If you’re tired of the endless queues, the nosy store clerks, the scrimmage, and the fear of being trampled to death by aggressive shoppers, then the booming modern retail is perfect for you. With this option, you can sit fancily at home, sip your favorite cocktail and boom! In just a matter of hours (depending on your mileage), a few finger swipes after, and some light taps on your screen, you’ll get yourself an instant wardrobe. Easy-peasy. But honestly, more than just making purchases immensely easier, shopping online is a stress-free process that is way more convenient than doing it on the high street. If anything, the success of Net-a-Porter, the world’s premier luxury fashion destination online, is an example.
Net-a-Porter Sales and Deals
It was the year 2000 when the dotcom era was only beginning. Founder Natalie Massenet, a mother, stylist, and fashion writer for Women’s Wear Daily and Tatler at the time was inspired to start an online business, despite the difficulties that presented. She was told by many not to take an online venture for fear of failure. But she chose to follow what she initially wanted, and with a number of trusted friends, including Anya Hindmarch and Jimmy Choo founder Tamara Mellon backing her ideas, she persevered and started Net-a-Porter. The team started small, with only 15 members under her wing, but launch the website was what she did from her small flat in Chelsea.
The beginning for Massenet and her team proved to be difficult. Back in the early 2000s, designers and investors were less open to nontraditional methods, as they were reluctant to support her site due to the lack of a physical retail store. But when French designer Roland Mouret sold his collection via the website, things began to pick up. So much growth has happened since then that in 2004, the site won Best Fashion Shop at the British Fashion Awards.
The company became profitable and soon even established itself as a luxury brand on its own. Today, the site caters to more than 6 million audiences, with the help of its editorial format, quality merchandise, and an array of high-end designers. In fact, its familiar and stylish black sturdy box, wrapped neatly in grosgrain ribbon, is like an early Christmas gift to its thousands of customers daily, bearing that luxe fashion piece they have waited for patiently.
Known for the site’s aesthetics, quality of the products, and service, Net-a-Porter has set a standard that no other retail portals managed to match. Mind you, while there has been a line of online retail stores that followed, none is considered comparable to Net-a-Porter.
Many have wondered what the secret ingredient that made Net-a-Porter the big name that it is today – why customers choose it over a multitude of other fashion stores. However, there is no secret to the site’s success, only the very public knowledge that the site has the best choice of the best labels in the world. Needless to say, the fashion pieces available on the site are chosen carefully, and the designer brands, only the cream of the crop.
Its digital magazine format is also among those that sets Net-a-Porter from the rest. The shop is more than just a site – Massenet who dreamed of being an editor-in-chief of a magazine, created a magazine that is apt for the 21st century – an online publication that is a hybrid of an online fashion store and a printed magazine. This made it possible for people everywhere to click on a picture of an item in a magazine format and buy it. Plus, through its weekly digital magazine, The Edit, and Porter Magazine, Net-a-Porter affords every customer around the globe, who owns a smartphone and an access to the internet, with a seamless shopping experience and exclusive launches, and expert style tips.
The unrivaled customer care of Net-a-Porter is an additional feature of the site. The fact that they deliver directly to where you are is an added bonus everyone welcomed warmly. Plus their multilingual customer care team is available anytime of the day, letting you know that users remain the company’s top priority.
The Step Forward
Clearly, gone are the days of pleading brands to sell their products online. Now, everyone is clamoring to be part of the online luxury retail store that reaches greater than 170 countries that includes same-day delivery to London, Hong Kong and Manhattan, and next-day delivery to the US, UK, France, Germany, Singapore and Australia.
Growing continuously, the site now houses more than 350 designers including international brands like Diane von Furstenberg, Yves Saint Laurent (YSL), and Stella McCartney. Even more so, Alexander Wang, YSL and Roland Mouret created capsule collections to be sold specifically for the site, which to us is a testament of the labels’ increasing trust on Net-a-Porter and the site’s ability to bring in more customers to the brand. Everything you find on a pictured model on Net-a-Porter can be found on the website, too. You see it, you want it, and you can have it if you do the effort.
Maintaining its close and responsive relationship with customers, the company established its own social network which it has dubbed The Net Set. Here, shopaholics and luxury-loving clientele are given a platform to share their latest finds and obsessions on the site, and reviews on merchandise they bought from the online store. Its existence became proof of how much e-commerce has changed because of the increased dependence of people on their mobile devices.
While Net-a-Porter began as an exclusive women’s shop, the company also began to spread its wings and take a risk with its discount site, The Outnet, and the name dedicated to men’s needs, Mr. Porter. The latter was heavily influenced by the original site with its dedicated selection catering to the man of opulent tastes and an editorial content that gives authoritative advice on the ins in menswear. There is also a team focused on publishing Mr. Porter and The Journal, the site’s answer to Net-a-Porter’s The Edit and Porter Magazine.
In 2015, Net-a-Porter joined forces with another European online fashion retailer YOOX, combining their assets that was estimated to be at about $1.4 billion. Together, the companies extended their reach to 180 countries. YOOX’s founder, Federico Marchetti became the CEO of the company which is now styled as YOOX Net-a-Porter Group. Massenet left the group abruptly, which has led to many rumors of what triggered the decision. She thought it would be time to explore other opportunities but also expressed support to Marchetti. Massenet soon joined Farfetch, an online shop that many consider to be Net-a-Porter rival.
Today and Beyond
Although Massenet eventually left Net-a-Porter just before its merger with YOOX, what she has initiated on the World Wide Web and its impact on how we use our devices today cannot be denied. Net-a-Porter, for all its innovations, remains the largest and most profitable of online stores catering to expensive fashion demands. Massenet left knowing that Net-a-Porter is in good hands and will grow even further with a new director at the helm. But we can all thank the now Dame Massenet and everyone at Net-a-Porter for paving the way to having the world of fashion right at our fingertips.