Artificial Intelligence In The Help Of Luxury E-Commerce.
Last year in September, Net-a-Porter merged its forces with Yoox Group, forming Ynap. Not long after the merger the new luxury fashion group announced another partnership, with IBM this time.
The Ynap Group has now become the largest luxury e-commerce portal with over $1.7 billion in revenues last year, summing up to a 31 percent increase from the year before. The group operates hundreds of luxury brands, managing their digital shopping experiences to the order fulfilment. From search and navigation to customer service and smartphone sales, all of it with a premium feel.
Using A.I. To Improve The Luxury E-commerce
The partnership with the tech giant went into effect this year in March, and even though IBM is not a rookie when it comes to luxury fashion and retail clients, for sure the Yoox Net-a-Porter collaboration is one of the most challenging ever. But, IBM is aware of the magnitude of the task and to better serve its new client, set up a dedicated task force at the company’s headquarters in London.
Talking about IBM’s experience in luxury fashion, in November 2015 IBM partnered with the digital agency Fluid, to create a new online search engine for “The North Face” fashion brand. The new platform was able to ask customers questions about what they were looking for, thus driving click-through rates up by 60 percent.
Neil Patil, Fluid’s President, commented on the power of using A.I. for searching on e-commerce sites: “There is a huge runway ahead of us and for the retailers seeking that human experience. We are just at the beginning,” he said.
The Future Luxury E-commerce Needs A.I.
In a similar way, IBM has incorporated Watson, its A.I. system, into Yoox Net-a-Porter’s e-commerce platform. The aim here is to improve the search functions and the product assortment. Watson is able to look at a customer’s browsing history and purchase, sorts the products in categories and then provide the customer with shopping recommendations.
“As a buyer, you can now go to the search bar and type in; I want all items in medium size, made out of leather and in black, that can be delivered to me tomorrow.” said Adam Orentlicher, Director of E-Commerce at IBM.
A Yoox Net-a-Porter Group spokesperson stated – when talking about the group using IBM’s Watson capabilities – that the data collected is going to help the company develop better apps while delivering a better customer service.
Similar Read: IoT And Social Media – Challenges And Benefits
The spokesperson also added that last year alone the mobile traffic contributed to over 40 percent of the portal’s total sales while the native app revenues improved by 180 percent.
The use of A.I., social media marketing, location services, mobile payment and messaging-based communications are going to become the ‘winner-loser differentiator’ in the years to come.” Said Orenlichter.