Case Study: Net-a-Porter
In 2009, the Richemont Group acquired www.net-a-porter.com, considered to be one of the most successful e-business fashion companies. Nathalie Massenet, Founder and Chairman of NET-A PORTER, pursued the company’s growth strategy by seeking and launching further innovative initiatives that will continue to raise the bar in terms of online user experience.
In the 2011 Richemont Group annual report and accounts, she illustrates several key accomplishments that explain her vision and the business achievements for the brand.
Excerpts of her statement to the group shareholders:
“…Since its launch in June 2000, NET-A-PORTER.COM has established itself as the world’s premier online luxury fashion retailer, successfully blending content and commerce…
…With an acclaimed editorial format, leading designers, iconic packaging, unrivalled service and customer care, NET-A-PORTER enables visitors to shop over 350 designer collections 365 days a year and delivers to 170 countries with same day delivery in London and Manhattan from its own distribution centres…
…The award-winning website continuously seeks innovative ways to improve the user experience through new technology including ground-breaking interactive collaborations, shopping apps for all mobile devices, including a much-lauded weekly magazine app for the iPad that has been downloaded by over 116 000 iPad users.
… In April 2009 the NET-A-PORTER group launched THE OUTNET, the chicest fashion outlet shopping destination. Each month, the two sites speak to more than 4 million style-conscious consumers around the world.
… February 2011 saw the launch of the first dedicated global menswear retail site: MR PORTER. The site provides a selection of the best in men’s style from global designer labels to niche brands alongside editorial and style advice.
… NET-A-PORTER’s technological innovations during the year have embraced new digital possibilities. The Fashion Fix provides a hub for NET-A-PORTER’s social activities and is open to the public for adding comments. The mobile enabled website enables customers to browse and shop from their mobile phones.NET-A-PORTER Tv houses video content and enables customers to watch, shop, comment, embed and share. Its Google Tv extension is already available in the US for T-commerce.
… NET-A-PORTER’s customer base is spread worldwide. Whilst being rooted in the UK and US, the number of customers in newer markets such as Australia, Hong Kong and France doubles each year …”
This case study is a good example of one of the four brand web strategies, as shown in Figure 4.30. With its founding principle “to create the balance between content and commerce” Net-a- Porter has built a customer relationship based on the “conversation” adopting a “Mono-channel” strategy.
Four key lessons from NET-A- PORTER.COM
The NET-A-PORTER.COM business model is successful because it is built around four strategic advantages that ensure online user experience and satisfaction
• Lesson 1 – Creating exclusive collections and one off items, created by leading designers, sold only on the Net-a-Porter web site and promoted through special and dedicated events
• Lesson 2 – Giving customers the information they want in a magazine-like format compelling and entertaining, with permanent links to the shop and accessible through different media (web, iPad and mobile)
• Lesson 3 – Providing social network connections and web communities (Facebook page, Twitter and You tube accounts, etc.) that allow users to interact and enter dialogue with the brand.
• Lesson 4 – Using technology that is fully controlled in house to ensure that end-users receive the best service, delivery and care