In the fourth episode of the Vogue Business and Worldpay from FIS master class series on creating seamless omnichannel experiences, Kelly Kowal, chief platform officer at Farfetch, joins Vogue Business senior innovation editor Maghan McDowell to discuss how Farfetch is making its tech available to brands including Burberry, Proenza Schouler, Chanel, Thom Browne, Brunello Cucinelli and Harrods.
“Most people are very familiar with Farfetch as Farfetch.com, the marketplace,” Kowal says. “But we have an entirely different business, which is a platform business.” Farfetch Platform Solutions (FPS) services include running brands’ websites, cross-border fulfilment and in-store apps. FPS also enables e-concessions, which is when, instead of buying and owning inventory, an online marketplaces simply lists items for sale.
“We were global from day one, and that meant shipping from five different countries into a global network, which is very complicated. People used to think of us as a tech-fashion company. But actually a huge part of what we do is operations,” Kowal says. “Part of the beauty of our platform is that for brands and retailers partnering with us, they get that straight out of the box.”
Farfetch is also helping brands utilise Alibaba’s Tmall, and is researching the use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), including studying NFT marketplaces and understanding the motivation and logistics behind buying and trading NFTs, Kowal says. “It’s not just about what we have today in the technology that we can offer, but it’s about building the products and solutions that brands and retailers need in the short- to medium-term as well.”
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