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Farfetch unveils its vision of the store of the future

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The store of the future will humanise the retail experience, using data to link online and offline, while personalising the the experience for customers and enabling sales assistants to become in-store influencers, according to Farfetch.

Farfetch, which provides an online platform for luxury boutiques and brands from around the world to sell their products to customers globally, has unveiled the Beta version of its store of the future, the final part in the Farfetch Augumented Retail vision, which promises to tailor solutions to the brand, city and store where they are used. The platform is built around data which, says Farfetch, drives personalised meaningful customer experiences that underpin in-store digital technologies and services.

Those technologies and services will vary from store to store but might include information displayed on digital screens, product customisation via in-store tablets and fast delivery from store services. Farfetch has, for example, worked with technology partner Platfome and Nicholas Kirkwood to offer customers the chance to customise its signature loafers and mules in thousands of potential combinations, by varying leathers, colours and more. It has also worked with Gucci to enable customers to buy via the Farfetch website and app for 90-minute delivery from flagship stores in 10 cities across four continents. This goes beyond the existing Farfetch service of express delivery in more than 190 countries, click and collect in 24 markets and same-day delivery in nine citites.

The Store of the Future concept is important, says Farfetch founder, co-chairman and chief executive José Neves, since physical retail still accounts for 93% of sales and even by 2025 is still expected to account for 80% of sales. “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 visbility to retailers on what is happening in the store. It’s the offline cookie that closes the loops between a great online presence and a complete omnichannel offering and, finally, in-store technology which augments the experience of customers in store and overalll. 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.”

Farfetch Store of the Future technologies are to be launched in Browns in London and the Thom Browne store in New York later this year.

Thom Browne chief executive Rodrigo Bazan said its success was founded on customer service as much as product quality. “As we open stores in key capitals around the world and develop a strong direct-to-consumer, omnichannel 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.”

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