data product Retail technology

Chanel’s new Paris flagship will test augmented retail concept


Chanel’s newly-opened flagship in Paris will serve as a testing ground for the label’s digital initiatives, aiming to create an increasingly omnichannel retail experience. 

This is part of an innovation partnership with Farfetch announced earlier this year, which will see the luxury brand develop new clienteling tools both online and in-store. Called Augmented Retail, the vision will use data and other digital capabilities to create a personalized shopping experience, according to Farfetch founder and CEO José Neves.

Speaking on the partnership in February, he said: “It is truly an honour to be partnering with Chanel to accelerate the development of technology-driven initiatives which will ensure they remain at the forefront of retail excellence and elevate the already unparalleled level of luxury experience for its clients that Chanel is renowned for.”

Among the digital features set to be rolled out over the next six months is the launch of a dedicated Chanel app, which will focus on giving its most loyal shoppers more access to the brand, as well as a more tailored shopping experience.

Beyond tech enhancements, the five-storey space has a heavy focus on its VIP customers, with the two top floors dedicated to exclusive experiences, such as enjoying private meals and even taking a shower. 

Luxury brands and retailers are increasingly dedicating shopfloor space to providing its most engaged customers with experiences that go beyond shopping. Earlier this year, online retailer opened its first physical space at a townhouse in London, featuring floors with the sole purpose of hosting events such as book signings, podcast recordings, exhibitions and exercise classes.

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e-commerce mobile

John Lewis ups customer service focus with £4m investment in in-store mobile initiative

John Lewis is introducing a new clienteling app for sales associates in-store
John Lewis is introducing a new clienteling app for sales associates in-store

British department store, John Lewis, is to invest £4 million in a new customer service initiative, which will see 8,000 sales associates receive iPhones to enable them to help shoppers in store.

Loaded with a dedicated “Partner app”, the tool will give them the ability to provide information about products, view customer reviews, check stock availability in stores and in the Milton Keynes warehouse, and place orders immediately.

The aim is to strengthen the retailer’s omnichannel customer experience, and to put an end to customers having to wait for employees to go and check stock rooms.

Craig Inglis, John Lewis’s customer director said: “As online and physical worlds increasingly come together, this initiative, which forms the foundation of our digital strategy for shops, will support our Partners in offering great customer service in a digital world.”

The app was tested in Cambridge over the past five months, and will now roll out to 20 stores following a training programme this summer. During the trial, half of all online purchases made in-store during its busiest week, were assisted by a member of the sales team using the app.

“During the trial in our Cambridge store, customer feedback was overwhelmingly positive. It consistently speeded up response times to customer queries as Partners didn’t need to leave the customer to find answers, or complete a purchase. This is just the beginning. We will keep adding to the Partner App in the future with new, innovative ways to help our customers,” Inglis added.

Update: This story originally referred to the app as a “clienteling” tool, which suggests there is personal information of the shopper stored in order to enable tailored recommendations. While that doesn’t seem to be the case at this point, it does speak to where the future of the service could move.