Cartier Embraces Digital Retail Innovation, Claims First-Mover Status in the Luxury Space

The Challenge

Cartier is one of the world’s most prestigious jewelry manufacturers, operating more than 200 boutiques in countries across the world. As a designer, manufacturer, and distributor of not only jewelry but also leather goods and watches, Cartier operates in the upper echelons of luxury brands. With all the accolades that Cartier and its peers have earned, however, the luxury space as a whole has been under-invested in digital technology and innovation, especially when compared with other industries.

In recent years, Cartier has sought to capitalize on this opportunity by cultivating internal momentum around technology and innovation. A number of teams within the organization have been transformed into “Labs” focused on evolving aspects of the conglomerate’s business, including a Manufacturing Lab, Supply Chain Lab, Product Lab, and Retail Lab.

Establishing innovation-focused teams is an important step, but does not guarantee innovation. The partnership between Cartier and Nansen was launched to support the firm’s Retail Lab (aka the Retail Solutions Development team, or RSD) in its efforts to develop ideas, collaborate across markets, and launch new services and tools for Cartier customers.

The Solution

Cartier’s new investments in retail technology and innovation were aimed at a number of connected goals. The North Star was, of course, to deliver the best possible experience for Cartier customers, whether they’re shopping in a physical boutique or across the digital landscape. But customer experience does not exist in a vacuum. As Gartner has observed, today it is best practice for brands to pursue a “total experience” strategy, in which the experience of customers is integrated with employee experience, user experience, and “multiexperience” across digital and physical touchpoints.

Cartier decided to focus on elevating the experience of the employees working within Cartier’s RSD team. This team was responsible for turning retail innovations into finished solutions, elevating and maintaining existing retail solutions, and launching a boutique “prototype store” called STAGE, which would host new project testing, employee training, and more. Given Cartier’s scale and global footprint, there was a real need for streamlining the RSD team’s efforts to avoid redundancies and wasted resources.

With the goal of streamlining in mind, Cartier decided to create the Retail Solutions Hub, a platform dedicated to retail innovation. The Hub would support the RSD team’s efforts in a number of key ways:

  • Provide increased visibility for all Cartier employees into past, current, and future retail innovation projects
  • Drive conversation and feedback through an engagement-focused Innovation Feed
  • Facilitate reservations and requests for the Stage boutique space
  • Cultivate a “design thinking” mindset within Cartier, wherein all employees are encouraged to propose ideas and think big about innovation

To create this dynamic platform, Nansen decided to build on top of Occtoo. An Experience Data Platform, Occtoo would pull together data and content inputs that the Retail Solutions Hub required from different sources within Cartier and feed them into the employee-facing experience. The Nansen team then mapped out the User Experience and designed the Hub’s key components, including account creation and user profiles, a Project Listing page, submission forms for new ideas, the STAGE booking form, and the Innovation Feed. The Innovation Feed was a key element of the solution, designed to sustain employee engagement with the tool even when Cartier team members were not actively using it.

The Results

In summer 2022, the first phase of the Retail Solutions Hub launched alongside the Cartier Stage boutique in Marrakech, Morocco. 

The combined impact of these two investments positions Cartier as a first-mover in the luxury space, keeping the brand ahead of its competitors and delivering an enhanced total experience for its employees, users, and customers.

With more new features launching in September 2022 and again before the end of the year, the Retail Solutions Hub promises to deliver ongoing brand elevation for Cartier through thoughtful, incremental innovation.

KPIs

Within 30 days of launch:

  • Active innovation solutions - 26
  • New solutions awaiting deployment - 7
  • New MVP ideas in progress - 4
  • STAGE boutique reservations - 602