In this webinar, our CTO Jimmy Ekbäck interacts with Puneet Mishra who is the International Digital Platform and Architecture Sr. Manager at Cartier and has played an instrumental role in the brand’s digital transformation journey. Through the webinar, Puneet shares Cartier’s story on how they revamped their digital infrastructure to better meet the evolving demands of a highly fluctuating market. The outcome of this transformation along with some concrete applications that were built with speed and agility as a direct outcome of enhancing its digital capabilities.
This article is based onthe webinar “How Cartier transformed their digital capabilities to become future fit” that was hosted by Occtoo, CTO, Jimmy Ekbäck with Puneet Mishra, the International Digital Platform and Architecture Sr. Manager at Cartier on the 20th of April 2023. You can watch the webinar here or read the summary below!
See Cartier's digital transformation initiatives here
Tell us about yourself and your background, Puneet.
I am currently the International Digital Platform and Architecture Sr. Manager at Cartier, and I’ve been working in the digital space for over 12 years now. Having spent most of my time working for Richemont group on its digital transformation, I transitioned to Cartier about 5 years ago and have been involved in the brand’s journey of becoming digitally-fit, agile and adaptable. Since I startedat Cartier, we’ve been working on exciting digital projects to improve the client experience using technological advancements and it’s been a really great journey so far.
Can you tell us a bit about the Cartier universe – the brand, its legacy, its products and its vision for future?
One of the oldest and much-renowned luxury jewelry brands in the world, Cartier has been charming its loyal customers for over 170 years now. Cartier was founded in 1847 and began with some core jewelry pieces, watchmaking and soon transformed into a world-leading jewelry Maison. We are driven by our legacy, heritage and culture along with a constant desire of making our customers feel exclusive, empowered and extraordinary.
We’ve got more than 300 stores across all continents in over 80 leading world-wide locations and our products consist of luxury jewelry pieces from classics to new creations, from traditional and heritage masterpieces to trendier ones as well. The brand’s essence truly lies in creating stunning, breath-taking and one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces and our biggest endeavor has been to convey this visual splendor through all our initiatives including the digital ones, so we can maintain a synchronicity across all our communication, thus remaining true to our brand’s identity whilst getting closer to our customers.
The world of luxury retail differs significantly than the usual retail industry and so does the digital landscape, would you elaborate more on this with Cartier’s examples?
Indeed, it is a totally different ballgame as the challenges, opportunities and the strategy for digital transformation in the luxury retail industry are entirely different to that of the other industries owing to the unique demands, expectations and sensitivity from our clients. We must constantly look at ways to match their sky-high expectations by creating bespoke experiences that are as beautiful and impressive as our jewelry itself. As a Maison with a rich history and heritage, we are proud of creating an exceedingly high level of customer experience for our clients, both offline and online.
How did Cartier transform their digital capabilities to become future fit?
We started from a similar point as many organizations, where there was an onset of digital transformation but scattered digital experiences and legacy technologies posed challenges to scale. We started by consolidating our digital experiences and connecting legacy systems to offer digital experiences in any channel our clients want to buy or have an experience such as in-store or digitally through an app. The traditional problem of having these scattered digital experiences and the big challenge of connecting legacy systems to build something new which is scalable and fast, takes a real toll on the level and speed of innovation you can achieve and that was the biggest hurdle we wanted to remove from our path. In the last few years, we worked on removing this obstacle by really working on our data - consolidating, combining and activating it by using Occtoo's Experience Data Platform.
By having access to consolidated data that is in a real-time state, we have been able to power experiences that are not just fast to execute but are also relevant and hit the bull’s eye for our clients
We’ve had an interesting journey so far and there’s still much to accomplish, but we are happy with the direction we are moving forward in.
Consolidation and centralization of data has been a game-changer, we have really received a sort of a boost or an upgrade that allows us to use the data whenever and wherever we want while creating synergies between different applications, resulting in a much faster time to market. We are thankful to the Occtoo team in allowing us to democratize our data in a way, our teams can now focus on designing the end experience rather than spending a lot of time thinking about interfaces and integrations that need to be built and rebuilt with every project. Thanks to Occtoo, we can now totally focus on pushing an avant-garde quality of customer experience. The transformation has resulted in a more innovative and agile approach that allows us to prioritize business growth rather than spending valuable time on digital operations.
You launched 21 digital initiatives in the last 24 months. Can you give us an insight on the digital experiences you have been able to build since your digital transformation journey began?
