It’s no secret that luxury houses, in their elite exclusivity, have resisted the pressure to go digital. It couldn't be more timely for Chanel to take a leap of faith, having recently signed a global multi-year Innovation Partnership deal with Farfetch, an influential online luxury fashion marketplace. The two powerhouses are set on creating unparalleled offline and online customer experiences in a first-of-its-kind luxury retail partnership – here’s what you need to know.

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What’s Augmented Reality?

The fashion community happens to be the savviest of social media consumers, but instead of putting their core products on e-commerce, Chanel opted to use Augmented Reality to enhance customer boutique experiences – Snapchat and Instagram users would be familiar with this technology. Yes, this refers to the superimposed computer-generated graphics and filters you add to disappearing photos or videos.

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The answer to intuitive brand experiences

The partnership is still at an early stage, but the trendy audience is looking at digital initiatives spanning in-store and out-of-store “ultra personalised” experiences. Chanel’s expertise in luxury retail and client service, coupled with Farfetch’s digital visions will give Chanel insight to shoppers’ preferences from looks, sizes, and suggested trends, to help them in future purchases.

In the words of Chanel’s fashion president, Bruno Pavlovsky, this would enhance clients’ brand experience without compromising on “the feeling of being in a fitting room and trying on a Chanel piece”.

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Seamless real-life and digital connections

Mobile phones are an endless source of trend updates and shopping conveniences. Plans are underway to seamlessly link customer’s devices with products that caught their eye in-store. And right before you step into the nearest Chanel boutique, you can always flag your preferences and sizes online, so it’s like having a virtual personal shopper.

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Respecting the elite tradition

From the get-go, Farfetch is all about advancing retail experience via technology. This collaboration with Chanel, which takes pride in limited-edition goods and coveted ready-to-wear, will help reinstate its position, “at the forefront of retail excellence and elevate the already unparalleled level of luxury experience”, as quoted by Farfetch founder and CEO Jose Neves.

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What does this mean to high-end brands?

It’s understandable why luxury brands are safeguarding their status and standing by in-boutique customer interaction, but there’s no denying the pool of opportunities the digital world brings. By the looks of it, Chanel’s bold move into online channels is poised to initiate a new marketplace for luxury brands.