Deep Dive Into the Retail Personalization Index Top 10: Net‑a‑Porter
By Mike O'Brien | September 4, 2018
Nobody does personalization quite like a luxury brand. The shopping experience is elevated by one-on-one, concierge-level service, which is as much a signature for these retailers are Versace’s Medusa head or Tiffany & Co.’s signature shade of blue. However, luxury brands’ personalization prowess rarely translates online… unless they’re Net-a-Porter.
Net-a-Porter is an online high-fashion marketplace — think Gucci, Prada, Christian Louboutin — and works to help its customers feel like they’re shopping in an issue of Vogue. As a result, Net-a-Porter has a particularly strong editorial component in The Chic List and Porter, an online magazine that was recently incorporated into the brand’s main app.
It’s no surprise. At the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference in April, Yoox Net-a-Porter Group CEO Federico Marchetti said mobile apps are the new luxury department stores. Streamlining content (and translating it into three additional languages) has tripled traffic from Porter to the main site.
Net-a-Porter’s Content+Commerce and Completing the Look
Articles are highly curated. Even the landing pages are unique, reflecting each individual customer’s own interests, tastes and social calendars. If you’ve got a big event coming up, Net-a-Porter will be sure to show you more content centered on formalwear.
Of course, content and commerce are symbiotic for Net-a-Porter. The brand liberally links product pages throughout articles. This helps shoppers buy that exact dress Karlie Kloss is wearing, right then and there.
Recommendations are a particularly strong area for the brand. Personalization is based on browsing behavior and interests, both onsite and in-app. Net-a-Porter also goes beyond collaborative filtering and uses product recommendations as an opportunity to upsell. “Complete the look” and “How to wear it” recommendations show just which accessories would really make that red blazer pop. With a strong preferences manager, customers determine which designers they see. This ultimately provides Net-a-Porter with more guidelines for future personalization.
Of all the brands in the top 10, Net-a-Porter scored the lowest in the email category. We’d love to see less of a batch-and-blast approach and more lifecycle management, with nuanced triggers dictated by your behavior. A stronger email strategy could bring Net-a-Porter into the top tier next year. We wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen, given the brand’s obvious commitment to personalization.
Case in point: You Try, We Wait. Launched in the retailer’s hometown of London, this service allows customers to try on items… while the delivery person waits. It greatly simplifies the return process and helps the brand bridge the gap between ecommerce and the top-notch service consumers have come to expect from luxury brands.
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