Digital acceleration in Luxury – A unique interaction with Ian Rogers, Chief Digital Officer at LVMH.

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Ian Rogers, global CDO at LVMH, was invited by Club HEC Alumni Luxe & Création to discuss one of the most strategic topics of the day: luxury digitalization.

Ian Rogers, Chief Digital Officer at LVMH since 2015, has a résumé rarely seen in haute luxury. He joined the company from Apple, where he was Senior Director of Apple Music. Prior to that, he was the CEO of Beats Music, which was acquired by Apple. His role as Chief Digital Officer is about building group-level digital excellence and accelerating digital transformation for LVMH.Ian Rogers has one big obsession: “Digitalization isn’t a technological transformation, it’s a cultural change”. Digitalization is a mindset that all of us should adopt. We should not put digital in a corner – and think CDO will transform organisations: we should all be digital managers and integrate digital in everything we do. The question is not “should we be going digital?”– it is more a question of time: “when does this brand has to become more digital?”. When is the right time is the question every brand has to answer nowadays.

What changed with the Covid crisis?

“We had to reinvent the whole supply chain in a few months. We had to enhance the online experience by adding new services, in order to make it as fascinating as in the real world”. As a result, digitalization has grown faster in 4 months than in the past 4 years.

What about the next challenges?

According to Ian Rogers, we now have to deal with four items: omnichannel commerce; remote selling; artificial intelligence and data; Chinese customers. Customers in China have a completely different social media ecosystem. Brands have to understand their behaviours and follow them where they are. This is one of the next big challenges.According to LVMH CDO, luxury brands now have to invest in tracking their clients, both visitors and e-consumers, on every channel they use. And brands Ihave to test & learn more than ever. Thanks to its large brand portfolio, LVMH has a competitive strength: brands can learn from one another and every company has the resources they need. The main question is: “What happens if we do that?” And if it’s successful – “let’s try it with another brand.”

How to succeed in such a world?

“You are what you invest in”, advices Ian Rogers. “If you opened a physical flagship store, you would staff it with the entire team you need to succeed. Brands need to support their online flagship stores with the same spirit.”. This is not a matter of technology: brands need to have a vision of the whole consumer experience. “Don’t think about technology, think about the customer journey.” If this experience includes creativity, it will bring value to the consumer. Following Ian Rogers, “In a world where consumers have unlimited choice, quality is hyperefficient.” Conversations are always too short… Club HEC Alumni Luxe & Création warmly thanks Ian Rogers for that friendly afterwork talk, which has turned each of us into an ambassador of the new cultural change.

Bénédicte Cateland (H. 97)