YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP and IBM forge a game-changing partnership to create the future of online luxury fashion

March 7, 2016

A break-through technology platform for YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP to be further empowered by IBM’s leading technology products to drive industry innovation in an omni-channel world.

YNAP and IBM establish a Fashion & Luxury Innovation Committee to turn ideas into real-life technology solutions.

YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP S.p.A. (MTA: YNAP), the world’s leading online luxury fashion retailer, and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announce a long-term strategic partnership that will enable YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP to enhance its focus on delivering customer-centric innovation and step-change in omni-channel capabilities for its high-value customers and luxury brand partners. The agreement will allow IBM to leverage YNAP’s capabilities in the fast-growing online luxury fashion space.

YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP’s strategic rationale behind this partnership is threefold:        

  • Lay the foundation for the development of one shared technology platform across all the Group’s multi-brand and mono-brand online stores that is robust, reliable and scalable, to support the double-digit growth of a multi-billion euro business benefiting all of its customers and brands
  • Expedite and facilitate the post-merger system integration process, minimizing costs and execution risk
  • Channel in-house technology efforts toward the forefront of industry innovation, in the areas of personalized customer and tailored brand experiences, mobile and native app developments, customer insights and analytics, social media marketing and cognitive capabilities

As a result, YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP’s talented teams across Italy and the UK will develop and deploy a distinctive proprietary technology architecture that will combine IBM’s leading Commerce technology products with YNAP’s in-house developed solutions uniquely tailored to the needs of its high-value customers and luxury brand partners.

As testament to their commitment to developing ground-breaking solutions for online luxury fashion retail, YNAP and IBM have created a Fashion & Luxury Innovation Committee, a think-tank where YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP and its brand partners can contribute ideas and input to IBM for the continuous development of bespoke e-commerce solutions. Similarly, YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP will join the IBM Customer Advisory Council, a forum for a select group of IBM customers, whose input can directly influence future IBM product development.

This game-changing alliance will benefit our customers and brand partners, allowing us to push our ambitions even further as we continue to create the future of fashion. The partnership with IBM will enable our exceptionally talented technology team to focus on what it is renowned for: industry-leading innovation, cutting-edge technology and customer-centric solutions.

Alex Alexander, Chief Information Officer of YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP

The fashion industry is constantly reinventing itself and creating innovative ways to engage with digital savvy shoppers. By embracing IBM Commerce capabilities, YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP is perfectly positioned to engage with shoppers through personalized experiences that are based on their unique style and shopping preferences and delivered across any device or channel.

John Mesberg, General Manager, Offering Management and Strategy IBM Commerce

YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP will implement IBM’s Order Management System, positioned as a leader in all the most reputed industry analyst firm rankings and consistently considered the strongest available on the market.  

YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP operates multi-brand proprietary online stores as well as numerous Online Flagship Stores of some of the leading global fashion and luxury brands, from armani.com to valentino.com all “Powered by YNAP”. IBM Order Management will enable YNAP to enhance its omni-channel offer, allowing for seamless inventory integration between YNAP and the Brands’ distribution centers and retail network. The future rollout of even more flexible fulfilment options will deliver customers a truly omni-channel experience and a wider range of services, such as same-day in-store pick-up or home-delivery in an unbeatable time from the nearest store. For the Group’s brand partners this will be a key enabler to develop a single view of the customer across all touch points and will also translate into long-lasting benefits through additional sales and more effective inventory management. Thanks to its intelligent sourcing capabilities, IBM Order Management will also be a key enabler for the realization of the Group’s Global Stock synergies by allowing customers from anywhere in the world to access one global virtual inventory, translating into higher sell-through and retail margins.

The partnership will also extend to IBM WebSphere Commerce, IBM’s e-commerce suite, which offers best-in-class features and sophisticated business tools, including precision marketing and merchandising, allowing full independence of usage by internal and external business stakeholders. Flexible and customizable user interfaces will also enable complete site personalization. Building on IBM WebSphere Commerce, YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP will be able to create distinctive and unique customer and brand experiences for all of its multi-brand and mono-brand storefronts, across the different touch points.

With IBM’s full support on premise and direct daily access to IBM’s Development Labs in Toronto, Boston and across the world, YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP will integrate IBM’s products into its technology platform and customize them for the specific needs of its business.

YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP has a history of pioneering technology innovation and establishing industry firsts for online luxury fashion, including fostering mobile commerce and cross-channel since their infancy. It has also introduced clickable content and “see now buy now” from fashion shows, launched the first shopping social network and created the first truly shoppable magazine. The partnership agreement with IBM demonstrates the Group’s ongoing commitment to driving customer-centric innovation and best-in-class shopping experiences.