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Image source: Uber Rush

With a proposed $50bn valuation around the corner and rides in London alone growing at 5x to 6x per year, Uber’s position as the benchmark for creating real-life convenience from mobile technology has been firmly cemented. As the taxi service continues to expand at mind-boggling speed, other industries are looking for ways to Uber their own offerings. How can fashion retailers capitalise on the growing opportunities of the new convenience economy? This is one of the questions that panellists will work towards answering for audience members at our New York Summit this October.

Among those panellists will be Orkun Atik, the founder of a new start-up that promises to make personal shopping as smart as getting around the city. Currently in beta and invitation-only, Mona is an app that helps users find personalised real-time deals. A standout feature is ‘Mission’, which aims to emulate how individuals tend to shop in real life. Are you the kind of person who sets out onto the high street with a specific shopping goal? The app keeps you up to date on exactly what you’re looking for, so you can avoid rifling through the racks.

Mona is just one of a growing list of shopping apps that hope to meet consumers’ growing expectations for ultimate convenience through personalisation. Grabble emphasises the “hand-picked” nature of its shopping recommendations, as though you were shopping with a real stylist. Meanwhile, Net-A-Porter’s new social network The Net Set has a Shazam-like feature that recognises images – for instance, a photo of a dress you spotted someone wearing in a café and uploaded – and then matches the look to an item sold on its website. You can also upload your inspiration pictures – flowers, a beach scene – and the app will channel that into recommendations for clothes and accessories that fit the mood.

Let’s not forget Uber itself, which is making a play for the home delivery market with super-speedy service Uber Rush. Currently available in NYC, the service lets you request, track and confirm deliveries from A to B as easily as if you were requesting a car. While it’s not a direct target for the fashion retail market, it reflects the industry’s current battle for the quickest at-home delivery. Could next-day delivery soon be one-hour delivery? Matches and Net-A-Porter are currently leading the way, offering same-day delivery for their offerings. But with Amazon proposing its own slice of airspace for its high-speed aerial drone deliveries this week, the future of high-speed deliveries could play out in the skies rather than on the roads.

Registrations are now open for Decoded Fashion’s NYC Summit. Check out the full agenda here and reserve your place.

Reported by Claire Healy


“The couple behind luxury retailer are stepping down as joint chief executives after 27 years, in a move that may pave the way for a stock market float.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - MatchesFashion

Sam Lowe is the Chief Technology Officer and head of technology at, one of the most exciting and fastest-growing e-commerce destinations globally. At our London Summit, Sam will be talking through the tech journey of the company, offering insight into how business model innovation and improved customer experience can be achieved through digital technology. Before catching him speak on the 21 May, we caught up with Sam for a preview – and asked him why he thinks stands out from the crowd.

Could you tell us a little about your background? How did you come to be CTO at

Throughout my career I have worked within the business-to-consumer private sector across retail, consumer products, travel and media, with a particular focus on digital technologies and enterprise systems: for improved efficiency and information, better customer experience, and product and business model innovation. Prior to joining I led Capgemini’s digital technology practice in the UK working with leading UK and global organisations, including Burberry, Sky, Eurostar, Morrison’s, Marks and Spencer and ITV, to design and deliver their web platforms, e-commerce operations, digital media, and cloud-computing and enterprise systems.

How important is it for retail sites to invest in new technologies? Are customers attracted to change, or is brand loyalty more important? is renowned for its unique position in the market as a global luxury-shopping destination, with bricks and mortar stores, a modern edit of over 400 international established and emerging designer collections and a loyal and growing customer base. Our customers themselves are evolving, and expect retailers and brands to evolve in the same way: becoming more digitally able and keeping up with any demand in real time. It should be no different digitally than it is in the luxury retail market, and customers should be able to find great modern digital experiences that do justice to the luxury market. The online luxury industry is relatively late to invest in new technologies primarily as it has had to wait for technologies to do it justice. In the past it was which products keep you engaged and the service you receive in the store, but now it’s about being notified when your favourite designers become available, being able to deliver the product you buy fast and keeping customers inspired. What it takes to build and maintain these technologies has developed so the industry is catching up.

How do you see Matches’ implementation of technology in its e-tail model as different from other leading sites? In 2015 85% of business will be driven by online, with 80% of online revenue will be international. We made a big decision in 2013 to rebranded our store fronts to MATCHESFASHION.COM so we could align all of our platforms under one brand name, to create a seamless experience at every touch point for our clients worldwide. We do not differentiate between bricks and mortar and e-tail – we view it all as commerce and not different channels. For the first time, with the launch of our new platform we really believe we will have achieved this total synergy between physical and digital luxury fashion retail – and we have developed technology that enables us to connect every part of our business digitally and become the best in class. Our aim is to make the physical more digital and the digital more physical.

How do you see the connection between luxury and tech developing in the future? Wearables suggests a closer entanglement to come…
Technology wasn’t part of the fashion industry for a long time but it is going to become more and more intrinsic to the luxury experience. Time is the biggest luxury of all. People use their devices to look for things that they love as a leisure activity, as they have less and less time to themselves – this won’t stop and it will continue to evolve.

What technology are you most excited about, in retail terms, that’s coming up in the next few months or years?
There will be doors that open that will change things in the same way as the iPhone, and then the iPad. It’s only since they emerged approximately 5 years ago that this whole market place opened up. We expect other key technologies to make milestones, but at the moment they aren’t penetrating the market yet. The Apple Watch is a prime example that aims at the luxury market, with some versions retailing at £20,000. These open up all sorts of possibilities: less hassle with each transaction, alerting customers when designers have arrived, profiling what each customer likes and making recommendations to them.

Book your ticket for the London Summit here.

Interview by Claire Healy