Farfetch tapped the local knowledge of its merchants to pull together Farfetch Discover, a shoppable tour guide to the world’s fashionable cities.
The online marketplace, which sells goods from more than 300 boutiques, quietly introduced the app this week and a U.S. version will go live on Apple’s App Store Oct. 1. Once fully launched, the app will have guides for London, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Milan and Berlin, with additional cities set to roll out each month.
This story first appeared in the September 22, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Billed as a destination populated with handpicked recommendations and content, the app, said Farfetch chief executive officer José Neves, is first and foremost a platform to bring together the online and offline worlds.
“We know that 93 percent of retail is still done in bricks-and-mortar and this is what we are trying to bridge and to bring online,” Neves said. “With the launch of the responsive site, what we didn’t need was another shopping app.”
Users can shop on Farfetch Discover, but the app is about discovering the cities from an insider’s perspective. While in New York earlier this month, Neves and chief marketing officer Stephanie Horton said that if a user is traveling in a city, he or she can access dedicated “City Guides” to see what shops are nearby and pick up tips on what to do while visiting. Consumers can either pop into the boutiques or order from the stores via the app.
Currently, 25 percent of Farfetch’s sales come from mobile, and Neves declined to reveal what portion of sales he projects the app will contribute to the overall business.
“With the app we are leveraging the expertise of our boutique owners — a team of fashion experts who are tuned in to what the luxury consumer wants to buy — and providing an insider’s look at their cities,” Neves said of the app, which also details places to eat and drink — all from a local’s perspective.