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  • Oliver Cloppenburg (superReal), Armand Farsi (Arvato) and Florian Heinemann (AboutYou) were interviewed by Boris Lokschin (Spryker) on the subject of how the fashion industry can successfully grow online. 


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  • 28:46 min: Digitalisation is important to every retailer and every brand. Is it realistic to insource technology, code and data even if you don’t have digital DNA? As a traditional company, shouldn’t you consistently outsource these things since you can never build them up?

  • Florian Heinemann: That all depends on ambition. If you’re Adidas and you’re not yet digital, then I believe there’s no alternative to doing it inhouse at some point. As a well-managed brand I think you can easily run 80 percent of everything via Zalando-Amazon, but not 50 percent. The problem is that this 80 percent is a moving target. It’s getting better and better, which means the 80 percent will grow. If you’re a brand with an awful lot of ambition, then you have to have a certain amount of architectural expertise in both data and technology. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an agency that still does certain things, but I believe you at least have to establish very, very serious sparring partners, and then bring in certain things like product management.

    Armand Farsi: We have noticed that our clients are bringing in more expertise and doing more inhouse in areas like BI and data. It makes partnerships more fun. When we analyse and perform benchmarking, we’re listened to and we can do things together. It isn’t that you have ideas while the other person is thinking completely differently and you talk at cross-purposes. As a hypothesis: the fashion expertise in eCom Teams at fashion players is becoming less important, not more.

    Oliver Cloppenburg: The problem isn’t whether to do things inhouse, who does what and how, it’s where to get people from in the first place. We’re the last of the semi-digital generation. We’re still used to telephones, we think a bit differently. Strategic thinking will change entirely; we can keep up a bit, but other generations are much stronger in that and think entirely disruptively.

    Florian Heinemann: That’s backed up when you get young people straight out of university. It’s incredible how productive they are after one year.



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