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Blending buy and build to give customers in-the-moment personalisation

Thomas Macaulay | Aug. 2, 2017
The online luxury fashion retailer is using AI and mobile tech to transform the customer experience.

Alexander says he's lucky to have a CEO who's both interested in knowledgeable about technology. The CIO further amplifies his influence on the board by couching technology in the lexis of the business.

"I think the important thing is to speak to the CEOs in the language of the customer," he says.

"We're very fortunate that Federico looks at everything from the eye of customer, and of course he only wants to hear about what innovation means for the customer, and interacting with our CEO and other executive members in terms of what does it mean for the customer helps the team to also to think about the customer first.

"One of the things I ask my team always to do before we've even done any coding before we've even started actually a project, I say if you were writing the headline in a newspaper that would attract the customer, how would you describe that feature for the customer. Start from that because that is our focus."

CEOs are often reluctant to embrace new technologies before their business value is proven, but Marchetti's leadership has helped them into a market-leading position.

More than 50 percent of YNAP's sales are now made through mobile accounts, which the company claims are 1.5 times more loyal, twice as engaged and spend three times the amount.

Staff share the perks of the mobile mindset. Each of them in the office is equipped with staff iPhones and bespoke apps developed by IBM and Apple to aid them in their jobs.

The tech team mixes mobile and other established technologies with cutting-edge innovations such as artificial intelligence

"The number of transactions, number of interactions with our customers is shifting towards mobile for sure," says Alexander. "But we see artificial intelligence also powering mobile experience in a way that no other technology can do because one access to the data and in the moment interactions with the customers.

"Customers on the mobile have a different way of shopping. They want in the moment information, in the moment interactions. AI is able to give them that in the moment because we know the location, we know the context better with mobile, and we know the data so we can actually fulfil their needs a lot more quickly."


AI for personalisation

AI-powered Natural Language Processing and data-driven real-time insights depending on customer needs as they change, whether they want an outfit for a party in Ibiza or a present for their partner, will change the mobile experience for customers.

Other aspects of AI at YNAP include image recognition, visual search and virtual personal styling are will use to assess which combinations of clothes work best and cross-reference recommendations against purchase history.


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