Ulric Jerome

Matches Fashion’s chief executive officer Ulric Jerome thinks waiting a day is too long. While many retailers would be envious of the British retailer’s ability to deliver same-day, Jerome wants to push the bar further. Soon he wants the shoppers who browse the 420 brands on the Matches site to be able to get their hands on the goods within the hour.

“I think in the next 18 months in major cities, one-hour delivery will be the norm. This is what we’re currently working on…and that will be launched soon,” Ulric said.

Unlike online juggernaut Amazon, which has been exploring the prospect of using drones to deliver packages, Jerome said the airborne devices are not essential to hit his target.

“The drone, while I completely understand and it’s an amazing opportunity, it’s certainly not going to happen tomorrow in more of a mainstream way so it’s not necessarily going to touch the mass,” he said, citing tricky airspace regulations.

Still, he believes that “anything in terms of speed of delivery will happen. First about instant on-demand delivery and then drones will go after that.”

Since taking the reins at the company last year, Jerome has made it his mission to position the Matches e-commerce web site and its five London stores not as “everything for everyone” but rather “everything to someone.”

And that “someone” is a person Ulric and his team know well.

Matches’ average shopper is buying four times a year and has a lifetime value of close to 2,000 British pounds, or $2,250, Jerome said. Its top 10 percent of the most active customers have a 90 percent retention rate while overall it’s about 65 percent. More than 48 percent of sales are done currently via mobile — though he’s hoping to edge that up to 55 percent in the next two years — and 30 percent are done over smartphones rather than tablet devices.

The world of e-commerce is saturated with data points retailers should be taking advantage of, particularly, as he pointed out that luxury consumers happen to be “the most connected customer in the world.”

One word to the wise Jerome has for online sellers? When looking at data, examine customer behavior over how each brand is selling.

“When you start with the customer, the opportunity to make mistakes gets lower,” Jerome said. An average basket size that’s up 15 percent this year suggests the strategy seems to be working.

Matches is already producing highly stylized shoppable fashion films but its next frontier is 360-degree videos which customers can play and interact with, and beyond that, virtual reality.

“We are working to give the customer the best experience so that they can find the physicality they find in stores, digitally…We first start with 360 and then go into virtual reality.”

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