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November 26, 2018

Kering to regain control of its e-commerce activities

French luxury goods group Kering has outlined a series of new developments under its digital strategy, including plans to regain control of its e-commerce activities by 2020.

By Beth Wright

French luxury goods group Kering has outlined a series of new developments under its digital strategy, including plans to regain control of its e-commerce activities by 2020.

In December 2017, Kering appointed Grégory Boutté as chief client and digital officer to lead the group’s digital transformation and to take the lead on e-commerce, CRM, data science and innovation. E-commerce is the fastest growing channel for all Kering’s luxury houses and represents 6% of the group’s total retail sales for the first half of 2018. 

Today (26 November), Kering is announcing new milestones on its digital journey. The initiatives, it says, will strengthen its focus on enhancing the group’s omni-channel capabilities and further develop its houses’ digital activities. 

Among these are plans to wind down its joint venture with luxury retailer Yoox Net-A-Porter Group (YNAP), which currently handles Kering’s e-commerce activities. Kering plans to leverage its in-house technology and operations team to fully internalise its e-commerce, bringing the seven-year partnership with YNAP to an end. The group says its e-commerce activities will transition to Kering in the first half of 2020. 

“Coordinated efforts and shared expertise with YNAP have enabled Kering houses to enhance the level of service of their e-commerce websites,” Kering said, adding most of the group’s houses now offer services such as check availability, reserve in-store, make store appointment, pick-up in-store, return in-store, exchange in-store, and buy online in-store. 

Kering said it will continue to develop partnerships with third-party e-commerce platforms when relevant. 

The group has also revealed numerous other initiatives including a new suite of apps developed in partnership with Apple, which will be used by its houses in-store staff. The first in the series is a store experience app that enables sales associates to access stock levels in real time to provide customers with a fully personalised service. Via the app, sales associates know instantly if a specific size or colour is available in-store or if it can be ordered from other stores.

In addition, a data science team has been created at group level to improve the service provided to customers and a China-based Client and Digital team is currently being formed. It will be responsible for adapting digital practices to the Chinese market, along with identifying and promoting innovations from China to other markets.

The group has also launched several pilot projects using data science techniques to deliver personalised messages and experiences to customers, based on their profile and purchasing history.

Meanwhile, all Kering houses have launched, or are launching, WeChat mini-programmes in order to build as close a relationship as possible with their Chinese customers and to offer social commerce. 

“These exciting new initiatives have been designed to meet – and exceed – the needs of our houses’ customers and to ensure we continue to offer them an exceptional experience across all channels in a fast-changing global market,” says Boutté. “These opportunities have been made possible by the experience and know-how that Kering has gained over the years, notably through its successful joint venture with YNAP. We will continue to work with them post-transition and to enjoy a fruitful relationship.”

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