CASE STUDY — Orlebar Brown

Launching an Immersive Commerce Ecosystem

Global engagement platform fuses data, design, and omnichannel storytelling to build lasting customer relationships.

Business Environment

The luxury retail landscape may have fundamentally shifted from brick and mortar to digital, but the core experience is still deeply rooted in unparalleled customer service. Ecommerce has to be more than an engine for product selection and fulfillment, as transaction-oriented websites cede ground to experience-driven ecosystems that meet the exacting demands of today’s mobile, socially connected consumers. London-based Orlebar Brown wanted to be in the vanguard of this digital elite. As a men’s vacation-wear luxury brand with stores in major cities around the world, this boutique retailer has carved out a lucrative niche in the men’s fashion marketplace. Orlebar Brown is known for delivering extraordinary experiences in-store, but they needed to engage consumers at all touchpoints—retail, wholesale, and direct.

Challenge

Senior officers at Orlebar Brown have always had ambitious growth targets, but its custom-built ecommerce platform was holding them back. While the website succeeded in enabling international transactions, it lacked the capabilities to power a customer-centric experience for visitors. The retailer wanted to streamline the journey from page load to checkout, and do a better job of supporting mobile devices. To revamp its ecommerce platform and create a more customer-centric, omnichannel experience, Orlebar Brown collaborated with Astound Commerce to design and build a new ecommerce platform that could harness behavioral data at every touchpoint, and use it to create rich consumer experiences.

Business Environment

The luxury retail landscape may have fundamentally shifted from brick and mortar to digital, but the core experience is still deeply rooted in unparalleled customer service. Ecommerce has to be more than an engine for product selection and fulfillment, as transaction-oriented websites cede ground to experience-driven ecosystems that meet the exacting demands of today’s mobile, socially connected consumers. London-based Orlebar Brown wanted to be in the vanguard of this digital elite. As a men’s vacation-wear luxury brand with stores in major cities around the world, this boutique retailer has carved out a lucrative niche in the men’s fashion marketplace. Orlebar Brown is known for delivering extraordinary experiences in-store, but they needed to engage consumers at all touchpoints—retail, wholesale, and direct.

Challenge

Senior officers at Orlebar Brown have always had ambitious growth targets, but its custom-built ecommerce platform was holding them back. While the website succeeded in enabling international transactions, it lacked the capabilities to power a customer-centric experience for visitors. The retailer wanted to streamline the journey from page load to checkout, and do a better job of supporting mobile devices. To revamp its ecommerce platform and create a more customer-centric, omnichannel experience, Orlebar Brown collaborated with Astound Commerce to design and build a new ecommerce platform that could harness behavioral data at every touchpoint, and use it to create rich consumer experiences.

Strategy

We confidently jumped into the assignment, even though the engagement came with a caveat: the new site had to be up and running before the Christmas shopping season, which would leave just five months from discovery to launch. Orlebar Brown engaged with us because the company wanted a development partner with proven technology credentials, coupled with a design aesthetic that could yield a catchy, creative, high-performance site.

“While our old website essentially did its job, it was difficult to add new functionality,” recalls Jamie De Cesare, digital director at Orlebar Brown. “Year after year we tried to make changes, but it was a little bit like Jenga—as soon as you move one block, everything collapses. We wanted a site that would live and breathe our brand and enable tailored experiences, so we could better serve our customers.”

Execution

Working closely with Orlebar’s founder, Adam Brown, and his team, our experts immersed themselves in a detailed discovery project to create a digital commerce roadmap. We also visited a number of Orlebar Brown’s physical stores to understand the design aesthetic that characterizes its brick-and-mortar presence. These onsite visits helped fine-tune the style guidelines, which made it much easier for us to design a seamless transition to the company’s ecommerce experience. Orlebar Brown’s new ecommerce platform went live on schedule, fulfilling the promise of offering tailored experiences—such as a Design Your Own service that lets customers convert a favorite photograph, drawing, or graphic into a personalized pair of swim shorts. We also streamlined the search feature and checkout process, easing the overall digital customer experience. The clean, taut look of the site fits the brand ethos like a well-tailored blazer.

“Astound went beyond the call of duty throughout the project,” De Cesare notes. “Whenever we needed them, day or night, via phone or Skype, they were there—and 100 percent committed to getting the job done. The face-to-face time we spent with Astound’s developers and solution architects was invaluable and fruitful, and everybody stuck to our strict timelines.”

Results

The new commerce platform delights customers, increases conversions, creates brand loyalty, and reinforces the unique values that have catapulted the luxury brand to global prominence. As Orlebar Brown continues to expand internationally, De Cesare and his team can easily add additional content and functionality, including new retail lookbooks that deliver rich media experiences. “Astound has gone the extra mile in terms of commitment, delivery, speed, and creativity,” De Cesare concludes. “We are looking forward to seeing how our new platform propels us into the next phase of growth.”
  • Astound drove a rapid implementation schedule, with just five months from discovery to launch. 
  • Innovative design delivers rich, omnichannel experiences that attract customers—and keep them coming back for more.
  • Load time has significantly improved, boosting website performance.
  • It’s easier to search for products and complete transactions, increasing cross-selling opportunities.
  • A new store locator and rich media content power an engaging and intuitive shopping experience.
  • Consumers see consistent renditions of all pages regardless of which devices they use, and can purchase goods with a couple of clicks.
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