It’s officially makeover season. In efforts to ramp up sales and offer a better user experience, Barneys New York is giving its online site a makeover. The retailer is re-launching the site with a complete redesign that includes new features. The new site’s new look was revealed on Thursday, however the full launch that includes all the new features is scheduled for Monday.
“It’s a huge emphasis for us as a company,” said Daniella Vitale, chief merchant, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of women’s merchandising and barneys.com, as reported by WWD.com. “It represents one of the biggest opportunities in terms of revenue growth and market share. We wanted to create a completely dynamic and very emotional experience, which we couldn’t do with the old site.”
For the redesign, Barneys teamed up with digital agency Huge. The collaboration between the in-house team and the agency will present a cleaner aesthetic that aims to highlight product, offer simple navigation and a feature for shoppers to “favorite” items they like, with the selection appearing on a personal list through the “Favorites” tool. Shoppers will be able to share their list through social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, The Fancy or Pinterest. Barneys will suggest products for customers based on their favorites.
“With the list and things that you favor — it could be a designer, it could be a shoe — we will be able to tell your shopping patterns and recommend anything from a shoe size to a brand,” Vitale noted.
Effective with Monday’s launch, the “Favorites” tool will present special lists curated by celebrities, fashion personalities and other influential tastemakers. For the launch, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Julianne Moore, stylist Leslie Fremar, Katie Holmes and her co-designer Jeanne Yang, and chefs Melia Marden from The Smile and Michael Chernow from Meatball Shop will showcase their favorites.
The new site will also include a “Most Loved” feature, displaying the most trending items of the moment, which is measured by users “favoriting” products. The “Exclusively Ours” feature will inform consumers of items exclusive to Barneys and “The Window” will add editorial content to the site with information about art, lifestyle, culture, fashion and initiatives related to Barneys that can be linked back to the designer merchandise for sale. The visual icons associated with each feature will also be reflected at the stores.
Vitale said it was “critical” to engage consumers today. “The mobile device, the iPads, the smartphones…have changed life forever,” she said. “It’s very integrated in everyday life. The notion of on- and offline behavior has fallen by the wayside. It’s completely seamless. We use technology, we use mobile devices, we use Web sites to do everything these days.”
The site makeover and re-launch is the first major activity since Perry Capital became the majority owner of Barneys earlier this month. The redesign is part of the new strategic plan initiated by Barneys chief executive officer Mark Lee.
“We are not changing the DNA of Barneys but reviving the way we communicate with customers, and how we highlight what we do best and curate the best — product,” Vitale said. “The renovation of the store [serves] to create a clean backdrop, and that’s what we are now doing on the Web site. We know we have huge penetration of customers who shop Madison Avenue and the Web site. We want to make sure the messaging is the same.”