Luxury online fashion platform Farfetch has unveiled three initiatives which it believes will help revolutionise the future of retail.
The ‘Store of The Future’ is an augmented retail solution that brings together the online and offline worlds, using data to enhance the retail experience.
“Physical retail accounts for 93% of sales today, and even with online growing at fast speed, it will account for 80% by 2025,” José Neves, CEO and founder of Farfetch, told Vogue. “Retailers need a way to collect information about their customers while they are browsing in-store, just as they collect data from online searches. The Store of the Future aims at providing the in-store experience of the future by giving visibility to retailers on what is happening in the store. It’s the offline cookie that closes the loop, between a great online presence and a complete omni-channel offering and, finally, in-store technology which augments the experience of customers in store and overall.”
Key applications that make up the Store of The Future include a universal login that recognises a customer as they check into the store; an RFID-enabled clothing rack that detects which products the customer is browsing and auto-populates their wishlist; and a digital mirror that allows the customer to view their wishlist and summon items in different sizes and colours.
While the concept is currently still in beta, it will launch this autumn with London-based boutique Browns, which was acquired by Farfetch in 2015, and Thom Browne, which will join the Farfetch platform and deploy the technology in its New York flagship, *Business of Fashion reported*. A full commercial rollout is planned for 2018.
Farfetch’s second initiative is an exclusive partnership with Gucci for its ‘Store to Door in 90 Minutes’ delivery service. This allows customers to shop a range of Gucci items via the Farfetch app and website, with orders fulfilled directly from selected Gucci stores in 10 cities across four continents.
Lastly, Farfetch has partnered with footwear designer Nicholas Kirkwood to enable customers to fully customise a luxury shoe by choosing their combination of materials and adding details such as stitch colour and metal monograming, then have it made for them by hand in Italy.
Farfetch’s most recent fundraising round valued the company at more than $1bn.