Coping with luxury fashion’s digitalisation: Chanel inks strategic partnership with Farfetch

French luxury fashion house Chanel has bought a minority stake in Farfetch, inking a strategic partnership with the British upscale fashion e-commerce platform. According to company sources, Chanel aims to leverage Farfetch to “enrich relationship with customer”.

Farfetch founder and CEO José Neves further clarified the partnership, noting it was in line with his brand’s core mission to revolutionise not just e-commerce, but also the physical store experience with what it calls augmented retail.

“We are not starting to sell Chanel on the Farfetch marketplace — I want to be very clear on that,” explained Chanel’s president of fashion. “Our position on e-commerce is the same. We want to connect our customers with our product and our boutiques are the best way to do so. We are very consistent in our strategy, but we are using Farfetch’s know-how to accelerate this.”

Chanel and Farfetch ink a technological partnership

Farfetch’s Neves added that “The mission of Farfetch is to reinvent the luxury shopping experience online as well as offline.” “Fashion cannot be digitised like music. The physical experience is going to continue to be where the majority of the action takes place.”

Despite the interest arisen, the deal won’t bear fruits any time soon, warned from both companies: “When you are in a long-term partnership, it won’t take place one day to another.” “We are talking about a transformation. Imagine a customer can book an appointment through WeChat or Whatsapp and say they would like to come at two o’clock to see in the fitting room this silhouette or this bag or this shoe. If we want to enrich the customer experience, we have to think about a range of services like that. We need to have a relevant dialogue between the boutique and the customer.”

Chanel buys minority stake in upscale online retailer Farfetch

The goal is not to bring Chanel’s clothing to Farfetch, but to help the French company develop new applications and digital aids, explained Chanel’s fashion president Bruno Pavlovsky in an interview with Reuters.

One such application is to get the customer to fill out several preferences, like clothing size, in an app prior to their store visit, further detailed Pavlovsky, who summed up the goal of this deal stating that “This is about how to enrich our relationship with our customers.” Furthermore, this new digitisation of the shopping experience will help store employees to better and faster assist customers.

Image:Chanel Bags, Spring - Summer 2018, Pre-Collection. Chanel Official

 

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