Science of online shopping in focus at CNI conference

MUSCAT: At the final day of the Conde Nast International Mindful Luxury conference, Pierre Denis, CEO of Jimmy Choo, spoke about where he sees future opportunities for the accessories industry in the Middle East and beyond.
In Online: A Road of Its Own, José Neves, Founder and CEO, Farfetch, Morin Oluwole, Head of Luxury, Facebook/Instagram and Yasmin Sewell, Fashion Director, explored the factors shaping the future of luxury retail from technology to smart cities, Artificial Intelligence to payment services, generational change to virtual reality.
Oluwole spoke of Instagram’s plans for the year ahead, focusing on testing shoppable products and what this will mean for the overall consumer online journey.
The average consumer accesses Instagram 10 times a day, while 20 times a day for the luxury consumer. Instagram is going to focus on “how to take advantage of people’s needs, emotions and translate it in to a more relevant shopping experience,” and Facebook are producing a 10-year road map to factor in AI, with a focus on integrating product try-ons using Instagram and facial recognition.
José Neves spoke of his belief that AR is in fact augmented retail, reminding the audience that 92 per cent of transactions take place in stores, hence his passion for the physical retail experience. Yasmin Sewell spoke of the fact “technology gives us time, and time is one of the greatest luxuries of today.”
Huda Kattan discussed the organic creation of digital beauty as a powerpoint of social media, successfully building more than 18 million followers by “being true to yourself.”
Kattan described the way the brand was “born into social media”, using it as a place for people to get to know the brand, “forming an alliance and a knowledge of the person behind the brand, that person now being more than the creative, but also the face, the spokesperson, the one strategically planning.”
In the closing remarks of the two-day Luxury Conference, Futurist Sophie Hackford said from a technology perspective the way business operates in the next few years is going to change dramatically.
Stefan Siegel added he believes now is “the end of linear economies — they are the opposite of mindful luxury”. Mindful Luxury should not be categorised as a business division, it is a mindset to implement sustainable luxury.
Suzy Menkes, International Vogue Editor and curator of the annual event, announced at the closure that Portugal will be the next destination for the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference, in 2018, where its focus will be The Language of Luxury.
The seminar took place at the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, on April 5& 6.