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Salvatore Ferragamo Teams With Microsoft for Phy-gital Customer Experience

Sandra Salibian
·3 min read

MILAN — Salvatore Ferragamo has teamed with Microsoft and its technological partner Hevolus for a project aimed at enhancing the made-to-order service of the brand’s high-end Tramezza footwear styles.

Thanks to Microsoft’s Azure Cloud computing service and Mixed Reality technologies, upon which Hevolus’ Augmented Store at Home platform is based, the brand will enable shoppers to customize the Tramezza men’s shoe collection through a digital experience offered online and in-store via a dedicated platform launching Oct. 15.

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Banking on AR and three-dimensional reproductions of the models, shoppers will be able to choose among four Tramezza styles, nine colors and five materials — ranging from suede to crocodile leather — as well as picking the color of the sole and buckle details.

Through the platform, the interactive shopping sessions could also be shared with the brand’s in-store client advisers, who will be able to access users’ virtual room via Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 holographic headset device to visualize the selections made by customers and support them remotely during the personalization process and the order management.

Salvatore Ferragamo’s chief executive officer Micaela Le Divelec Lemmi touted the “highly immersive and personalized experiences” available through this project. She said the initiative is part of the company’s digital transformation, which “is already offering significant benefits in various areas: from the optimization of the customer journey in an omnichannel perspective to better management of space in physical stores, from the simplification of purchasing methods to better customer service, up to a rise in conversion rates.”

The executive added that the phy-gital service also will be promoted in the coming months through in-store events hosted in 24 cities, including Milan, London, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Mexico City and São Paulo.

“Salvatore Ferragamo’s experience confirms the increasingly central role of new technologies also in the luxury market and in particular in the fashion market, a sector that sees in tradition and craftsmanship a source of pride,” said Silvia Candiani, Microsoft Italy’s ceo.

“The power of cloud computing and technologies for mixed reality, such as the HoloLens 2 headset, represent an extraordinary enabler to create increasingly engaging and customer experiences that build customer loyalty,” continued Candiani, underscoring that digital tools “will play a crucial role in the global growth of companies” in the coming years.

This is only the latest initiative Salvatore Ferragamo implemented to step up its digital game. Since her appointment to the ceo post in summer 2018, Le Divelec Lemmi has led the company’s increased drive into technology and social media, setting up a digital innovation team in the second half of 2019 to develop the brand’s e-commerce and other initiatives.

As reported, just as COVID-19 began hitting Italy in February, and in order to limit the potential impact of Chinese buyers not being able to travel to Milan and Florence, Ferragamo developed a business solution with digital content company Hyphen creating a digital virtual showroom for the brand.

In spring the company unveiled its new web site blending past history, current activities and a wide assortment of products via a new design and a more effective, intuitive user experience, while in July the brand participated in the Milan Digital Fashion Week with a digital presentation. The same month, the group introduced the Augmented Store 360, a virtual tour of its boutiques, compatible with AR devices, and which allows consumers to buy online and visit the Ferragamo Museum in Florence, including an interactive tour led by personal guides.

More recently, ahead of the unveiling of the documentary on the life of Salvatore Ferragamo directed by Luca Guadagnino during the Venice Film Festival last month, the brand also launched a podcast series further celebrating its founder. For the occasion, 21 international personalities — including actors Stanley Tucci, Jessica Alba, Michelle Monaghan, Hero Fiennes Tiffin and Isabella Rossellini — were invited to read chapters of Ferragamo’s autobiography, which the late founder dictated in the late Fifties and was transcribed into a book titled “Shoemaker of Dreams.”