Yoox Net-A-Porter Looks To The Future Of AI And Mobile Commerce With New Tech Hub In London
Federico Marchetti, CEO of Yoox Net-a-Porter, calls the group’s new tech hub in White City, west London, its “space shuttle”.
“This is our temple of innovation that's going to take YNAP into the future,” he explained at the opening this morning.
The 70,000 sq ft space comes as part of an investment of more than €500m in technology and logistics across the group in a bid to double the size of the business by 2020. It houses all of YNAP’s UK tech teams under one roof – a total of 500 employees, in addition to the further 500 based in Bologna, Italy.
The big focus in terms of the work they’re doing today is around artificial intelligence (AI) and the next wave of mobile technologies, the team explained. Demonstrations at the opening for instance included an AI-enabled virtual personal stylist tool that could recommend items based on image recognition, personalized preferences and contextual data like location and weather forecast.
Another AI tool in the works can suggest different options for complete outfit looks – taking the professionally styled shots that the e-commerce sites currently show and providing unlimited variations of mix and match pieces for users alongside. This level of machine learning and neural networks learn as they go, making them only better for users over time, the team explained.
Alex Alexander, CIO at the company, referred to everything they’re doing as being about making the experience more personalized for shoppers. “We’re using our own data in a smarter and more detailed way in order to tailor the customer experience to every individual customer,” he explained.