Farfetch Launches 90-Minute Store-to-Door Gucci Service

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Farfetch shopping bag delivery

While the concept of a luxury emergency is not new, delivering an antidote to your door in 90 minutes is. That’s the brand promise behind Farfetch, a UK retailer of men’s and women’s apparel with a fashion technology edge.

As Jose Neves, Farfetch’s Founder and CEO, told Bloomberg, “Retailers need a way to collect information about their customers while they are browsing in-store, just as they collect data from online searches.”

Customers can now shop for select Gucci goods via Farfetch’s app and website with their orders fulfilled from Gucci stores in London, New York, Dubai, Los Angeles, Madrid, Miami, Milan, Paris, Sao Paulo and Tokyo.

Kicking off yesterday, the partnership showcases “The Store of the Future,” combining software and devices to help luxury brands gather data on customers in stores and online.

As Neves explains: “The mantra of this industry needs to be a single view of data. This is the single most powerful thing of the Store of the Future. It’s absolutely imperative that we bring that data intelligence into our businesses and deliver to customers incredible mind-blowing experiences that only data allows us to do.”

Farfetch launched in 2008 and its technology includes a scanner so customers can “log-in” with a smartphone when they enter a store, bringing up their profile, what items they have previously purchased or saved to a wish list.

Central to this opt-in data-sharing concept are sales associates who become “in-store influencers” with a goal: to “humanize” the retail experience armed with data, data and more data.

A clothing rack designed to record which items the customer picks up, stores them on the app in the customers’ phone as well as for the retailer, and a subsequent swipe moves items to a wish list.

A smart mirror in-store lets shoppers move between browsing online and in-store selections, while a holographic display lets them create and order customized shoes from luxury brand Nicholas Kirkwood.

As mobile and digital technologies have made near-instant delivery de rigueur, customizing products and increasingly targeted marketing are ramping up and Farfetch is on the leading edge.

The company employs more than 1,000 people, ships to more than 190 countries and its most recent fundraising round valued the company at more than $1bn with a rumored IPO in the works.

“How can you really be serious about data when 92% of the action is happening in stores and you are not collecting data in stores?” Neves told Forbes. “Retailers need a way to collect information about their customers while they are browsing in-store, just as they collect data from online searches.”

A typical five-minute session on Farfetch captures 15,000 data points.

“It’s the offline cookie that closes the loop, between a great online presence and a complete omnichannel offering and, finally in-store technology which augments the experience of customers in store and overall. 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,” Neves said.

A beta version of the Store of the Future officially launches in Browns in London and Thom Browne in New York later this year.

As Forbes puts it, Farfetch is “gearing this launch primarily at the millennial customer, who it believes sees data as currency or a transactional entity – something it’s willing to exchange in return for value and service.”

Another luxury brand, Hermès, is testing its own delivery service in London with Starship Robots buggies and a promise of delivery in 30 minutes.

The robot, from the makers of Skype, Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis, cruises at 4mph, can cross the road and avoid obstacles, and has been tested already in Hamburg, Washington and California, delivering up to 20lbs of goods to local customers.

The Starship bot has a large compartment to hold deliveries, equal to two grocery bags and a connection to the Internet that uses 3G technology to find a customer’s address. The six-wheeled ‘ground drone’ is almost completely self-driving, but for now is half controlled by a human operator.

Hermès first put the robots to work in Hamburg last year, when a spokesperson commented, “The self-driving delivery robots offer a viable alternative to drones, especially in highly developed cities, towns and suburbs where strict aviation laws are in constant operation.”

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