The Silicon Review
E-commerce has given people the luxury of shopping for a wide range of products from the comfort of their homes. The e-commerce industry has given a massive platform for manufacturers as well as retailers to showcase their goods to a larger audience. Designers and makers of apparel have especially seen their wares being viewed and shipped across the globe, garnering a huge base of loyal customers. It is for this reason that e-commerce platforms for apparel and fashion attract numerous budding designers and brands who want to expand their presence. Farfetch is one of the world’s leading fashion retail platforms that has its operations in more than 15 countries.
Founded by a pioneering entrepreneur, Farfetch was born out of a deep love of fashion and a profound belief that fashion is an essential expression of individuality and what makes each of us unique.
The Farfetch Platform
The company operates a modular end-to-end technology platform purpose-built to connect the luxury fashion ecosystem worldwide. Farfetch’s vision was to create a single operating system that could address the complex demands of consumers and luxury sellers alike. Its platform is built on an API-enabled proprietary technology stack, which provides the foundation for the three main components: applications, services, and data.
As of December 31, 2018, over 3,000 different brands were available on the company’s marketplace, ranging from heritage brands to emerging designers. Farfetch’s consumers can shop across categories including Womenswear, Menswear, Kidswear, Vintage, Fine Watches, and Fine Jewelry, and can ship to over 190 countries around the world.
The company offers a range of services for consumers to make shopping on Farfetch a great experience. Customers can enjoy localized websites in 15 local languages, multilingual customer support and great delivery options including same-day delivery in 19 major global cities and F90 store to door in 90 minutes. The company’s platform also features inspirational, unique content and other services to help customers navigate the breadth of product available on Farfetch.
Black & White Solutions
Farfetch Black & White is Farfetch’s suite of white-label solutions for luxury fashion brands and retailers. The bundle of solutions delivers a global, multi-channel e-commerce offering that enables retailers and brands to seamlessly interact with their consumers, while also allowing them to focus on the creative aspects of their businesses. These solutions are built on the Farfetch platform, providing the same capabilities and scale as the company’s marketplace, and benefitting from the improvements to and the innovation of the platform. Farfetch helps it's brand partners to achieve their goals by creating a modular package of solutions from which they can choose from specific bundles of products and services or full end-to-end e-commerce experience.
By building on the fully API-enabled platform, Farfetch Black & White allows for a flexible front-end suite of products, comprised of global websites, apps or WeChat stores. The back-end infrastructure allows retailers and brands to synchronize their websites with in-store and warehouse inventory, both from mono-brand stores and other suppliers in their distribution network, and facilitate the in-store pick-up and consumer returns.
In July 2018, Farfetch acquired Curiosity China, a digital and technology business that focuses on amplifying premium and luxury brands across digital platforms in China. The acquisition extends the Black & White offering for the region, and the team is now able to provide plug-and-play access for luxury brands to expand rapidly in China via an integrated platform servicing Chinese consumers via Web, App, WeChat Store, and Mini-Programs.
In May 2015, Farfetch acquired Browns, an iconic British fashion and luxury goods boutique. Browns operates two retail stores in London, on South Molton Street and Browns East in Shoreditch, and also leverages applications on the platform. Ownership of Browns enables the company to understand the luxury fashion ecosystem through the lens of a boutique. In addition to enhancing credibility in fashion, Browns also serves the critical mission of pioneering innovations developed under the Augmented Retail strategy, including providing a luxury fashion boutique environment to test the Farfetch Store of the Future technology.
Store of the Future
Farfetch’s Augmented Retail vision begins with the consumer in mind. Consumers enjoy the experience of being in the store, building a relationship with the sales associate and experiencing merchandise in the luxury store setting, yet technology has meant that consumers now expect ultra-personalized experiences, both in their real and digital lives and expects those worlds to be seamlessly connected. The company’s Augmented Retail vision reflects the retail experience of the future by giving retailers the visibility of their consumers’ preferences, both in-store and online, enabling them to enhance the services they can offer. With this in mind, Farfetch has developed a range of services and technologies to progress innovation in the luxury industry.
Meet the enterprising founder and CEO of Farfetch, Jose Neves
In 2008 José Neves launched Farfetch, bringing together his interests in fashion and technology, as well as his experience in design, wholesale and retail, to create a business that would celebrate and support the diversity of the global fashion industry. His vision was to create a single portal, offering independent boutiques the opportunity to compete with the leaders of fashion e-commerce.
José has been involved in the fashion start-up world since the mid-1990s when he launched a footwear business SWEAR. José later founded SIX London, a fashion licensing and wholesale company selling to 600 retailers worldwide. In 2001 José opened the renowned boutique store, which won the British Fashion Award for Retailer of the Year in 2006.
José and Farfetch have received numerous accolades, including: Visionary Award at Decoded Fashion Futures Awards (2017), Financial Times and ArcelorMittal Boldness in Business Smaller Company Award (2016), Fast Company 2016 list of the world’s 50 most innovative companies, Business of Fashion’s 500 People Shaping the Fashion Industry (2017, 2016 & 2015), Ernst & Young’s 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year and Vogue’s DirectorsOf.COM Top Entrepreneur in 2011.