At the Paris Viva Tech innovation fair, LVMH revealed the winners of its sixth annual innovation award for retail-focused tech start-ups. The ceremony was co-hosted by Livi, the Group’s innovation ambassador avatar. LVMH presented the winners, finalists, start-ups from previous editions as well as innovative solutions, activations and world premieres from its own Maisons in an on-site pavilion area within the show.
The overall winner of the award was Toshi, the luxury last mile delivery service. The London-based startup, founded in 2017 by Net-a-Porter alum Sojin Lee, offers an elite store-to-door delivery and return service for luxury brands. Current clients in London and New York include LVMH brands Berluti, Celine, Dior and Rimowa.
Toshi will launch in New York with Tiffany’s over the next two weeks. The numbers speak for themselves: a 40% increase in average order value, a 30% increase in revenue and a 30% reduction in returns. The service operates through Toshi’s proprietary technology which can be integrated with all major e-commerce platforms via a plugin. So I spoke to Toshi CTO Edwin Wills of Viva Tech to find out more.
Read on to discover the five most interesting technological projects from the LVMH Maisons presented at Viva Tech.
How does Toshi work with brands?
Edwin Wills: There are two layers of standard deliveries. The store team can activate us to extend their reach beyond the store doors or at the e-commerce level, we can be activated at the point of payment. We provide a basic drop off service in half hour slots on a chosen date and can layer different options at the door to help enhance the services a brand can offer.
What are the different service options you can offer?
EW: We offer wait and try service and if you want to return the item, you can return it directly. It’s seamless from both a customer’s perspective and a store’s perspective because it’s back on the shelves as soon as possible. We can also bring in extra sizes and offer consignment items if a brand has a special relationship with a customer. If they keep the item, we can collect payment at the door through the sales team. If requested by the store, we may include a 4 digit security code which must be repeated to us before we can complete the delivery.
What sets you apart from the competition?
EW: We differentiate ourselves by the fact that we have a luxury attitude rather than just the usual logistics attitude. Our assistants arrive dressed in all black with no logos or branding. They come mainly from the retail or luxury sector, so customer service is at the forefront of their training.
We are carbon neutral. In London, we use a fleet of electric vehicles. In New York, the electric vehicle structure is not in place yet because there are not enough charging points, so we have to use fuel, but we have implemented a carbon offset program until that the structure matures.
Why should a luxury brand choose to work with you rather than carry out the process themselves?
EW: The advantage is that we can work on a multi-brand level. With logistics, your margins are all dense. As a single brand, even if you have good volumes like a Louis Vuitton, you can have good density but still not enough to be worth it.
LMVH pavilion Top 5 innovations
Tag Heuer: NFT Watches
After the diamond pendant version of its own CryptoPunk created by Tiffany EVP Alexandre Arnault (and potentially also for a selection of other CryptoPunk owners. TBC.) comes another way to express proof of NFT ownership: the watch Tag Heuer Connected Caliber E4. Users can securely login to various crypto wallets and select which NFTs – Bored Apes, CryptoPunks, World of Women et al) they want to view via a rolling NFT gallery on his face. Another smart utility that hasn’t gotten as much traction as it deserves is the watch’s built-in sports app avatar-led 7-minute workout feature.
Why is this important: For many, NFTs represent the gateway to the emerging world of Web 3.0 – which must be widely adopted if we are to reap the benefits. But being rooted in a physical world, Web 3.0 non-natives, still the majority, aren’t ready for purely digital assets and need a connection to something tangible to feel their value.
Loewe: virtual shoemaker
The AR technology featured in Loewe’s sneaker try-on app is powered by neural networks and sophisticated 3D geometry algorithms, which smoothly track the user as they turn their feet and walk. The app is currently available to preview the brand’s ON sneaker collection ahead of its in-store launch.
Why is this important: While there’s no shortage of virtual fit apps in the sneaker space, many competitors’ apps slip when the user moves their feet because there’s a time lapse in tracking. Loewe’s execution is impeccable.
Bulgari: the thinnest watch in the world and the ongoing metaverse
The world premiere of Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo Ultra – the world’s thinnest mechanical watch at 1.8 mm thick – took place at Viva Tech. The QR code engraved on the ratchet wheel provides access to a corresponding NFT artwork that serves as proof of provenance. Only 10 of the watches will be created. A teaser of Bulgari’s new Metaverse concept was also on display – a web 3.0 shopping experience amidst a futuristic reimagining of Rome’s landmarks where the brand was conceived.
Why is this important: Apart from its impressive technology, Finissimo’s ‘Utility’ NFT component guarantees the authenticity of the physical item through the Aura blockchain. Aura being the blockchain consortium co-founded by LVMH, Prada Group, Cartier and OTB Group to help fight counterfeiting and promote transparency throughout the life cycle of a luxury product.
Fendi: an immersive artisanal experience
Fendi’s ongoing Hand in Hand project celebrates local Italian craftsmanship through 20 limited-edition Fendi Baguette bags, handcrafted by a diverse group of artisans representing Italy’s different regions. At Viva Tech, the brand introduced a digital element. Visitors could try their hand at weaving bags, using virtual batons on a screen via contactless 3D sensors.
Why is this important: It is a way of showing how, rather than replacing them, technology and innovation can, literally, work hand in hand with craftsmanship to keep traditional skills and techniques alive and make them discoverable. to a new audience.
Guerlain: Upside down
Guerlain Beauty’s Reaverse NFT project launched earlier this year with 1828 NFT Cryptobee. Proceeds from the sale will help support the rewilding of France’s 69-acre Vallée de la Millière conservation area. Each Cryptobee is unique and is linked to a specific plot of land via its geographic coordinates. They were minted on the sustainable and energy-efficient Proof of Stake blockchain, Tezos. The new phase of the ongoing project – additional airdrops for current cryptobee holders – was announced at Viva Tech.
Why is this important: Just as sustainable production processes matter in the physical world, so do Web 3.0 and NFTs. Plus, it’s good to see a Web 3.0 project with tangible real-world benefits. The project will continue to generate revenue because a feature of the NFT economy means that a percentage of the profit from each secondary market transaction goes to the creator.