Posts tagged with "luxury brands"

Woman at Computer by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Aura SaaS

The Aura Blockchain Consortium, founded by LVMH, Prada Group, Cartier, part of Richemont, and OTB Group, is pleased to announce the launch of Aura SaaS, a game-changing cloud-based SaaS solution. The Aura Blockchain Consortium currently has more than 15 million digital tokens on their private, permission-based blockchain platform which offers both upstream and downstream traceability in the supply chain which is direct-to-consumer. 

The launch of Aura SaaS is the first blockchain-based platform designed for luxury brands to help the luxury industry to embrace the blockchain in their day-to-day business operations including supply chain, customer service, marketing, manufacturing, sustainability, purchasing, logistics, and legal. Aura SaaS will allow Aura member brands to quickly and easily onboard, maximizing value focusing on the customer journey and digital innovation and allowing for both upstream and downstream traceability in the supply chain for consumers–making it one of the best direct to consumer offerings in the market.

Aura SaaS is a no-code solution that allows for a quick and hassle-free implementation. There are also lower up-front costs, as Aura SaaS users benefit from lower license and onboarding fees. The launch of Aura SaaS will make Aura more accessible to luxury brands across the globe while strengthening the industry’s response to challenges such as counterfeiting and responsible sourcing. 

With Aura SaaS, brands can easily access the Aura Blockchain directly through APIs and connect them to their own IT systems and applications. Main functionalities include:

  • Smart contract generator: no coding skills needed
  • Products registered on the blockchain
  • Product events/rich content management
  • Product history
  • Product ownership acquisition & transfer

On top of the blockchain functionalities and APIs accessibility by luxury brands, Aura SaaS will offer various white-label front-end interfaces and web pages to easily write, read and display information from the Aura Blockchain–this will be fully customized to align with the UX of each brand, requiring no technical or blockchain expertise. These web pages can be also directly accessible by luxury clients. Aura SaaS helps luxury brands to address the following topics: authenticity, ownership, warranty, transparency, and traceability targeting both upstream use cases (e.g. raw material sourcing) and downstream use cases (e.g. digital certificates of ownership and authenticity certified on the Aura Blockchain, e-warranty, transfer of ownership, etc.)

Daniela Ott, Secretary General of Aura Blockchain Consortium, said of the launch: “Our ecosystem is growing on a daily basis and Aura’s solution covers the entire lifecycle of luxury production and consumption. Aura SaaS provides a game-changing toolbox for the luxury industry with an easy onboarding, minimum costs, and without the need to manage any Cloud infrastructure and deploying any instance, thus reducing the Time-to-Market to launch new blockchain use cases. This solution is meant to last and benefit the whole value chain. Given its accessible pricing, it is a solution suitable for luxury brands of any size, for most product categories within the luxury sphere.”

Alongside the Aura SaaS solution, the Aura Blockchain Consortium is also developing a suite of turnkey tools to accelerate route to market, with smaller brands in mind. These would include simple, ready-to-use front-end tools that can provide luxury consumers with a visualization of data on the blockchain. For example, brands could offer more transparency into their sustainability credentials by providing consumers with the ability to view the provenance of materials used in the manufacturing process. Such a solution is particularly attractive to brands yet to implement their own advanced front-end but keen to offer customers more insights and interactions.

Gambling illustrations by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Bolstering Brands and Products Through Innovative Live Productions

These days, even products that have remained largely the same at their core for decades need to explore the ways in which new technology can assist them in connecting to customers. Right now, the tech proving to be a game-changer for brands and products across several industries is live streaming.

Having been widely adopted by the general public through the likes of Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and Twitch, companies now feel comfortable using it as a means to showcase or advance their offering. For the uninitiated, a live stream isn’t much more than a video stream, but when applied correctly, the fact that it’s live makes all of the difference.

From a new way to experience online products to luxury brands offering an innovative way to captivate potential customers, live-streamed productions look to be the way forward.

Making the experience even better

Perhaps the most profound way in which live streaming is being applied is to products that rely a great deal on the experience. When online, people can find just about anything that they want, but for an online-based product to become better, it can build into a live stream, offering real-time engagement with the brand and the product. The best way that this works is when a live stream is a two-way event, with those watching being able to influence or engage with those hosting the stream.

The furthest that live streaming has developed in this sense is in the advancement of online games, specifically online game show and table games. Take live roulette, for example; it’s played in rounds with the players wanting to bet on numbers for each spin. So, the game streams the real table and croupier to the player, with OCR technology set up to read the table while the player bets through the UI on their phone or computer. Suddenly, roulette isn’t a video-simulated online game, it’s real, live, and offers that same bricks ‘n mortar casino experience at the convenience of the users.

The same can be seen in the way that music is evolving its online presence. For decades, aspiring artists have posted their covers on video platforms like YouTube, but now there’s a surge of people staging live shows rather than just offering on-demand content. Data analysis of a popular live music platform has found that not only are viewers overwhelmingly positive about the live-streamed experience, but they’re also very likely to buy into products as a direct result of the live experience.

Building into live commerce

The idea of truly organized and direct live commerce isn’t a concept that’s overly well adopted in western markets. Sure, so-called influencers have been paid to sling promoted items over videos on social media, but in China, the likes of Taobao Live and Baidu have crafted full channels dedicated to shoppable live streams. They work similarly to the influencers, but the streams from the likes of fashion site MOGU are specifically designed to showcase products, help customers, answer questions, and more: offering shopping and entertainment all in one.

Luxury fashion brands are starting to explore the potential of live streams, too. There’s Rihanna’s Fenty Social Club on Instagram, which offered a form of escapism while also raising brand awareness, and even informal meets from Marc Jacobs to connect to consumers. As it stands, live streaming fashion shows is the primary use of the technology at the luxury end, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see some fast fashion outlets explore the live streaming techniques that have been so successful in China.

There’s so much that companies can do with live streaming, from offering interactive options to live chat windows, that just about any brand can benefit from exploring the technology.