Founded by alumni from the French luxury group Kering, which owns the Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Yves Saint Laurent luxury brands, as well as from Nike, Alpha is a new duo of apps designed for digital clienteling. The Alpha platform has launched in both the U.S. and Italy, and hopes to build an on-going, personalized relationship between shoppers and luxury brands through a concept the company is calling “connected clienteling.” Alpha co-founder Roberto Tagliabue previously served as director of digital innovation at Nike, as well as the founder and CEO of digital design agency Awake; while Marcello Vignocchi, another co-founder, served as the former innovative solutions director at Gucci before becoming mobile apps product director at parent-company Kering.
The idea for Alpha came when Roberto and Marcello were working together on developing Kering’s proprietary Luce application for sales personnel and saw an opportunity for carving out a niche themselves in the digital clienteling space. Alpha is designed to be used across brands for customers to communicate their preferences and associates can foster a long-term relationship with their clients, particularly the bigger spenders. Alpha hopes to differentiate within the digital-tool space by offering a twinned pair of platforms, one used by associates and one used by customers, and then aggregating communications into one platform so that customers don’t need to repeatedly share and input their personal information into different apps. Alpha is designed as a turn-key solution, meaning that brands can pilot the product out of the box without any CRM or inventory integration. Brand associates can connect directly with their clients on Alpha via a QR code shared in store or via text message, removing the need for customers to manually register.
Luxury brands traditionally make the bulk of their profits from their top customers, often those spending at least $10,000 a year. For some luxury retailers, more than half of their revenue is driven by just the top 5% of customers. These clients are also generally the most engaged, and personal relationships with this top tier of shopper are key to generating business as well as considered fundamental to the luxury experience. In order to retain this customer base, brands and retailers are increasingly deploying personalized services both in-store and virtually in order to connect the dots between things like inventory and client preferences.
Alpha is designed to enhance these relationships and make the shopper experience smoother and more habitual, as well as give luxury brands better access to robust customer profiles.
This article originally appeared in the PSFK iQ research report, AI Enhanced Customer Service.