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Success Factors in Luxury and Fashion Websites

Fashion Blog ImageCustomers often ask me what they can do to make their site a success.  Pallasart has built many luxury and fashion websites for customers in Austin, all over the USA and abroad, so it is natural that the question comes up. I love designing new sites and I am passionate about the process of creating them.  I've designed sites for everything from world-famous established name brands to new web entrepreneurs who are just starting out.

Here at Pallasart, when we are first planning a site, we identify key words that describe a brand.  Keywords are not search engine terms, they're something different;  descriptive words like unique, fresh, new,  - you can see where I am going - and we come up with around 10-15 of them.  Then we then create a "brand story" of around 3-4 sentences incorporating these key descriptive words.  They are also woven into key marketing messages to be displayed through your site.  These key words are also used as attributes that we use to design the look and feel of the site.  Using those key word examples I already mentioned - a brand that is unique, fresh and new needs a site that looks unique, fresh and new as well!

So - next step; we outline the site's potential customers - who it is being built for - the demographics.  This process is critical to a great design and even more important - a successful site.

Fashion and luxury sites are built for different customer 'profiles'.  Fashionistas are a more youthful, faster-paced demographic that are web-savvy who buy online as second nature. They shop instore and online.  They are looking for casual, inexpensive items that make them look beautiful and sexy.  You have to keep on top of what's new and hot - what's on top today is old and forgotten before you know it!

Customers of fashion sites want the widest possible inventory to browse.  Change and regular updates to your site are critical to keep it fresh.  This promotes repeat visitors.  Fast navigation and easy to navigate categories are rated highly by fashionistas.  The shopping experience needs to be as simple as possible with the fewest steps in the buying process. Online fashion shoppers want multiple payment options - including PayPal.

Sales and promotions are critical to fashion buyers.  Once a fashion buyer has "fallen in love"  with your brand (sounds funny but you really want people to fall in love with it) they will return often and eagerly subscribe to mailing lists and product update notifications.  They will become your biggest promoters - telling their friends and posting favorable comments in social media websites.

Pallasart Sphinx ChairLuxury websites appeal to their own demographic, which is generally older and less price sensitive.  They take a longer time to make a decision to purchase and often prefer to complete a sale on the phone with a real person.  Luxury sites can have huge sales.  One of our website customers sold a diamond and ruby necklace on the web for close to $1 million dollars.  The customer was in Asia and made the purchase simply by looking at online pictures.  The site was for a world famous brand and the customer trusted the seller.  I'd also like to think the beautiful site we built for them was a factor.  We have run a couple of our own Pallasart luxury online businesses. I can personally report single $250,000 sales of multiple items to buyers from the USA and places like the Gulf Emirates.  Customers would order paintings, sculptures and other decorative luxury items sight-unseen.  We never had a problem with payment and developed long term relationships with many of these clients.

Fashion sites can use bold and trending colors; videos and snazzy graphics can also be pluses.  In contrast luxury sites work best when they use clean whites, grays and pastel shades and simple, sophisticated designs that appeal to luxury site visitors.  Taking more time to decide to buy, they often look for more detailed product information before adding an item to their cart.  "Inner Circles" , special preferred customer categories and sales appeal to luxury site customers.  They are less likely to sign up for mailing lists and want to clearly understand the benefits before they will join.

So, there are a few of my thoughts.  If you would like to discuss a luxury or fashion website just give us call at 512 469-7454.  Please ask for me and we can talk about your site objectives.  Pallasart is an Austin, Texas based web design company - and we build sites for companies all over the world.  So it doesn't matter where you are.

Bob Atchison

Austin Texas Web Design