“The online shopping experience will be pure entertainment in ten years” (Diaa Elyaacoubi – Monnier Frères)

(ETX Daily Up) – Due to the health crisis, consumers have turned en masse to digital to fill their wardrobes, giving fashion players the opportunity to reinvent themselves at breakneck speed. That’s the whole experience online shopping which has been transformed in just a few months with the introduction of luxury brands in gaming, the birth of branded avatars, or even the appearance of a kind of teleshopping 2.0, live shopping. Diaa Elyaacoubi, CEO of the luxury accessories e-commerce platform Monnier Frères, talks to us about this rise in digital, even virtual, and all the changes it should bring about in the much closer future. provided that.

At the start of the school year, Monnier Frères unveiled a new visual identity and a transformed platform. Why these changes?
Our ambition is to become the player that best targets these new generations of consumers that are Gen Z and Millennials through luxury accessories, because this is the product that embodies the first act of luxury purchase. of a young man in his twenties. In Asia, this generation, which mainly consumes online, is beginning to weigh seriously in the balance, and is beginning to ‘shift’ revenues that were historic in stores to digital. We are also beginning to observe this phenomenon in the West. This is the march of history. There is no going back. Monnier Frères has an advantageous place to target this population because you have to be a tech company, be extremely agile, and have the ability to integrate new technologies and new trends very quickly – which is what we do. In the coming weeks, we will, for example, launch the entire cryptocurrency part, i.e. digital fashion and NFTs, just as we have already been able to integrate our first avatar and live shopping with real influencers. We must be ahead and be at the cutting edge of technology to launch all these initiatives that speak to this generation.

How must fashion and technology be inseparable today?
Quite simply because we are talking more and more about this virtual world which is being born, and which is causing a sensation among the younger generation. The youngest switch from the real world to the virtual world with such agility, such ease, that it is obvious that fashion players must get up to speed. To be able to address this new generation which is more and more digital, more and more in cryptocurrency, in the virtual, or in gaming, fashion must today be directly linked to technology. Luxury and digital, but also luxury and cryptocurrency, will become commonplace in a few years. If in five or ten years, we are not able to offer them an experience in these new virtual worlds, we will not succeed in seducing them. That doesn’t mean that you have to choose between the virtual world and the real world, but there will be more and more bridges between these two worlds.

Aren’t you afraid that virtual products will eventually replace physical products to the point of impacting your sales?
There will be no choice to be made between one or the other. There are indeed many young people who spend a lot of time on social networks and who like to dress their avatar with clothes from big brands. But it’s not going to replace physical products, it’s a complement. Sneakers are not a substitute for handbags or dress shoes, although ubiquitous, well it’s exactly the same thing. We will buy virtual sneakers in addition to our classic clothes. At Monnier Frères, we must be able to meet the expectations of this new generation, to attract their attention, and to show that we have understood them, while continuing to sell products that inspire dreams and that contribute to the radiance of chic in French around the world. This is one of our goals.

How has the health crisis accelerated this passage through these parallel worlds called metaverses?
The health crisis has accelerated digitalization in many areas. In luxury, we have gone from an online penetration rate of 11% in 2019 to 22% in 2020. We have gained five years of acceleration in one year. And, of course, young people who have been stuck for months in front of their computer, knowing that they are already very connected ordinarily, have exploded certain uses including gaming, and more broadly everything related to the virtual. These virtual worlds, like cryptocurrency, have grown since Covid-19. We know that there are always major upheavals in terms of uses and consumption when there are major crises, and the pandemic has been a thunderous acceleration for many movements, trends, which until then were relatively shy.

You have also experienced live shopping, which has exploded in Asia. Can the phenomenon impose itself in Europe?
Live shopping should effectively represent 80% of e-commerce in China within a few years. It’s a new way to consume, to have fun. The phenomenon is such that it even brings out new stars who are called the ‘masters of ceremonies’, gentlemen and ladies Everybody who not only have a sense of business but also a sense of storytelling and ability to create trust and desirability among these new audiences. What happens in Asia happens in Europe and the United States. Young people need to be captured, to be involved, to stay connected with fashion players, in order to be able to buy, and live shopping meets all these expectations.

It’s a modern version of teleshopping. Is this a step forward or backward?
The best models are those that are historic, and therefore already exist, but it’s the format that changes. There is something reassuring in saying that we are not reinventing, but that we are changing the format. With technology, teleshopping becomes hyper interactive. One can ask questions online and buy instantly. When we do our live shopping in China, the volume of sales per session is impressive. The teleshopping format, which was has been because it corresponded to television, a technology of the 50s and 60s, has become attractive because it is now a more suitable, more modern format. Our live shopping in Europe with Léna Situations generated a host of reactions and questions. No one was bored. The young people liked the storytelling – a teenager’s room from the 2000s with gadgets from the era – but also the mistress of ceremonies, of course, and the interaction that there was from start to finish. It’s great, because everything is to be built. There are a number of new professions that will appear with shows around live shopping, but also new stars, and audiences that will be built around that. It is for this reason that Monnier Frères positioned itself as early as possible with the experience we have in Asia, and we are gradually understanding how to build these formats or how to animate them.

After live shopping and cryptocurrency, what will be the next novelty in terms of fashion tech?
There are a lot of things, but we have time to talk about them (laughs). Anyway, it will be continuous. There is live shopping, avatars, gaming, NFTs, virtual worlds that are beginning to appear, and the budding construction of new shopping communities. This is what interests us above all and what we are working on. It is therefore a little early to talk about the next upheavals.

In ten years, what will the online shopping experience look like?
It will be pure entertainment (entertainment, editor’s note), in the spirit of live shopping. We are going to meet virtually with friends to learn how to wear a particular item of clothing or accessory, or to buy a product. We are going to hold physical meetings with digital animation in parallel. We will of course attend lives and interact, and there will undoubtedly also be gaming around these lives. That won’t preclude buying in a more traditional way, but there will inevitably be new channels around entertainment.

Leave a Comment