Farfetch – Store of the Future

The Store of the Future

The Store of the Future is a start-up initiative by Farfetch. It sought to experiment with ideas, technology and various types of high end customers and their shopping experiences. It’s been set up within farfetch as a start up with all the knowledge, expertise and brands of the Farfetch platform but without the processes and complexities of the larger company. Our goal was to define what the store of the future could be releasing products and updates on a regular basis.

Role

Lead Product Designer

Timeframe

January - September 2018

Team

5 Product Designers, 1 Researcher

Background

The initiative started as an exploration into how we may shop in the future. We started with a discover and prove phase with research into current shopping habits, focus groups on shopping habits and surveys into how people expected they’d be shopping in the future.

With so much focus in the online we discovered a weak link with the customer and the physical store. We sought to connect those experiences as a single connected brand experience.

Research

From the research we discovered that although online is becoming the most popular way to shop customers were still visiting a physical store to handle any products they may be considering to purchase. They were still experiencing a brand in the physical space and this added to their purchase decision. We also found that 80% of customers are willing to share their personal data with brands they trust. However much data we track online we appeared to be missing a large part of the product life cycle. This is the gap we initially sought to bridge.

80% of customers are willing to share
their data with brands they trust.

We also discovered that when high end customers are considering a purchase they take their time. They research the product extensively in different stores on and offline. They seek brand influencers, social media and current affairs to further support them in their decision processes. With final purchases happening more often than not online the physical stored still plays a major role.

Our ambition was to create a connected experience online and within a store. Making that experience personal and relevant. We started with a single store in East London looking at different technologies that would help us reach our goal.

Product MVP

Brown East connected experience

We started with the physical store experience and how we might connect that to Farfetch’s online experience. We could access customer data and give relevant information. Our in store fashion associates could know what items customers were considering offering advice and/or matching items. Where customers with an account could choose their item and checkout without the means of a shop assistant.

Our approach sought to connect online with in store. Once a customer registered intent to view products in store they would be sent a QR code which gave permission for the store and sales associate to access that customers data registered with their account.

A shop floor app connecting the sales associates to customers and
their data allowed the sales associates to offer more informed advice.
An interactive mirror within the fitting room connects the
customer to the sales associate and also a POS device for payment
and check out making the experience seamless and personal.

Approach and Insights

High end fashion purchases are often very considered and thoroughly researched. Often this research entailed conversations between fashion experts and the customer through as basic chat applications as Whatsapp and WeChat in China. Our aim was to facilitate that conversation making it easier to discuss and share products. Often customers wanted new products that went with previous purchases so handing visibility on purchase history and being able to add suggested products relating to those previous purchases was an important step to making our service relevant.

“I need an area where I can save my top picks and
share them to different clients.”

Sales Associate, Browns East

Understanding multiple users

The ability to save products into a look allowed our sales associates to save items as outfits and share with their clients. Furthermore a collection of items and looks allowed them to create entire edits for their clients which they either shared through the customer app or sent to the mirror while a customer was present.

Enhancements

Image recognition technology allowed customers find the product they are looking at in store
through the app. Product results would always show similar items up to a 80% accuracy.

A Flexible Design System

I put into place a flexible design system built using components and naming convention
across our four products and amounting clients. A process was also put into place to
handle variant requests of base components and new components. The system included
design guidelines, UX principals and interaction patterns.

Learnings and Future Features

The Store of the Future is a continueing project with an ambitious road map. Through test and learn discoveries we discovered many areas of improvements furthering to create a fully connected experience integrating The Internet of Things so each customer is fully informed of the life cycle of a product. Using NFC we aim to explore surfacing garment care, social media and catwalk videos as a customer explored products around the store. Store of the Future is not short on ideas or clients signing up to the concept. This was just the beginning.

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