Jessica Bumpus, 27 October 2009
HOT on the technological heels of Gucci, which last week launched its own iPhone/iTouch app and micro social networking site,
Gucci Social Networking site GUCCIEYEWEB.com
Salvatore Ferragamo SpA and Giorgio Armani are getting in on the digital act - launching an online store and unveiling plans for a mobile commerce site respectively.
"The internet has certainly revolutionised our shopping habits and now even luxury shoppers are looking for direct contact with companies," Ferragamo chief executive officer Michele Nors explains. "The search for information and the desire to shop should not be limited by time and place." Its virtual shop doors are immediately open to customers in Italy and the UK with the US and other European markets set to follow in the next few months.
Salvatore Ferragamo Online Store
Meanwhile, Armani's new online venture, powered by Internet retailer Yoox Group, is set to go live on November 25 and will enable all countries that currently have access to e-commerce on EMPORIOARMANI.COM to shop for new collections from their phones wherever they may be.
"This project is the natural progression of the Emporio Armani online e-commerce store and is designed to mirror the overall experience a customer would receive in one of my freestand stores," Armani tells WWD.
It's amazing how quickly all of technology and the consumer habits are shaping the way brands think. They are all now, not designing for the customer, but selling for the customer. Their products and prices haven't changed, but they're trying to get themselves out there more. Have you seen Burberry's networking site "Art of the Trench"? It hasn't officially launched yet but it's intended to bring together like minded shoppers or Burberry. It will allow members to submit photos of themselves wearing the clothing, plus Christopher Bailey has already commissioned Scott Schuman, blogger of The Satorialist, to take photos of Burberry buyers in major cities.
Art of the Trench used to be the name of their customisation program in 2007 where a shopper could go in for a consultation and customise a raincoat. The process was:
1: choose a model
2: choose a chest size
3: choose a length size (for belt/pocket placement)
4: choose a fabric
5: choose a variety of liner options
6: specify a length for the hem of the coat, and
7: specify a length for the sleeves of the coat.
But anyway, I'm guessing they will allow all of that to happen online and on your phone by the end of Jan 2010. Now all we need is an iPhone, otherwise we're all missing out... so that's how they manage to sell technology to us...
Interesting quote by Michael Nors, chief executive officer of Ferragamo:
The internet has certainly revolutionised our shopping habits and now even luxury shoppers are looking for direct contact with companies...
Luxury shoppers were the lucky ones to go in store and have first class service for buying out the whole shop. Do they really not have time for that anymore that they want to shop on their phone instead? The only reason why they would is if they did what Gucci has: made something exclusive just to the iPhone app. Surely they want to enjoy being waited on? An what about people who save up for a bag, so go to the luxury store on regent street and also want to be treated like a queen, would they rather buy online? Then again, some staff are quite rude in those high end shops who end up looking down at you if you're not wearing designer. They basically think "you're not in here to buy and we know it, so we're not serving you." Remember Pretty Woman? Anyone without a wealthy background will feel like a stripper on Regent Street.