French fashion house Chanel has bought a stake in Farfetch as it teams up with the ecommerce platform to create ”ultra-personalised” experiences within its stores.
Chanel and Farfetch will work together to develop a range of digital initiatives both online and offline. Chanel will use Farfetch’s digital know-how to give staff insights on customer’s preferences.
“We call this vision “Augmented Retail” – taking the magic of the physical boutique experience and bringing it together with the advantages of online and digital services,” said Farfetch founder Jose Neves. “We have been investing more than anyone in technology and consumer insights to make this vision a reality.”
Neves said the partnership will involve building apps on both the consumer and shop assistant side.
Farfetch will look at all aspects of the Chanel experience and how digital can enable Chanel to be “even better”.
The first tests and prototypes will be undertaken at the end of this year before being rolled out globally by Chanel.
For instance, a Chanel customer could be on the Eurostar from London to Paris and will be able to inform the store they will be visiting about what products they are interested in seeing during the visit.
Farfetch is also working on technology that allows customers to seamlessly sync on their devices all the products they looked at it in the physical store.
“This is not about selling Chanel fashion online in the typical way,” said Neves. “Retail can be revolutionised by digital technologies and those can empower humans to be more human. There is a level of personalisation and convenience that physical retail is not offering but could if it was offered by digital technologies. It is just no one has done it before.”
Innovations will help Chanel target the new Millennial consumer, which represents 85% of the growth in the luxury industry.
Chanel’s fashion president Bruno Pavlovsky added: “We strongly believe that digital will never replace the feeling of being in a fitting room and trying on Chanel piece. We are confident that Farfetch’s innovative technology will help us develop an even more outstanding customer journey by combining a great e-service offering with a genuine Chanel boutique experience.”
The tie-up comes days after Farfetch and Burberry unveiled a new partnership, under which the luxury brand’s global distribution will increase to 150 countries. As part of the deal, Burberry’s technology will be integrated into the Farfetch operating system, so its entire inventory will be available through the platform.