In a Q&A with Ragtrader, Yoox Net-A-Porter APAC GM Natalie Lee shares key consumer demands in Australian luxury, how it drives online traffic, and what's new for the eCommerce platform.

What Australian brands has Net-A-Porter added to its online assortment and how are they performing?

Australia has always been a strong source for the new generation of exciting talent. We recently launched Aje at Net-A-Porter which has resonated very well with our local customer. Each piece is crafted with hand-painted prints, luxurious fabrics, and meticulous finishes.

ESSE Studios is a brand we recently added to our NET SUSTAIN edit. It considers the longevity of product through strategic design. The everyday pieces are perfect for the reinstatement of simplicity we’ve seen in recent seasons. These brands are being loved by our customers globally.

What categories are performing stronger in the Australian market compared to other markets?

Dresses are performing well in the Australian market, especially mini and midi styles. We have seen increased traction for casual dressing and shorter hemlines, especially post-pandemic. Our customers are shifting away from the high-octane glamour that has dominated the space for the past few seasons, to a more understated approach that is embracing fashion with ease in a subtler way.

Together with our Australian customers’ consideration for sustainability, building a wardrobe of elevated luxury staples is key with basic wearable pieces in the most luxurious fabrics becoming increasingly popular. Comfort, wearability, and effortless sensibility are key to our Australian customers.

How is Net-A-Porter online traffic performing, particularly in Australia?

We’re seeing steady growth driven by brands such as The Row, Loro Piana, Loewe, La Double J, Valentino, and Khaite.

Having just launched an exclusive pre-launch of The Row’s pre fall ’23 shoes and bags runway collection, available only at Net-A-Porter for a limited time, product page visits have more than doubled. Giving our customers early access to collections is of the upmost importance to us.

We are continuously working to create the best edit of product that our customers cannot get anywhere else and ensuring that we work with brands that resonate with them.

How is Net-A-Porter navigating the tough macroeconomic climate?

Our focus is on value instead of volume - offering our customers quality, timeless pieces that last. We always take a considered approach when bringing on new brands, making sure we launch something unique to anything else we have on the site, while focusing on innovation and luxury.

We strive to maintain a point of difference. As retailers, we are all buying from the same global brands, so ensuring our curation is unparalleled is a constant in our strategy.

Do you have any predictions ahead for the eCommerce space?

The future is successfully bridging the gap between online and offline that is constantly shifting, and it will continue to be an emphasis for ecommerce and etailers.

We have seen marketplace etailers increasingly launching physical touchpoints to engage with their customer offline and in person. This creates a stronger connection between e-tailers and customers, and is a trend entering the eCommerce space.

At Yoox-Net-A-Porter, we achieve this with our EIP program that offers a personal touch to our customers, offering incredible benefits, from priority access to the most coveted pieces, wardrobe consultations, and a calendar of intimate events.

Our unique selling point in curation and editorial is what brings the experience and products to life for our customers as opposed to the traditional marketplace retailer. Yoox Net-A-Porter works closely with more than 800 luxury and fashion brand partners to offer a unique and curated product assortment, as well as exclusive capsule collections.

Compelling editorial has been part of the Company’s DNA since day one, we influence our customers with our inspiring content to make informed choices and bring them joy.

What tactics are you utilising to drive online traffic?

To drive online traffic, it’s key to leverage on a mixture of digital marketing, partnerships, traditional advertising, entertainment opportunities and positive impact initiatives. Our tactics include content creation - tailored bespoke high-impact content created in-house featuring global talents that speaks to our customers and engages new audiences; on-site promotion - increasing brand visibility and hero key products; email - including preview, weekly trend, what’s new and fashion features; campaigns - a calendar of campaign launches, embedded with local specificities and with inclusion of exclusive products; and loyalty engagement - touch point activations to acquire high-value new customers while rewarding our top-tier EIPs (extremely important people) with experiences that enhance loyalty, value and frequency.

Are there any other plans for the Australian market?

Net-A-Porter has recently launched a loyalty program that offers customers access to exclusive benefits, including Personal Shopper services, regular discounts and offers, as well as complimentary express shipping. Customers can join this program by shopping at Net-A-Porter, track your progress to unlock the rewards. Once you reach the EIP tier, a Personal Shopper will contact you separately to provide you with the details for EIP program and the accompanying rewards.

At Net-A-Porter, our main objective for the fall winter ’23 season is to further engage with EIPs. While this group represents a small percentage of our customer base, they drive a significant portion of sales. We plan to grow this by ensuring these customers invest more in their wardrobe and by making sure any new customers that we draw in are making considered purchases.

Elevating our assortment, expanding our loyalty program, and growing our offering of circularity-related services such as Net-A-Porter x Reflaunt, through which customers can resell their pre-loved designer items including an option for an additional 10% credit incentive, are all ways we’re working to remain as a brand that our customers are loyal to.

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