When you combine the power of the physical and digital worlds with a luxury retail experience, you enter the phygital world of The Showcase. We spoke to Denis Hayoun, CEO and Co-Founder of The Showcase to better understand the dynamic landscape of the luxury industry, what their customers want, and how ’The Showcase – powered by Pexip’ is bridging the gap between online and in-store interactions.
Can you tell us a little bit about how The Showcase got its start?
"I come from the world of photography. Putting people and luxury objects, like watches, into the right light. This has been in my focus for the past two decades. With the transition to digital and social media, I realized how much excitement digital experiences can generate, as well as how much frustration they can provoke. Often, we found ourselves creating valuable assets with no guarantee that they could really reach the clients. I wanted to find a way to bridge brands and customers of the luxury market and create product experiences that are both extraordinary and memorable.
These were my first thoughts on what we call ‘phygital’ experiences. And then, the pandemic happened, and with this everything changed – including the purchasing habits. Digital customer interaction became a necessity and the channels available were those the customers had in their hands: their smartphones, laptops, etc. This was the moment, and so be launched The Showcase."
What is your concept of a “phygital experience” and how does it bridge the gap between the physical and digital for luxury retail customers?
"We were dreaming about an experience that is the ultimate link between boutiques and customers’ homes, allowing high quality and personalized product presentations via video. Brands can use this experience as a teaser, giving their audience a look at the current portfolio in their shop, and create curiosity and interest. We wanted this experience to provide the same feeling of quality and customer appreciation as a physical shop – while not replacing the shop, but offering an alternative sales channel and simultaneously spark interest to visit the shop again. With The Showcase this dream now became reality."
You mentioned the word ‘quality’. Why is ‘quality’ so important in the luxury sector?
"Quality is a key factor in the luxury market. Luxury brands want to present a product that stands out for its design and quality, and therefore this must also stand out in a digital user journey, appealing to emotions and creating a ‘wow’ effect. This starts with a seamless, stable, and true-to-life connection and resolution – from a branded virtual welcome reception, to the video meeting itself. HD video and audio features, which exclude external noise, are another important aspect.
For example, our solution is equipped with cameras offering diverse lighting options: from illuminating the product (we can make diamonds sparkle like in the sun), the seller, to showing the boutique, as well as to use cameras within a microscope for technical details. Essentially, it is all about the quality of how products are shown to the customer, the quality of the connection, and the quality of the software. This is what sends a strong message to the client."
How would a typical customer journey with The Showcase look like?
"The great thing about our solution is that we can adapt to any customer journey that our clients want. Some customer conversations start with the scheduling of an appointment on their website, others want to start a call directly from their chat. In all situations, the corporate design of the brand will be visible at each stage of the process, from a branded invitation, personalized meeting links, the look of the virtual lobby, and throughout the video call itself. Then, after experiencing the products in a digital live-demo, customers can purchase directly online or stop by their nearest shop to try their favorite product there."
Why did you choose Pexip as your technology partner?
"We see ourselves as ‘enabler’ for creating the phygital customer experience our clients dream of. This is why we needed a video software platform that is not only providing luxury-level video quality, but one that is able to deliver a unique brand experience and can be easily integrated into existing tools and workflows – at the same time meeting the strictest privacy requirements. Pexip is renowned for its video capabilities, customizability and security and turned out to be exactly what we needed."
- Digital transformation
- Personalize customer engagement
- Customer engagement