Psst. Wanna buy a watch? There’s an app for that: In an effort to get tech-weary consumers to purchase a $25,000 watch from their mobile phones, Bulgari has created a virtual Swiss vault with its latest mobile app.
To assuage security concerns among its most affluent consumers, the luxury jeweler has partnered with WISeKey, a Switzerland-based service that allows shoppers to use enhanced protection when making purchases on mobile. The offering will also help shoppers find stores and safely store information including personal identification, bank access, credit card numbers, as well as secure messages and documents.
Though the app is free, consumers must pay $53 a year for access to highly secure cloud storage that holds their information, pulling from a physical vault in the Swiss Alps when the user wants to make a purchase. Bulgari is working to include contactless mobile payments using Mastercard in the near future, Luxury Daily reported.
As breaches continue to make consumers wary of shopping online and mobile, ensuring safeguards has become increasingly important for brands, particularly in the luxury goods market. Bulgari, which is owned by LVMH group, first announced the partnership with WISeKey last year. In addition to safely storing consumer information, it also prevents hackers through providing a series of access points including touch identification, fingerprints, facial recognition and password encryption.
However, Jason Goldberg, svp of commerce and content at Razorfish, said while an app like Bulgari Vault has the potential to drive sales, he doesn’t anticipate there is a large enough consumer base making repeated purchases from the brand, particularly as the items come with such a hefty price tag.
“Trust is increasingly becoming the biggest impediment to digital commerce, even more so for big ticket luxury purchases, so Bulgari is right to address it,” Goldberg said. “My concern is the pool of users making frequent enough Bulgari purchases to repeatedly use the mobile app is probably limited. They would do well to focus on building trust through the mobile web versus exclusively focusing on apps.”
Investing in digital protection has paid off for retailers in recent years, particularly those hit hardest by attacks and breaches. Target, still recovering from its 2014 breach that leaked the information of 70 million consumers, invested in digital offerings and safety, and it paid off: the company experienced 30 percent digital-sales growth in Q2 of 2015 and 20 percent in Q3.
“A continued effort toward anything that removes friction in the customer’s digital experience is good,” Jennifer Polk, digital marketing analyst at Gartner, told Digiday in January.