Yoox Net-A-Porter: Mobile-only, seaplane deliveries and ‘EIPs’

Yoox Net-a-Porter seaplane

Net-a-Porter trialled same-day deliveries to the Hamptons by seaplane this summer

In an interview in the past few days, the CEO of the merged Yoox Net-A-Porter Group said: “One of my biggest objectives is to transform the company into a mobile-only company.”

While various news outlets jumped on that statement, it’s probably not quite as bold as it seems. Convincing luxury shoppers to permanently abandon a bells and whistles website for an app might be tough, however good that app might be. The Yoox app certainly isn’t good enough just yet, even though the Outnet one is pretty impressive.

Full-scale websites still have their place and will continue to do so but Federico Marchetti’s statement of intent does underline how important mobile has become at all levels of the market. Perhaps he should have said he wants YNaP to be a mobile-first e-tailer, rather than a mobile-only one.

For now, he told Associated Press, mobile accounts for less than half the firm’s total turnover but Marchetti expects sales via smartphones and tablets to be around 75% of sales (sales totalled €1.74bn last year) by the end of 2020. He also wants overall sales to rise 17-20% annually in that timescale.

To help his ambitions, the company is developing further apps, finally added text search to its Yoox app recently, as well as a television shopping app with Apple TV. We should see more of this kind of thing for the firm’s own brands, as well as the e-stores it runs for brands like Marni, Jimmy Choo, Dolce & Gabbana and Armani, when its London tech hub opens next year.

Of course, tech doesn’t have to mean apps. Marchetti told AP that the company has some other inventive ways of meeting its same-day delivery commitments. It introduced services like seaplanes to drop off rush orders to the Hamptons this summer, for instance. And less tech but equally welcome is the try-it-on-while-we wait courier service.

All of that is particularly aimed at the firm’s EIPs (that’s Extremely Important People). They may account for 2% of customers but they spend one-third of the cash that the business generates.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday.