Chapter 8

The app advantage

Consumers are adapting to a one-swipe lifestyle and are expecting similar levels of ease during their shopping experience. Predictive apps are a major area that engage with consumers in a proactive and personal way, making it easier for them to find what they want, when they want it. Net-a-Porter Group has been experimenting with AI since 2016, and today uses image-recognition in its app to recommend products similar to those customers have been browsing on its sites.

The luxury retailer is also currently developing a virtual personal stylist system that learns which combinations of clothes work for an outfit. Using a customer’s purchase history, it makes cross-referenced suggestions – offering a highly personalised and simple way for customers to extend their wardrobes.

Aiming to enhance the in-store shopping experience, Harrods integrates personal shopping and a loyalty card service into its app, as well as functionality to help customers navigate around its London store

The luxury retailer recognises the importance of its store in delivering the ultimate brand experience, and as such is utilising digital technology to help customers move through the store more easily at peak times.

"It’s all about having personal relationships with the store. There is no length we won’t go to for our customers-from securing the most coveted products from leading luxury brands to creating inspiring concepts in-store and making sure our customers have whatever their heart desires, no matter where they are in the world."

Michael Ward Managing Director, Harrods