Hermès rethinks its digital strategy
"2017 will be a year of digital change for us," said Hermès chief executive Axel Dumas at the presentation of the company's annual results. While those results do not detail separate numbers for Hermès' e-commerce sales, they do say that "the growth rate of the site is significantly higher than the growth of the company's overall turnover." A result which the Hermès boss is particularly proud of, considering the site "sort of stumbles along."
In fact, during the Christmas season, the Hermès e-shop was the group's best performing store for global neck tie sales.
As Axel Dumas said that "Hermès was the first luxury brand to launch e-commerce in 2001, especially in the US. We are primarily retailers and wanted to handle our own online sales directly rather than hand over this business to an external corporate site."
However, the website has aged, while new technologies have forged ahead. "In wanting to maintain great image quality, we lagged behind in getting a mobile app," admits Dumas, who also acknowledges the website's lack of clear organization. "To recreate the magic of Hermès, we decided to make a site where people could lose themselves. The result: people were really lost!"
Hence, the need today for the group's review of its digital strategy. Wilfried Guerrand, already in charge of shoes and women's ready-to-wear, has been working on the site for a year and a half. The idea is to fuse the e-commerce store with the corporate website.
"We hope to launch the new site in 2017. We will first run a test in a small country," says Axel Dumas.
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