CASE STUDY — Space.NK

Re-creating a Customized, In-Store Experience Online

For luxury beauty retailer Space.NK, personalization and mobile optimization are key to growing online sales and stoking brand loyalty.

Business Environment

Luxury consumers crave a personalized shopping experience, a fact nowhere better exemplified than in the $532-billion-a-year global beauty industry. Juggernauts like Sephora and Glossier have transformed stores into product playgrounds, filling them with customized, hands-on experiences—including free tutorials and virtual try-on technology—that win over shoppers and rapidly build brand loyalty. Space.NK competes in this marketplace as a purveyor of premier skincare and makeup with more than 60 stores in the UK and Ireland, 29 retail outlets in the US, and a strong wholesale business servicing its extensive customer network.

Challenge

Space.NK was struggling to extend the level of attention and service enjoyed by customers in its physical US and UK stores to its digital presence; the company was also interested in attracting a growing number of Generation Y and Z shoppers. Delivering a personal and bespoke service is of utmost importance for Space.NK and is the signature of its brick-and-mortar customer experience. To create a similar rapport with online buyers, it chose to partner with Astound.

Strategy

A thorough examination of Space.NK’s digital ecosystem revealed how and why the site was undermining its brand image, sales goals, and connections with customers. Four versions of the site existed, with inconsistent differences based on geographical internal ownership and user device, and the result was a disjointed brand and shopping experience that was not optimized for the increasing number of mobile consumers. And though each site supported user-personalization and brand-interaction options, they were built on outdated software that compromised the experience and relationship-building opportunities. We realized that creating a holistic customer experience that reflected the brand essence meant developing an experience-driven commerce ecosystem that included replatforming Space.NK’s ecommerce site, developing a new CX, optimizing the mobile experience, removing friction from conversions, and strengthening long-term customer-brand relationships. And all of it needed to be finished in a tight, four-month timeframe.

Execution

To complete the work in this aggressive timeframe, our strategists and engineers collaborated closely with the Space.NK team to consolidate the website into a single ecommerce ecosystem. This unified platform allowed us to address customer-personalization needs, increase site stability, and decrease page-load times; it also provided future flexibility to scale and enhance the site. We updated the site’s visual design, making it mobile friendly, ensuring a consistent and optimized experience across mobile phones, tablets, and desktop devices. To improve the CX, we identified key customer journeys and devised multiple ways to facilitate those journeys through cutting-edge design choices. Astound also introduced active data sets and geo-targeting to provide Space.NK’s digital customers with the same personalized recommendations and tailored shopping experience that they would enjoy in-store. And perhaps most important, we completed all work on time and on budget, meeting the deadline and making it one of the quickest full-site migrations of its kind.

The results

By satisfying two consumer behaviors driving luxury beauty sales—personalized service and the migration from desktop to mobile devices—we are transforming Space.NK into a digital-first brand that taps into the emotional reasons why people buy prestige cosmetics and skincare. Customers have a frictionless experience as they search for and purchase goods, with improved customization, searchability, and mobile optimization helping win a new demographic of shoppers. The geo-tagging functions support Space.NK’s interest in international expansion, while our detailed analysis of user journeys into the brand’s site is generating leads and helping the company develop loyalty programs to drive repeat business and lower customer-acquisition costs.

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