News 09.02.2024

Need to Know

Mytheresa presents mixed reality shopping with an Apple Vision Pro app, creative foresight analyst​ Emily Rhodes’ Foresight Friday and young buyers have an appetite for luxury auctions.

Mytheresa makes luxury shopping hyper-immersive with Apple Vision Pro app

Mytheresa: Immersive luxury app for Apple Vision Pro by Obsess, Germany

Global – German luxury e-commerce giant Mytheresa leads the pack in embracing the newly launched Apple Vision Pro technology for retail purposes. The platform is introducing a highly immersive dedicated app created in partnership with retail tech specialist and visionOS developer Obsess.

What does shopping in mixed reality look like? For the pioneering retail experience, Mytheresa and Obsess have imagined a series of hyper-realistic environments, transporting users to travel destinations where they can browse exclusive collections curated for the local vibe. The shopping journey is designed to be as sensory and engaging as the visuals. Products are displayed via an immersive carousel controlled with intuitive hand and eye gestures to ensure seamless interactions.

‘Mytheresa believes that selling luxury products needs emotions and unique experiences for customers,’ Michael Kliger, CEO of Mytheresa, said in a statement. ‘That is why we are keen and proud to lead the way as one of the very first luxury brands on Apple Vision Pro.’ In our Home States Futures macrotrend, we further explore the idea of residential retail, and how brands are creating immersive shopping experiences that consumers can enjoy from the comfort of their homes.

Strategic opportunity

Mytheresa’s Vision Pro app is a prime example of how brands should tackle omnichannel retail, but also communications strategy. Keeping clear of cookie-cutter strategies, consider each channel – or social media platform – as a unique opportunity to deliver value

AI-powered tool Arc Search could revolutionise web browsing

US – In January 2024, The Browser Company launched Arc Search, a transformative iOS app seamlessly integrating browser, search engine and AI chatbot functions. The app, an evolution of the Arc desktop browser, uses AI to construct personalised webpages in response to users’ queries.

Arc Search’s standout feature, ‘Browse for me’, goes beyond traditional search methods, assembling information from various sources. Upon enquiring about recent events, users receive a synthesised webpage, eliminating the need to navigate multiple search results.

The Browser Company CEO Josh Miller told The Verge he envisages a future where browsers, search engines and AI chatbots will converge into unified platforms. But, just like Open AI’s ChatGPT, Arc Search can pull intelligence from unreliable sources on the internet.

As The Browser Company expands Arc to Windows users and introduces the cross-platform synching system Arc Anywhere, the company is setting the stage for a unified and intelligent browsing experience. But despite its impressive functionality, Arc Search raises questions about source citation, collaboration with publishers, personalisation and potential monetisation.

For more insights on artificial intelligence, head to our AI topic.

Photography by Artem Podrez, Poland

Strategic opportunity

E-tailers should learn from Arc Search’s UX experience. Can your search engine provide a round-up of fresh suggestions in seconds, seamlessly, and based on a single customer query?

Foresight Friday: Emily Rhodes, creative foresight analyst

Photography by The Future Laboratory, UK Photography by The Future Laboratory, UK

Every Friday, The Future Laboratory team offer an end-of-week wrap-up of the topics, issues, ideas and virals we’re all talking about. This week, creative foresight analyst Emily Rhodes explores preloved on the red carpet, forest therapy and CeraVe’s unlikely new brand ambassador.

: Red carpets are no longer about introducing new looks. Jessica Chastain re-wore one of her red carpet gowns and partnered with Vestiaire Collective to encourage others to buy preloved. Vintage was also a big hitter at this year’s Grammys, with celebrities such as Miley Cyrus and Billie Eilish opting for archival fits

: Earlier this week, The New York Times covered how therapists are taking their sessions outdoors to elevate the experience for patients. Offerings include everything from a walk in the park to camping trips lasting several days, facilitated by the practitioner. Although some experts express concerns about safeguarding vulnerable patients, healthcare institutions are increasingly prescribing time in nature for mental wellness. A combination of nature and therapy could give rise to the next wave of psychotherapy

: After weeks of speculation, CeraVe revealed that Michael Cera is its latest brand ambassador, with the partnership set to launch at the Super Bowl. With the skincare brand rating highly among Gen Z, CeraVe is looking to further establish its cult status with its first ever advert at the sporting event

Quote of the Week

‘I know you’re not dead yet, but when you are, rot in piss’

– Phoebe Bridgers’ message to Neil Portnow

Stat: Young buyers drive luxury collectors market to record highs

Buy Now by Sotheby’s, US
Buy Now by Sotheby’s, US

Global – Following the pandemic’s upheaval, the luxury market, propelled by Gen Z and Millennial consumers, is experiencing unprecedented growth – and is now valued at £1.3 trillion ($1.6 trillion, €1.5 trillion), according to a recent report by Sotheby’s. The auction house reported a staggering £6.2bn ($7.9bn, €7.3bn) in sales for 2023, just under its peak of £6.3bn ($8bn, €7.4bn) the previous year, and 40% higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Geoff Hess, Sotheby’s American head of watches, told Fortune that while the luxury market is growing in Asia, there were a record number of American buyers in 2023. Middle Eastern consumers also significantly increased their spending, becoming another influential group of bidders.

Hess also revealed that young buyers have been instrumental in luxury's resurgence, alongside a shift to digital and online transactions. Sotheby’s reported a record number of Gen Z buyers aged 20 and under in 2023, 35% higher than in 2022. In parallel, Gen X are surpassing Baby Boomers as the most active bidders in high-value auctions at Sotheby’s. In Luxury Recrafted, we further explore how young buyers are keen to build collections and archives, reshaping the luxury consumer landscape in the process.

Strategic opportunity

Businesses targeting young consumers should prioritise creating a seamless, digital-first experience. Using VR, gaming and the metaverse can help attract and retain digitally native audiences who are willing to spend significant amounts on luxury goods

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