Q&A: LVMH’s CIO on Giving Luxury Retail a Digital Makeover

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Q&A: LVMH’s CIO on Giving Luxury Retail a Digital Makeover

  • Over 30 LVMH Maisons use Alibaba Cloud’s products and services to reshape luxury retail for the AI era
  • The French luxury house is expanding its Alibaba Cloud partnership into Southeast Asia to support Sephora and DFS

Franck le Moal, Group IT Director and CIO of LVMH

LVMH is marrying technology and luxury to bring global luxury consumers an omnichannel and immersive customer experience, from digital showrooms, live video purchasing to 360° product presentations.

The French luxury house has partnered with Alibaba Cloud since 2019 to reshape online luxury retail with digital intelligence and AI at all stages of the customer journey, and inject greater agility and resilience into the supply chain.

We caught up with Franck le Moal, Group IT Director and CIO of LVMH, to hear how LVMH embraces technology-enhanced retail.

The following Q&A has been edited for brevity and clarity

Q: How does LVMH combine luxury fashion with technology?

A: LVMH has always been a pioneer and most of our Maisons are also pioneers since a long time ago. We place a strong focus on innovation and creativity.

First, we see technology as a strong enabler to enhance our exchange, our relationship, with our customers. For LVMH Maisons, having this strong intimacy and strong interaction with customers to invent a personalized experience is absolutely critical. We believe that technology is able to bring us this unique opportunity.

This is why we continue to invest in omnichannel. We continue to invest in virtual and augmented reality, because we believe that those types of features are a really strong opportunity for our Maisons and the Group to craft a personal experience with our customers.

The second key focus is to enhance the capability of our internal departments. We believe that technology, especially a data-driven AI platform and cloud solution, is a strong enabler for the performance of our manufacturing, supply chain, and omnichannel marketing.

And last but not least, in the world we are living in now, we definitely believe that technology is a strong enabler to help our employees better achieve their objectives and manage their performance.

Shutterstock 784887979
LVMH sees a personalized experience for customers as absolutely critical ~ and technology delivers it. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Q: Are there any brands already using AI or technology where you see the benefit?

A: Let’s say wine & spirits. I think it’s a fantastic use case, especially on the manufacturing side using image analysis.

We are really able to provide great uses for manufacturing, especially in the same Louis Vuitton factory.

We are using data from the supply chain and from various markets in order to finetune the level of products we need to produce in multiple use cases: in fashion, wine & spirits, or perfume divisions.

Q: Why have you worked with Alibaba Cloud since 2019? Is there any benefit we provide that is unique?

A: First of all, and I think it’s important to mention, we have a full hybrid strategy. So, we don’t want to rely on only one cloud provider or one hyperscaler.

We selected Alibaba Cloud in China because we know that China is becoming a specific world within the world of technology. So, that was the reason why we started to engage with Alibaba Cloud four years ago, to create a strong and unique ecosystem in China.

And we believe that if we want to develop ourselves in China, we need to work with the best. And we believe that Alibaba Cloud is one of the best in China. [Alibaba Cloud is part of Alibaba Group.] So this is why we started our partnership in 2019. It has been a great journey because if you look now, four years later, we are using the power of Alibaba and Alibaba Cloud a lot.

We need to work with the best. And we believe that Alibaba Cloud is one of the best in China
– Franck le Moal, Group IT Director and CIO of LVMH  

We have more than 30 Maisons today using Alibaba Cloud, and the journey starts in China. We expanded our business with Alibaba Cloud in Southeast Asia especially to support Sephora and DFS in Southeast Asia. And why? Because those two brands are also very close to the China ecosystem. So, having the China ecosystem in China, and the power of the Chinese ecosystem and technology ecosystem close to China, is super important.

So, we are also investing in PAI [Platform for Artificial Intelligence] and we believe that PAI will bring us value on the AI side. We are also starting to invest with Tongyi Qianwen on the generative AI side.

But more than that, we see Alibaba Cloud as a global partner. And I want to mention it because you know that we are a big customer of Salesforce, and we are very happy to see the solid, ongoing partnership between Salesforce and Alibaba Cloud.

And we will probably be the one to adopt Salesforce on Alibaba Cloud in China, especially to cover everything related to clienteling [shorthand for catering to clients], CRM and customer services.

So, the capability for Alibaba Cloud to act locally but also to act globally and to have a strategic partnership with our main partner from the U.S. is a great story. It’s a strong partnership and a strong consolidation between two tech giants who are really playing a big part in our technology ecosystem.

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