Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Malmo - Web Merchandising Case Studies and Examples

Liebling Clogs 549Kr and Bric-a-Brac Cardigan 1099kr; Bolia Casoli chair from €199 and Quadro shelf from €399; Lindex Sunglasses £6.99 and Short Sleeve Dress £34.99; Bolia Angie pillow €49, Twiiitter table lamp €179 andGrandpa clock €65

A couple of weeks after going to Berlin, we went to Malmö (not been abroad in yonks and then we end up taking two trips in a month - strange, huh?)

I really liked Malmö - different to, but equally enjoyable as Copenhagen (I visited and wrote a post about the Danish capital a year or so ago).

Though I wanted to do a little shopping, I failed to find any interesting stores until closing time on Saturday. So I have since done some virtual retail tourism and looked up the websites of the shops I missed. I found some interesting and really attractive pages:

I spotted several outlets of a large retailer called Lindex. When I searched for them online, I found that they had opened their first British store last week.

At the top of their homepage was a large carousel displaying a message about the new store, a link to a charitable collection (there was more about this immediately below) and finally a link to the children's department. The first and second images were the same, which seemed maybe a little bit of a waste.
Simple carousels were used to good effect midway down and towards the bottom of the homepage too. In general, the CTAs were clear, directing you to product galleries, offering you the option of signing up to newsletters, etc. Clickable product names and prices and a + symbol allowed you to view products in a small pop-up.

Messages about delivery times, returns, and an offer for free delivery when you bought from a particular collection appeared in several places on the homepage. Delving deeper into the site however, there was some confusion over whether standard orders would be despatched or delivered within 4-6 days. We were told that the longer waiting times were due to their warehouse being located in Sweden, which was nice and transparent. A free click and collect service was offered, though not communicated on the homepage. The checkout was streamlined and it was possible to proceed to purchase without creating an account.

Their top navigation bar linked to three product categories, a page of new products, a lookbook (shoppable, glossy images of recent collections), and a magazine (which contained substantial fashion content and was also shoppable).

From the category pages, you could reach various subcategories, new products, future products, sustainable products and best sellers. Once you reached the products, they were logically grouped and you were able to filter by colour, size, style and brand, as well as sort by price. This area of the site was very strong.

One small thing I would say is that their Google snippet details how customers have 30 days' right to withdraw from purchase. It would be good if eventually it was more descriptive of the substance of the site.

I have seen a couple of Bolia's in Northern Europe and always been intrigued by their statement shop design (vertical gardens, altar-like cash-desks...) Their website proved to be as interesting as their stores.

If Lindex reused one image for the first and second position of the carousel at the top of their homepage, Bolia went one step further. The two images on their carousel contained no furniture - both were striking, black and white photographs of people, one linking to a new collection, the other explaining delivery.

The website was built around coloured rectangles. The colours made the pages vibrant and showed white furniture to its advantage. In product galleries, the rectangle-design meant that certain articles could be four-times the size of others, and that  messages could be inserted, without looking out of place.

The most prominent categories were sofas, living room, home office, dining, storage and accessories. Nice, context images were used for categories and sub-categories, whereas product pictures were simpler. In product galleries, you were able to refine by price and design.

Product pages contained information about the designer, some inspiration on how the product might look at home and some additional products, said to be recommended by the designer.

A pop-up allowed you to find out delivery times. The cost of delivery however was visible only at checkout.

There was a lot of rich content - an inspiration page (with lookbooks, descriptions of the collections...), a page about their designers, a page with information and beautiful photos/videos of their stores, an Instagram feed, a match-making page (!)

All this made for a really aspirational site, but one that could perhaps do with a 
tiny bit more polish.

We arrived at Liebling (meaning favourite, or darling, in German, I think) at 5.35 on Saturday, so my experience of the physical store was limited to pressing my nose disappointedly against the window as they cashed up. All the same, I got a strong, positive impression of colourful, well-constructed products and half-modern half-vintage decor, everything with its own particular beauty. The website really captured this feeling and for the site of a boutique, it was well-designed and well-maintained.

The presentation of categories and subcategories at the top of the homepage was elegant, though it didn't follow the most logical order perhaps - they sold a lot of children's products for example but that category didn't have a terribly prominent position.  There were however useful links to news, a product listing sorted by brand, an edited selection of favourite pieces and Liebling's own production. Product galleries were organised and the quality of the imagery was fairly high.

Several products appeared in multiple galleries - more whimsical homeware under children as well as home for example - increasing their exposure.

On the product pages, some good further products were suggested under the item you were looking at - functionally and stylistically similar.

A delivery offer was highlighted (free within Sweden over 1000Kr spend) but I don't believe you could see the actual delivery price except on the ts and cs page.

Finally, there was a wordpress blog of cute and useful posts, which linked to particular products and powerfully conveyed the spirit of the store.

Hope you've had a less tiring start to the week than I have!