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Taking Luxury Online

Leveraging Shopify Plus expertise, Astound launches luxury ecommerce site for ELIE SAAB

Award-winning
ecommerce experiences
designed to inspire

BUSINESS
ENVIRONMENT

Global haute couture brand ELIE SAAB is renowned for its bespoke and ready-to-wear collections available in five global boutiques and more than 160 international stockists including Net-a-Porter and Saks. A favorite of the red-carpet elite, the brand’s aesthetic encompasses feminine beauty, meticulous craftsmanship, luxurious materials, and distinctive designs. Its collection features an array of products, from ready-to-wear and accessories to interior design and fragrances—honoring the essence of haute couture and aspirational luxury.

Driven in part by the pandemic’s acceleration of ecommerce demand and the growth of a digital-first demographic of consumers, the global luxury market is expected to skyrocket. According to Vogue Business, Millennial and Gen Z shoppers will account for a fifth of all luxury fashion spending by 2025.

With ecommerce growth in the retail luxury sector and within its own customer base, ELIE SAAB recognized the need to recreate its in-store experience online and ensure it translated to the digital realm flawlessly. After reviewing potential partners, the company chose Astound Commerce to help launch an immersive direct-to-consumer (D2C) site and digitally recreate its aspirational shopping experiences.

CHALLENGE

ELIE SAAB identified several exciting opportunities for innovation. Its objective was to create a captivating, commerce-enabled site that would become an extension of its brick-and-mortar boutiques, offer immersive, content-rich environments to replicate its VIP shopping experiences virtually, and attract and inspire a new audience.

To ensure the new website would reflect the brand’s luxurious positioning while providing a seamless and personalized experience for customers, Astound created a digital boutique that is both visually stunning and easy to navigate. Astound and ELIE SAAB worked together to establish the right foundations for the brand’s enhanced digital environment, collaboratively shaping its digital proposition across the customer journey and outlining the business structures, technologies, and processes required to deliver maximum return on investment.

To make the website more responsive to the needs of ELIE SAAB’s growing international customer base, Astound integrated features to make the site more accessible to customers around the world.

STRATEGY

ELIE SAAB chose the Shopify Plus platform after reviewing other digital outreach options. In migrating the site to Shopify Plus, the Astound team worked with ELIE SAAB on every core service and area of the business. This included workshops on shaping the digital proposition across the customer journey and aligning it with the brand’s business objectives and operating model.

Astound's creative strategist worked with ELIE SAAB to create an enriched customer experience across four communication touchpoints: website, email, Instagram, and Facebook. This ensured that the ELIE SAAB ethos was reinforced by consistent language and phrasing across all touchpoints, driving customer engagement and maximizing commercial opportunities.

Astound then hosted a design direction workshop to confirm client preferences on site appearance and tone of voice. They followed up with a creative concept blueprint for four key site areas: the homepage, category listing page, product listing page, and product detail page. These benchmarks guided the design of all remaining pages and templates.

EXECUTION

Astound optimized Shopify Plus functionality through a series of key technology partner integrations that digitally recreated the personal aspects of a high-end in-store shopping experience. Noteworthy among these innovations is the integration of an online appointment booking system, offering customers instant access to schedule a private, virtual, or in-person session with their trusted ELIE SAAB Fashion Advisor. ERP integration ensured seamless checkout and shipping for international customers.

Other integrations included:

  • Accentuate Custom Fields, for advanced content management
  • Accessible, for accessibility management
  • Boost Commerce, for search and filtering
  • GDPR Backpack, for compliance management
  • Matrixify, for data import/export
  • Swym Wishlist Plus, for wish list management
  • Stockist.co, for searchable store locator functionality

A hallmark of the project was the close and mutually supportive interaction between ELIE SAAB and Astound. The creative vision and brand commitment of the ELIE SAAB team informed and inspired Astound’s developers, ensuring steady progress to a solution that was not only technologically powerful and responsive but also a meticulous reflection of ELIE SAAB’s brand values.

RESULTS

The new ELIE SAAB platform offers an immersive and rich customer journey that beautifully replicates the experience of shopping at the company’s retail boutiques. User friendly and responsive, the site now provides an obstacle-free pathway to the buy button, with an emphasis on consumer engagement and sensory appeal rather than aggressive and pointed marketing. As luxury shoppers seek out beauty and aesthetic identification in their shopping experience, ELIE SAAB is accommodating this desire digitally and seamlessly by serving the right content to the right shoppers at the right time.

Customers have responded enthusiastically to the company’s revamped digital presence: 

  • Browse times have climbed and stand well above industry benchmarks
  • Average order value (AOV) has significantly increased 
  • Revenues are exceeding plan expectations

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