The New Barneys.com
Huge redesigned Barneys.com, translating the iconic department store brand to digital and setting a new standard for luxury e-commerce.
In the world of high-end retail, Barneys New York is the epitome of elegance and class, offering products that embody both sophistication and stylish innovation. Shoppers come to Barneys not only for its unique offering of clothing, accessories and gifts, but also to enjoy the unparalleled customer service that only a luxury brand can impart.
Barneys recognized that the divide between its in-store and online customers was blurring, and that “shopping” was an ever-changing notion. Customers who traditionally frequented the iconic department stores were using digital technology, and they were increasingly visiting the Barneys website before, during or after an in-store visit. Barneys.com was the company’s fastest-growing channel, but online sales still lagged behind store sales. The opportunity to expand e-commerce—and, in doing so, drive sales and grow market share—was immense.
Barneys engaged Huge to create an online experience worthy of the brand and its customers—a website that would not only translate the experience of shopping at Barneys New York into the digital space (including on mobile devices), but also enhance it. The new Barneys.com would revive and refresh the way Barneys communicates with its customers, as well as integrate seamlessly with the in-store experience.
In the discovery phase, we recognized that the brand’s greatest assets were its strong brand recognition and trust, its high-quality and originally curated products, and its superior customer service. Barneys customers value the brand for its forward-thinking edginess and awareness of new designers and trends.
We identified that the biggest opportunity was with repeat site visitors who converted at a higher rate and who had larger-than-average cart sizes. The new site had to bring the brand and products to life in a way that would bring these critical users back.
Given these findings, Huge developed a three-pronged approach. First, we put the spotlight on the products. We developed a clean, simple site aesthetic that draws the user’s attention to the vividly presented merchandise. We updated product navigation and categories, adding “New Arrivals,” “Trends” and “XO: Exclusively Ours,” and created a product layout that resembles an art gallery. Shopping on Barneys.com is so streamlined that registered users can complete a purchase in just two clicks.
Second, we designed the site to deliver on the principle of “shopping with a story.” Users can create lists of products, designers or categories they like, then share them on the site itself, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Collectively, the most commonly “Favorited” items are designated “Most Loved,” and users can view and search the entire list of trending items at any time.
Third, we made sure that the site would be just as easy to use and engaging to men as it was to women. We began by changing the navigation: the main categories are now simply “Women,” “Men,” “Home” and “Kids.” In execution, we extended all the new site features to the male audience.
Huge built the Barneys website to optimize the user experience across all platforms and to support business goals broader than e-commerce. Furthermore, the icons we designed for “XO,” “Most Loved,” “New Arrivals” and “The Window” will now be reflected in the stores themselves, merging the in-store and online shopping experiences. Huge also produced many other proprietary assets for the redesign, including video and photography.
Since the new Barneys.com launched in May 2012, site traffic increased 34% and CEO Mark Lee predicts the online store will soon overtake the Beverly Hills location as the second-largest revenue producer after Madison Avenue. After receiving tremendous accolades in the press and larger fashion and retail community, the redesigned site went on to win the OMMA Online Advertising Creativity Award for Best Retail Website in 2012. Luxury Daily also cited Barneys’ e-commerce renovation as key to clinching the publication's 2012 Luxury Retailer of the Year award.
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