IBM & Yoox Net-a-Porter Group Forge Long-Term Partnership

Yoox Net-a-Porter Group and IBM have inked a long-term strategic partnership aimed at enhancing the omni-channel browsing, shopping and delivery experience for YNAP’s customers and third-party clients.

The companies said in a joint statement today the new deal will enable YNAP to enhance its focus on delivering customer-centric innovation by using IBM’s commerce technology products.

The statement said the new deal would lay the foundation for the development of one shared technology platform across all of YNAP’s multi-brand and mono-brand online stores.

YNAP said the new platform would be “robust, reliable and scalable, to support the double-digit growth of a multi-billion euro business, benefiting all of its customers and brands.”

It is also aimed at expediting the post-merger system integration process, minimizing costs and execution risk.

Last fall, Yoox merged with Net-a-Porter, creating an online fashion giant that offers in-season and discounted collections, and operates e-commerce sites for brands, including those in the Kering stable.

YNAP said the new deal would also help it to channel in-house technology efforts toward areas such as personalized customer and tailored brand experiences, mobile and native app developments, customer insights and analytics, social media marketing and cognitive capabilities.

The statement also said that YNAP and IBM have created a fashion and luxury innovation committee that will allow YNAP and its brand partners to contribute ideas and input to IBM for the continuous development of bespoke, e-commerce solutions.

YNAP will also join the IBM customer advisory council, a forum for a select group of IBM customers, whose input can influence future IBM product development.

Alex Alexander, YNAP’s chief information officer, said the alliance 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.”

John Mesberg, general manager at IBM Commerce, said that by embracing IBM Commerce capabilities, YNAP will be able “to engage with shoppers through personalized experiences that are based on their unique style and shopping preferences and delivered across any device or channel.”

YNAP will use IBM’s order management system, which both companies said 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 will facilitate such services as same-day in-store pickup or home-delivery in quick time from the nearest store.

YNAP said the new platform will also enable the brands with which it works to develop a single view of the customer across all touch points that will also translate into long-lasting benefits through additional sales and more effective inventory management.

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 business tools, such as precision marketing and merchandising, allowing full independence of usage by internal and external business stakeholders.

YNAP said it will also 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.

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