Federico Marchetti, the founder of Yoox and its many successful online offshoots, spoke with WWD about what goes into successful e-commerce. The answer? It sure isn’t about the short-term. As outlets like the Huffington Post surmise about a fashion tech bubble, what Marchetti has to say is more than relevant. Read on for the CEO’s most salient pearls of wisdom:
- Yoox is successful because it stuck to its mission — Marchetti founded the site 12 years ago to become a global partner for fashion brands, and that is what it is today.
- One must stay consistent despite changing technology. Though Marchetti stresses the importance of keeping up with technology (more on that in a moment), the core of the business shouldn’t be affected by those changes.
- Don’t rush. Of course, Marchetti has an advantage on this point, since he founded Yoox back in 2000, despite outside skepticism as to digital retail’s potential. That said, all his online businesses are developed with a five-year plan in mind.
- One has to be both willing to invest in new technology and work with its evolution. Yoox was one of the earliest online retailers on the iPad, for instance, but Marchetti also notes how technology like Flash “basically doesn’t exist anymore” because it doesn’t work on the iPad.
- The skill sets that make a successful brand don’t necessarily translate to their e-commerce. This is why Marchetti has partnerships with labels like Armani and Valentino, to create, develop, and manage their online retail — for their benefit (and his, as a partner, of course).
- Last but not least, the Internet, according to Marchetti, is getting “overcrowded.” Thus, it’s vital to have a sharp focus. His latest venture, Shoescribe, sticks to a specific vision of women’s footwear mixed with editorial content.
Marchetti’s final words of wisdom? First, shoes are where it’s at — Yoox has sold over 4 million pairs. Second, when it comes to entrepreneurship, one needs to be “a little bit brave.”