October 5th, 2010

Marc Jacobs Site Relaunch

I have been sitting on this post for a while since the new Marc Jacob's site launched a couple weeks back, mostly because I barely have enough time to eat, let alone blog.  A nice sinus infection has left me bed ridden and here we are…

Before I go into my candid thoughts about the new site, I want to take a minute to point out the stuff I really like…

First, hello eCommerce!  I know that seems lame, but in all honesty I am dealing with luxury brands that to this day that are still not convinced that going eCommerce is a smart move.  I met this one brand (not a client) that actually pulled one key product from all their retail locations to have it exclusively sold online- it was the only thing that was sold online, with no marketing around it.  This was their test to see if they should go the full monty, that’s a lot of pressure on one coat.  So frustrating.

Second, hello mobile optimization!  I can browse and purchase on my phone.  Bravo!  This should be every eCommerce brands’ top priority right now. In 2009, 240 million browsers on mobile devices were shipped, compared to 200 million browsers shipped on desktop computers.  mCommerce will eclipse eCommerce in the not so distant future, in fact more users will connect to the internet via mobile than desktop users in 5 years (Morgan Stanley-The Mobile Internet Report, March 2010).  All this mobile usage is not limited to $1.99 purchases of Angry Birds or movie tickets, there are some big ticket items being purchased via the mobile web. According to a source at Google, a $75K corvette was sold on eBay via mCommerce and BarMax, an iPhone application for people studying for the bar exam, is being sold for $1,000 on iTunes and has numerous reviews with an excellent score.  The bottom line is, the mobile web is not something we are looking to prepare for in the future, it is here, it is right now- Marc Jacobs has seen the light :)
Now for the stuff I hate, which is almost everything else on the site…
This is not the first time we have seen luxury retailers try to smash a brick and mortar store into website, but this is the first time creepy south parkensian avatars have been brought into the fold.  It’s 2010, no one expects a website should look like a regular store, in fact no one wants it to be.  The site takes forever to load and when it does it is so laborious getting from one place to another, you just want to give up, go to net-a-porter.com and call it a day.  
What luxury retailers keep forgetting is that the people who make the kind of money that allows them to shop at the likes of marc jacobs don’t think purchasing a $5K handbag is a luxury.  Having the time to do so is a luxury.  Time is luxury and guess what they don’t want to be doing with that precious time- meeting your goofy avatars.  They want to get in, see the product in detail, browse the items in as many ways as possible and purchase.  The end.  
Did you know you cannot search just for handbags? You cannot get a page of just handbags through navigation or search on the site.  Accessories, shoes & handbags are always bundled together.  Let me repeat that, you cannot look at just handbags on the marc jacobs site.  Let that sink in. 
This is thematic across the site, it was built in a way that does not let the user shop the way they want to shop, segmenting as they so choose.  It goes against the grain of all my online shopping instincts.
You wouldn’t know it from the site, but Marc Jacobs has a twitter handle, a facebook profile and a foursquare profile.  You literally cannot find a link to any of their social media platforms anywhere on the site, including the World of Marc Jacobs section.
I am a huge Marc fan and probably own more of his bags than you can shake a stick at.  When I first heard they were going eCommerce I was uber excited, thinking that I would finally have a place to shop his whole collection, and maybe join a community of like minded individuals around the brand.  What I got was this bulky site, insulting my web savvy with no connection to the social media platforms I have gone out of my way to join and participate in.
I think this just further proves my point that we are legitimately one generation away from brands being run by people who understand and embrace digital.  However, the smart leaders know that even if they don’t get it, they should surround themselves with people that do.
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momma of 3 boys, digital marketer, owner of RJK Project & adventure collector.

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