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Farfetch: 'Focus on the pain points'

Sandrine Deveaux, Farfetch’s managing director of the Store of the Future, warned retailers not to focus on investing on innovative technology but on improving parts of the customer journey that are “letting you down”.

Deveaux, who leads Farfetch’s retail innovation division, which incubates new technology, told Drapers Digital Festival: “Don’t jump into shiny solutions. It’s about taking your customer journey and understanding what the key steps are that you don’t do very well.

“If a step is letting you down, focus on it. Don’t focus on cool tech, get back to basics. It’s too easy to think it needs to be very innovative and tech led without thinking about what the consumer wants.” 

So what technology is Farfetch focusing on and what is Deveaux’s experience?

Farfetch’s tech focus

Farfetch’s tech focus centres on four main areas of the customer journey: customer recognition, browsing, experience and checkout.

It has introduced customer-recognition technology into stores, as  “customers like to be recognised, but not in an intrusive way”.

To help browsing, Deveaux said items on a customer’s online wishlist should be automatically taken into the fitting room and be waiting for in-store shoppers.

Payment is a customer’s “biggest pain point”, said Deveaux, and Farfetch wants to make in-store payment “as seamless as it is paying on an app”.

Apps have been a topic of debate in fashion of late and Deveaux cautioned brands about launching their own version: “If you ask any brand why they want an app they don’t why. The cost of an app, to maintain it and to market it, is huge.”

Digital “magic” mirrors are a technology that Deveaux likes, but she admitted it is “expensive” and has to have a purpose in store: “For us, we can display content and display details [in the product] but it doesn’t make sense in fast-moving fashion.”

Collecting customer data is crucial but Deveaux said retailers need to be more creative in how they do this in store: “Taking data at the till doesn’t make sense,” she said pointing out that only 15% of customers actually buy. She suggested having the store assistant start conversations and take details to share product recommendations via WhatsApp.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Payment is not the biggest pain point for consumers in stores. A lack of service is. The two are hugely different.

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