Farfetch is unveiling its highly anticipated Store of the Future platform today at its first ever retail and technology innovation event FarfetchOS. The platform will be rolled out to its own London boutique Browns and the Thom Browne flagship in New York later this year.
A beta version of Store of the Future will be shown at the event, which is taking place at the Design Museum in Kensington, demonstrating how it links the online and offline worlds, using data to enhance the retail experience, delivering personalisation for customers and allowing store staff to become “in-store influencers”.
Farfetch founder co-chairman and CEO Jose Neves said that linking the digital and physical worlds was crucial as, despite the boom in online shopping, bricks and mortar retail will remain the dominant channel for years to come and retailers need to exploit this channel to forge closer relationships with customers.
“Physical retail accounts for 93% of sales today, and even with online growing at fast speed, it will account for 80% by 2025. Retailers need a way to collect information about their customers while they are browsing in-store, just as they collect data from online searches,” he said.
“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,” Neves continued.
Store of the Future has been described by Farfetch as the final piece in its Augmented Retail vision which links the online and offline worlds. Farfetch will tailor the solution for each brand, each city and each store and says it is about “humanising the retail experience”. The key value for the retailer is data which will drive a personalised message to the customer and deliver a significant advantage to retailers on the business side.
“The next stage in the evolution of the fashion industry is the connected store, which uses technology to enhance the luxury retail experience to become even more customer centric. Farfetch is at the crossroads of luxury and technology and is well placed to understand its needs and deliver a tailored solution,” Neves said.
Thom Browne CEO Rodrigo Bazan said the luxury menswear brand was excited to have been chosen to partner with Farfetch on the project. “Thom Browne’s success is founded on outstanding customer service as much as on impeccable product quality. As we open stores in key capitals around the world and develop a strong direct-to-consumer, omni-channel business, we believe the connected store to be a great opportunity to enhance our in-store customer experience. We are very excited to have been chosen by Farfetch, and look forward to starting the global roll out of this new service from the New York store,” he said.
Last week YOOX NET-A-PORTER Group released details of its new omni-channel business model NEXT ERA which will be launched next year in partnership with Italian luxury house Valentino.