Burberry’s big advantage: artificial intelligence and big data
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Burberry’s big advantage: artificial intelligence and big data

Burberry is known for many things – its classic trench coats, its love of live music, and its distinctive plaid scarves – but two of the things most important to the brand’s immediate future are far less visible: artificial intelligence and big data. The company’s roadmap to reinvent itself as an “end to end” digital enterprise began in 2006, it’s first goal was to leverage modern tools to boost sales and customer satisfaction. Eleven years on, the company has created an incredible infrastructure that does just that.

Burberry’s share price has gone up by 315% since 2006

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SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

The company’s brainwave came in realizing that people were happy to share their personal details, provided it made their life better. It used this discovery to create a variety of loyalty and reward programs which harvested data over customer preferences, and turned that data into recommendations online and in-store. This is a win-win situation: Burberry can offer its customers products that they really want, benefitting them and upping their own sales in the process.

The thing that set Burberry apart from its competition was that its digital insights weren’t confined to the cookies on its websites: staff in-store used an app to access them, prompting the company’s then-CEO, Angela Ahrendts, to say that “walking through our doors is just like walking into our website.” 

That was in 2014. In 2015, Burberry revealed that its investment in “personalized customer management programs” had resulted in a 50% rise in repeat custom. Other way’s Burberry’s digital strategy have set it apart is through social media dominance and advanced anti-counterfeiting measures (prudent, since the brand is one of the most cloned in the world). But it’s not stopping there.

The company’s senior vice president of IT, David Harris, said: We are formulating our AI strategy now … we believe that AI can deliver business value through making better products, faster, cheaper processes and more insightful analysis. For instance, we certainly see the potential for machine learning to improve and automate a number of our support processes.”

Disclosure

Dominion holds Burberry in its Global Trends Luxury Fund. 


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