Yes, these initiatives are not only numerous but also diverse in their impact across different areas of network. The initiatives rolled out have a wide-reaching impact across the entire Cartier universe, with some apps being specifically built for our retail staff to some for our clients in specific market and more. Our digital initiatives are allowing us to target various areas of our business, for example: our ‘My Catalog’ app is designed to empower retail staff with access to product inventory details that might aid them in their day-to-day job. The app literally acts like a companion now to our retail staff as they have all the information and data they need at their fingertips. Whereas our other app, the ‘Cartier Cord Bar’ combines digital innovation and in-store service for a unique personalized experience for our customers and drives more visits to our stores. Through this app, customers are able to choose and tailor their Cartier Cord bracelet according to their unique personality and style.
Another great example of the speed and agility with which we could move forward in building our digital experiences post the consolidation and centralization of data through Occtoo’s Experience Data Platform, is our service "Set for you", a mobile app that allows customers to tailor a wedding/engagement ring according to their unique preferences. The app allowed us to support our customers in making one of the biggest decisions of their life i.e. choosing a wedding ring, a bit more easier, simpler and engaging. Customers can browse through different ring designs and styles, solitaire cuts and more through the app thus ensuring they have all the material they need to do their research before making this important decision available easily to them.
And of course, we have been experimenting with various other digital initiatives to ensure we remain relevant and evoke the right level of interest across all our customer-groups while ensuring we live up to our legacy every single time, we roll out a new experience.
Could you give us a technology stack overview?
Well, we’ve implemented several common systems like SAP and Salesforce and then some specific solutions as well. It's incredible that we were able to integrate data from different sources, including PIM and DAM channels, into one single data model within the Occtoo Experience Data platform.
As a result of data centralization, we now have the flexibility to launch various digital initiatives without worrying about pulling data from various data-sets. For instance, we now do not have to worry about questions like how to update diamond information or product styles which would have been a big deterrent in the past. We brought all the data together onto the Occtoo Experience Data Platform and can now support a range of visual digital experiences.
This enabled us to have immense possibilities in terms of what it can do and how fast it can do it, while also allowing for localization in design to ensure that the UI and UX are tailored to specific regions. It's impressive to see the scale at which the company is operating, with 1.6 million requests in the last seven days and over 1.6 terabytes of media within Occtoo. The different setups and segments within the platform, as well as the real-time data being pushed across the globe, demonstrate the complexity and scope of our digital initiatives.
If you were to summarize the major benefits of Occtoo’s Experience Data Platform in Cartier’s digital transformation journey, what would those be?
- The biggest benefit is that by consolidating all data onto the Occtoo Experience Data Platform has cut our project times by a third by eliminating the need to connect to different data sources and allowing for a single access point to a lot of the required data. This has also eliminated silos and simplified the process of accessing segmented data.
- Secondly, by activating the stack, there is no need to rip and replace the existing backend systems or change them. The stack can work with the existing systems and simplify the process of accessing and consolidating the required data. All in all, we have gained speed and agility with a hassel-free approach when it comes to building new digital experiences by using Occtoo’s Experience Data Platform.
- After consolidating our data in Occtoo's Experience Data Platform, our team has been able to reuse data from the same API for new experiences, as it saves time and effort in the development process. For instance, for the 'Set for you' app that was initially launched only for the Japanese market, it interesting to see how the same API that was originally built for a specific application in Japan can now be used for an entirely different application, solving a different client need. This shows the flexibility and versatility of APIs, as they can be used in various contexts and for different purposes. Overall, this approach of reusing existing resources can lead to more efficient and effective digital development practices.
If you were to give one piece of advice to anyone looking to embark on a digital transformation journey, what would that be?
My advice for anyone embarking on a digital innovation journey would be to start with a clear understanding of your business objectives and your customer’s needs.
- It's important to have a strategy in place that outlines how digital innovation will help you achieve those objectives and meet those customer needs. Then, it's important to have a strong foundation of data management in place, as data is the fuel that powers digital innovation.
- Consolidating your data sources and creating a unified data model can save time and reduce complexity. It's also important to have a flexible, scalable technology stack that can adapt to changing business needs and support innovation over the long term.
- And finally, don't be afraid to experiment and take risks. Innovation often involves trial and error, so it's important to create a culture that encourages experimentation and learning from failures.
Read more from Cartier:
- Thomas Davis, Global Digital Operation Director - Cartier, discusses Cartier's digital innovation
- Find Your Watch service from Cartier guides clients in choosing their perfect timepiece
- Pierre-Emmanuel Placette, International Head of Retail Solutions Development - Cartier, discusses in-store digitalization and omnichannel
- Cartier launches new eCommerce feature to help clients filter through their fragrance collection
- Justin Boisseranc about launching an MVP app in 30 days