the best Chief Digital Transformation Officer! Due to lockdowns, clients used their smartphone or laptop, Whatsapp, WeChat, etc. We had to adapt, and we did. The group and the brands joined forces and worked together maybe more than ever before.”
Among the many digital transformations, Franck Le Moal emphasized the revolution in the customer experience from the perspective of sales advisors, who had to reinvent their métier and add an extra layer of personalization. Celine, for example, launched an app for sales advisors called “Seamless”, which facilitates the entire relationship between customers and advisors, explains Antoine Auvinet, Celine Vice President Omnichannel. The app enables the advisors to create the best possible purchase experience thanks to data on purchase history and tastes.
Digital showrooms, live video purchasing sessions and 360° product presentations are all emblematic of how LVMH leveraged technology to deliver excellence. Francesco Mannioli, IS&T Infrastructure & Services Operations Manager and CTO, and Silvia Schippa, Omnichannel Operations Specialist at Fendi presented “The Virtual Room”, an online sales space that applies sophisticated technology to replicate the full emotion of the in-person sales ceremony.
Also during this first day of VivaTech, LVMH Group Managing Director Toni Belloni announced an unprecedented strategic partnership with Google and its Google Cloud Platform. This collaboration will create new and more personalized customer experiences and drive long-term growth for LVMH Maisons by combining the exceptional savoir-faire of the Group’s human talent with the assets of artificial intelligence and machine learning, while meeting LVMH’s strictest privacy and security requirements.
LVMH also taps into innovation to better protect the environment. At the in-person version of VivaTech, LVMH has eco-designed a stand aligned with its ambitious new LIFE 360 environmental strategy. Antoine Arnault, Image & Environment LVMH, outlined the objectives of this initiative for the coming decade at the e-Lab along with Hélène Valade, LVMH Environmental Development Director. This circular open space is designed to minimize environmental impact, including the use of recyclable materials, sustainable flooring from French forests, eco-responsible carpeting, seats crafted from Louis Vuitton shipping cases and fabrics from the Nona Source platform, which revalues deadstock materials from LVMH fashion houses. When VivaTech closes, the association La Réserve des Arts will recover almost the entire stand to give it a second life.
Several Maisons present at the LVMH stand showcased innovation solutions, including the “second skin” environmentally-friendly champagne case from Ruinart. Sephora presented its “Good For” initiative, which lets consumers choose products with eco-designed, recyclable packaging or developed using sustainable materials, or without ingredients of animal origin. Moët & Chandon explained how it has combined its historical know-how with new technologies to achieve sustainable viticulture goals. This includes a smartphone app called “e-cep”, which enables precision metering and observation of vineyard plots.
Innovation as a source of inspiration
Frédéric Arnault, CEO of TAG Heuer, joined other leaders during a “CEO Story” session, during which he talked about how innovation stimulates teams at the watchmaking Maison. An avid proponent of new technologies, Frédéric Arnault recounted how TAG Heuer’s launch of the first connected watch in 2015 motivated him to join the Maison at a time when few in the watchmaking industry believed such advances had a future. TAG Heuer successfully launched the third generation of its connected watch in 2020, featured at the LVMH physical display in Paris. “We have a rich history of inventions and patents that have led to major advances in timekeeping and watchmaking. Being at the avant-garde is an integral part of our DNA,” the TAG Heuer CEO explained. “Nearly 30 people currently work on the connected watch, specialists in radiofrequencies, battery optimization and other areas. They are true innovators who also work closely with our traditional watchmaking teams in Switzerland, sharing ideas and creating synergies. It’s really exciting to see these two worlds interact.” TAG Heuer is a perfect example of the virtuous blend of savoir-faire and digital excellence.