Hermès launches European digital flagship

Though Hermès launched into e-commerce as early as 2001, it had nevertheless started to lag behind, owing to an ageing website which was hard to access and had very limited geographical scope. As the luxury label announced last year, its digital make-over would involve the introduction of a new, revamped website. On Tuesday 3rd April, Hermès's new European website was finally launched, completing the label's digital transformation which began with a trial deployment in Canada last June, and in the USA since last October.

A screenshot from the new European website - Hermès

The French label was happy with the North American trial's results, especially the booming conversion rates, and has now made the site available in French, English, Spanish and German, launching it simultaneously in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, the UK, Switzerland and Sweden.

The new “digital flagship”, as Hermès defines it, is a fluid, easily navigated website with a twin dimension: e-store, now made more consistent with e-shoppers' expectations, and a strong, unique editorial platform - as was the previous website, which openly invited browsing but tended to lose its visitors' attention.

Notably, the new website highlights the work by French documentary director Frédéric Laffont with Hermès. Intended as a showcase of the label's expertise, the site is chiefly designed to boost Hermès's e-tail results in Europe. It is rich in editorial content, for example featuring video demos by sales consultants from some of the label's key flagship stores, and it showcases the entire product line. Navigation is intuitive, taking users across all of Hermès's lines, from ready-to-wear to handbags, silk scarves, watches, horse-riding apparel and equipment, fragrances etc.

A screenshot from the new European website - Hermès

Hermès recently reported record-breaking results in 2017 - a net income of €1.22 billion for a revenue of €5.5 billion - and now needs to exploit this new growth vector, closing down the digital gap with its competitors by adopting a parallel omni-channel strategy.

Hermès is also planning to extend the reach of its digital flagship to new, not inconsequential markets, for example by deploying it before the end of the year in China, a country in which Hermès has not yet ventured into e-tail.

Will this risk weakening the label's aura of great exclusivity? In parallel with this digital investment, Hermès continues to open new brick-and-mortar stores: eight new openings are announced for 2018, notably in California and in China.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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