Mobile Commerce

Farfetch, Tech Unicorn, Offers Up eCommerce Agency

Farfetch, the online marketplace that links consumers and boutiques worldwide and one of the tech unicorns, so named for sporting a valuation of more than $1 billion, is unveiling a business aimed at creating eCommerce sites for brands.

The Business of Fashion reported on Wednesday (Sept. 9) that the initiative, which Founder José Neves described in an interview as a “fully fledged agency and white-label solution for brands,” will allow customers to use the Farfetch platform to build websites.

Neves told the fashion website that “some brands will want to have complete control over design, build and day-to-day operation of their website, while others can ask us to manage everything for them, from customer service to payment to online marketing.”

The initial eCommerce sites are likely to debut in the fourth quarter of this year and the beginning of 2016, though clients remain unnamed. The eCommerce business will be run separately from Farfetch through a unit known as Farfetch Black & White.

The push into agency services would bring Farfetch up against eCommerce companies such as Yoox and Demandware. Yet, according to Farfetch’s founder, his company has a leg up over the competition as it is “omnichannel out of the box … By using our API, the brands, even on their own websites, can offer inventory from their physical stores.” And, he added, customers can pick up goods at stores or choose same-day delivery options. Sites can be configured to be localized in nine languages, and shipping will extend to Asia, Latin America and Russia. Pricing for the eCommerce services has not been disclosed.

In reference to the “unicorn” designation, Farfetch’s most recent $86 million Series E funding helped give the company a $1 billion valuation. The company has said its gross merchandise volume is more than $500 million on an annual basis, with revenue at about $125 million.

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