Luxury conglomerate Kering has announced it will fully internalize its e-commerce websites by the first half of 2020, putting an end to a seven-year joint venture with Yoox Net-a-Porter (YNAP), which was purchased by one of Kering’s main competitors, Richemont, in May.

“Coordinated efforts and shared experience with YNAP have enabled Kering houses to enhance the level of service of their e-commerce websites”, said the company in a statement. “Most of them offer services such as check availability, reserve in-store, make store appointment, pick-up in-store, exchange in-store, and buy online in-store”.

The transition will be led by the company’s new Chief Client and Digital Officer, Grégory Boutté, appointed about one year ago. Commenting on the change, he said: “Digital can be many different things at once - a distribution channel; a platform for offering seamless omni-channel services to clients; a driver of brand image and visibility; and a tool for engaging with customers in a personalized way”.

Boutté added that digital technology and data science provide a way to offer customers the best possible experience on every touchpoint -- and that’s exactly why Kering decided to part ways with YNAP, according to the statement. By having a real-time, 360 degree view of its customers, the company expects to understand their needs better and develop a closer relationship with them. A key strategy for the future, considering e-commerce is the fastest growing channel for all of Kering’s brands, representing 6 percent of total retail sales in the first half of 2018. However, the company doesn’t discard the possibility of partnering up with third-party e-commerce platforms in the future, “when relevant”.

To achieve these goals, the conglomerate has created a data science team and tasked its Group Innovation Team with working on disruptive technologies to further improve the client experience. Furthermore, a China-based Client & Digital team is currently being formed. It will be responsible for adapting digital practices to the Chinese market, along with identifying and promoting innovations from China to other markets.

In addition, the luxury giant has been working with Apple to develop a range of apps to be used in stores by the staff. “Via the app, sales associates know instantly if a specific size or color is available in-store or if it can be ordered from other stores; they can also give customized styling recommendations”, the company stated. Two-thirds of the stores of Kering’s three biggest fashion brands are already using the app, which will soon be rolled out to more labels and retail spaces.

 

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