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IRC 2015: Farfetch urges retailers to own and build their online platforms

Farfetch technology director has urged retailers to focus on building their own online platforms so they can control their systems and adapt quickly to the changing market.

Speaking to the Internet Retailing Conference 2015, David Lindsay, senior vice president for technology at Farfetch, told delegates: “If it’s important and key to your business take ownership and invest in it. If you own your system it’s easier to keep that relevant than if it’s a third party provider’s. It can be more costly but it’s yours at the end of the day. Do it DIY.”

He also advised retailers to keep the different elements of their websites “separate, constrained and controlled” so that changes to one area can be made without interfering with another.

Lindsay then urged retailers to “love their platforms”, “have no fear of technology” and to “love your technology team as they own your arse, they have the passwords and can shut down your site or make it better, so you have to be nice to them.”

For the etail platform, technology and fashion go hand-in-hand and Lindsay said Farfetch’s purchase of independent London boutique Browns in May was to create a technology “playground”.

“We don’t own other stores so we can’t ask them to change their infrastructure. With Browns we can start to rollout the store of the future. It’s a playground where we can play around with point of sale and smart screens.”

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