Can Valentino Revive Luxury With This New Business Model?

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Can Valentino Revive Luxury With This New Business Model?

04/09/2017
VALENTINO and YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP (YNAP) have partnered to create a new omnichannel business model - NEXT ERA - to elevate the customer experience by reinventing the relationship between luxury brands and online retailers.

NEXT ERA is built on YNAP's unique understanding of the evolving luxury consumer ecosystem. It is a new business model that has its foundations in the valentino.com Online Flagship Store (powered by YNAP, a long-term partnership formed in 2008). This next-generation model will enable VALENTINO customers' unprecedented online access to its products by leveraging the inventory from VALENTINO boutiques and logistic centers as well as YNAP's global network of eight fulfillment centers across the globe, stretching from New York and Dubai to Milan and Shanghai. NEXT ERA will capitalize on YNAP's unique distribution channels, specifically designed for the luxury industry.

Through this all-encompassing platform, VALENTINO customers will gain access to an even more extensive product assortment, in-store mobile features (smooth checkout flow, full product information and availability of online inventory), and faster delivery, with an enhanced service available in major cities where orders can be fulfilled from VALENTINO boutiques.

NEXT ERA combines YNAP's state-of-the-art technology with a leading-edge order management system in partnership with IBM that offers VALENTINO a single view of its inventory and a comprehensive profile of its customer base.

Utilizing the Group's unparalleled knowledge of online luxury customer behavior, YNAP will create a fully revamped valentino.com, creating a superior retail experience with a mobile-centric interface, a new look and feel and new functionality powered by Artificial Intelligence such as on-site personalization and contextual search, enabling customers to use natural language to interact with the digital store.

The scope of this initiative is broad-reaching. Beyond the apparent benefits to be enjoyed by VALENTINO customers, the model unlocks enormous service improvements to customers of both NET-A-PORTER and MR PORTER. By integrating the VALENTINO online flagship store inventory with the one allocated to NET-A-PORTER and MR PORTER the circa 10 million unique visitors of the world's leading fashion e-commerce sites will have access to an unrivalled assortment of VALENTINO product with enhanced express delivery options around the world. Building on the strengths of NET-A-PORTER and MR PORTER, the VALENTINO collections will continue to be brought to life through award-winning content, superior product photography and video and expert styling and will be delivered in the store's hallmark packaging.

NEXT ERA is a pioneering initiative that has at its heart YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP's innovative, service-centric approach and its dedication to its ever-growing and highly discerning customer base and brand partners.

NEXT ERA will launch in early-2018.

Integrated inventory
Brands will have a unified view of their inventory across stores and warehouses, allowing them to manage their inventory more efficiently.

This also allows customers to see what is available in-store and online, from wherever they are browsing.

In the future, brand-owned and YNAP-purchased inventory could even be viewed across the same system, increasing the opportunities to sell full-price by selling inventory from either the brand or YNAP across each other's stores.

Mobile in store
Mobile in-store has a variety of functions:

Smooth the checkout flow by carrying out full payment via mobile to avoid the friction and discomfort created by transacting with in-store staff

If customers want to shop undisturbed, or the sales staff are occupied, help customers find the items they are looking for in the sizes they want and suggest items that might work for them via the mobile

Alternatively, direct customers or sales staff to one another to maintain the personal touch associated with luxury

Pick up and return in store
They can then order online and pick up or return their items in store, giving them new ways to fulfil their orders as they see fit. When customers enter the shop the brand can create more opportunities for them to shop.

Fastest fulfillment
Fast delivery is the ultimate in luxury service. Customers will receive their orders faster than ever before as the platform will automatically select the best fulfillment option to satisfy the customer's order.

Single customer view
VALENTINO will gain a single view of its customers' interactions in-store and online, enabling them to continually optimize the experience, from product, store and site, to marketing and service.

Multi-fulfillment
Give customers the option to fulfill their purchases however suits them. If a customer wants to return something they bought online in store, decides to buy a pair of swimming trunks to take to the beach that day, and also wants a pair of shoes that is only available in another country to be delivered to their city address in another country, the brand can fulfill the orders exactly as the customer wants.