Why this honour?
Because Federico Marchetti has made Yoox a key player in the luxury sector, with a turnover of $ 150 million in 2008. A review of the story of Yoox will allow us to understand the innovative business model that was formed:
- Yoox started in 2000, creating one of the first "web outlets", offering the Italian luxury and fashion brands a means for disposing of unsold stocks of previous seasons through an elegant web portal: the logistics are designed to provide customers a service that equals the expectations of the brands themselves. Yoox, in this first phase, positioned itself as a reference in e-discount, the key element of its business model being the fact that Yoox pays its suppliers only after the sale is made - and therefore does not have to bear the costs of maintaining stocks.
- In a second phase, Yoox set up a strategy of differentiation: it offered creations from new designers, designer objects, books. Two important features characterize this new offer: they are sold at full price (no discounts) and capitalize heavily on the "Made in Italy" image. "Our soul is Italian", says Federico Marchetti. In this second phase, Yoox positioned itself as a key player in the fashion sector - and left behind its discount-only image.
- After acquiring know-how in matters of e-commerce, Yoox outsourced two important functions: selection and packaging of goods was entrusted to Norbert Dentressangle, and delivery to UPS.
- Yoox found it possessed valuable savoir-faire when luxury brands (finally) started studying the question of Internet sales. To do this they had to find a professional operator: which was Yoox Services, a subsidiary of Yoox. 2006 saw the launch of the e-commerce website, Marni, followed by 14 others "Powered by YOOX": Emporio Armani, Diesel, Dolce & Gabbana, Jil Sander, Valentino, Bally, Dsquared, Miss Sixty, Costume National, Emilio Pucci, Stone Island, CP, etc.
- Yoox has also recently developed – using its privileged relationships with brands as a real strategy for training in the field of brand management and e-commerce - the creation of a Masters course in e-fashion at MIP, the Politecnico di Milano business school, with scholarships offered by Armani.
This business model is successful because it is built around four strategic advantages:
- A full-fledged, integrated e-commerce offer: this is a real (new) metier that luxury brands would not know how to deploy and which needs specially trained employees.
- The trust built around a customer-supplier relationship - and a keen knowledge of the sales of each brand;
- The use of technology fully controlled in-house: RFID chips for referencing products, proprietary e-business tools, design studio, etc.
- An image projecting expertise in fashion AND discount: everyone therefore finds what they are looking for - well-known brands at discount prices, niche brands, exclusive products, vintage, etc.