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Federico Marchetti is something of an internet enigma—he presides over Yoox.com as founder and CEO and also runs the online operations for 37 luxury brands, which is no small feat considering how much those brands love poo-pooing the internet. Wired UK profiled Marchetti to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Yoox bet on the power of the internet early on and is now reaping in the rewards.
The company employs 800 people in its Milan-based offices. Davide Di Dario, Yoox's demand planning director, oversees 15 managers in a office building that's referred to as "the temple" within the company. "You cannot be further than us from the customer," Di Dario told Wired, "but we are very close to them because we know exactly what they are doing."
Di Dario and his team can track dozens of customer details as they shop on Yoox; anything from what time of day the customer shops to how long it takes them to make a purchase. On average, an order is placed every 11 seconds.
The order is then transferred to one of seven Yoox Group Warehouses based in Bologna, New Jersey, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Shanghai (and there are three more currently in the works). The warehouse spaces combined equal the space of 318 tennis courts.
Product housed in one of Yoox's warehouses via Wired
Yoox features in-house photography for all of its product shots as well as the e-commerce work it does for those 37 luxury brands, which is another mammoth undertaking altogether. According to Wired, there are 60 different photographers in 55 studios producing about 200 photos each hour "by means of a series of mannequins that glide slowly around a mechanized route." Overall, 15,000 items are photographed every day.
The packaging and order processing is painstakingly checked along the way to make sure that faulty orders don't leave the warehouses. But even if they do, all is not lost. Wired reports that FedEx employees in China (all courier services are handpicked by Yoox and differ depending on the location) will wait 15 minutes after delivering a package to give time for the customer to inspect and try on the garment.
All the work seems to be paying off. Marchetti expects that 50% of all Yoox purchases will be made by mobile devices by the end of the year.