Blog Post - Shalina Ganatra, Dec 5 2017

Can retailers teach luxury brands how to describe products?

Can retailers teach luxury brands how to describe products?

With the continued global growth of eCommerce, manufacturers and brands are still behind the curve, and none more so than brands in the luxury sector.

Some brands appear to invest minimal time or effort into detailed content of their products on their own websites, and often retailers have much better product information than brands. This is surprising, given that the luxury brands are best placed to provide engaging and detailed information to their potential customers. Not only is good product information useful for prospective customers considering spending hundreds (if not thousands) of pounds on an item, but detailed data can also provide SEO benefits.

It is no surprise then that online retailers are seeing success, and a few forward thinking brands are investing in their own product data.

Below are some examples of good and not-so-good eCommerce best practice for a Product Detail Page (PDP)...

Balmain and matches fashion

French fashion house Balmain have taken a minimalist approach to their product description. The majority of their descriptions are minimal, lacking in the inspirational and engaging language favoured by retailers such as Matches Fashion. Whilst it could be argued that most customers are unlikely to read the description, it seems a missed opportunity to express the brand tone of voice.

Bulgari, selfridges and aspinal

Perhaps an example of an over-flourished description can be found with Bulgari, who are well known for high end jewellery. Whilst they provide an embellished product description of the collection, there is little information specific to the actual product itself.

Compare this to Selfridges, who include the carat, pendant diameter and chain length. Selfridges also include a photograph of the packaging - this is especially important for luxury jewellery which is likely to be given as a gift.

The challenge of getting across the sizing of products when viewing them online has been tackled by luxury brand Aspinal of London in another clever way. They use third party software to showcase the size of a product relative to common items such as an iPhone, magazine and Macbook Pro.

roland mouret and net-a-porter

Another example is Roland Mouret, the French designer well loved for his critically acclaimed creations by celebrities like Victoria Beckham and Nicole Kidman.

As a brand, the Roland Mouret website could do more to showcase their garments - some products didn't even feature multiple images, and none had videos of the garments being worn by a model. Compare this to Net-a-Porter, where the majority of their products include catwalk videos on the product detail page.

how luxury brands are missing an opportunity

Luxury fashion brands have early access to their own products as soon as they are manufactured, and should maximise this benefit to provide detailed and engaging descriptions, superior photography and catwalk videos on their websites. By failing to use their own websites to elevate their brand and products they are missing this opportunity and allowing retailers to gain an advantage.

Arguably, retailers have better knowledge of how and why people shop and should use this insight in their PDPs to deliver great customer experience, aid the shopping process and ultimately drive sales.

However, all the brands mentioned in this blog have eCommerce enabled websites which is a step in the right direction in comparison to their more digitally backward counterparts such as Givenchy, Chanel and Celine who have yet to launch transactional websites and will be playing catch up to the more established brands and retailers.

Here at Salmon, we work with a range of luxury retailers and brands, including Selfridges and Ted Baker.

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