Solving the scalability issue in the luxury industry

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It takes a lot of investment when dealing with high-net-worth individuals. If you want to cater to this demanding demographic, you need to spend a lot of time and resources to peak their interest and cultivate their loyalty.

This is one of the main issues faced by the luxury industry. Companies trying to engage people with high disposable income end up struggling with organic growth because the B2C business is simply too cost-driven.

Sarment, ranked Asia’s fastest growing luxury company by a recent Financial Times ranking, has managed to overcome this issue of scale by adopting a B2B2C model – an approach that is unique in the luxury industry.

The luxury service provider offers gated communities of consumers a digital platform that provides access to expert content, a luxury marketplace as well as a well-curated array of personal services.

But instead of inviting these high-net-worth consumers individually into this ecosystem, Sarment has created a technology solution for enterprises that want to offer their customers entry to the luxury world. By working with these businesses – private banks, members clubs, luxury brands etc – Sarment is able to grow its luxury ecosystem by thousands of members at a go.

Sarment’s chief executive Quentin Chiarugi explains that focusing on a network of carefully-selected partners and providing an artificial intelligence-driven platform allows Sarment to solve the scalability issue successfully with its enterprise clients.

“The B2B2C model allows us to leverage off the existing vetting process carried out by our enterprise clients. Consumers are pre-approved by our enterprise clients which ensures that the very specific high-net-worth segment is introduced to our ecosystem,” he says.

“Since we position ourselves as a provider of products and services for these high-net-worth individuals, it makes sense to work with enterprises which have already acquired these consumers. This model allows us to reach a broader base of high-net-worth individuals at a much faster pace without the heavy weight of client acquisition costs.”

Sarment’s digital ecosystem, meanwhile, is a major advantage for enterprise clients by giving them an effective customer engagement and retention tool.

In addition to enabling enterprises to offer their high-net-worth customers access to its luxury portal, Sarment goes one step further: it also gives these businesses a back-end customer management system that collects precious permission-based consumer behaviour data.

Says Mr Chiarugi: “With our platform, we knew we had an incredible opportunity to collect dynamic data never collected before to this extent in the luxury industry. We have linked our mobile app to a proprietary back-end software to capture behavioural and contextual consumer data that is frequently updated.”

Mr Chiarugi says that while big data today is essential to the global digital transformation, Sarment provides its enterprise clients with data that is even more valuable.

“We provide enterprises with insights and smart suggestions which will help them fine-tune their own marketing and branding efforts, as well as avoid negative interaction with customers who are not interested. Personalisation is the key to better engagement and retention. Our proprietary artificial intelligence-enhanced system developed by Sarment is the first in the luxury world allowing for the collection of dynamic and contextual data from the elusive high-net-worth individual segment.”

The entire package has already proved to be an early success with enterprise clients.

Since starting development on its digital platform last year, Sarment has already partnered with one of Southeast Asia’s largest banks. While giving the bank’s gated community access to Sarment’s ecosystem of premium products and luxury experiences, the bank will also use the system’s smart technology to understand its clientele better and provide a more personal approach for each individual.

Mr Chiarugi says: “Our B2B2C model allows us to extend our technology to address the need for frequent but complex interactions with enterprises’ high-net-worth consumers. The enterprises’ gated communities provide exactly the right segment of clientele for our luxury ecosystem as high-net-worth individuals are often early adopters of disruptive technologies with the means to use these to the fullest.”

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