Astound designs luxury ecommerce experience for ELIE SAAB

Iconic international Haute Couture brand, ELIE SAAB, has partnered with leading digital commerce agency, Astound Commerce, to launch a new direct-to-consumer (D2C) site, which delivers a content-rich, immersive brand experience that recreates the VIP in-store customer journey virtually.

Lebanese fashion house, ELIE SAAB is synonymous with exquisite craftsmanship, with collections inspired by beauty and femininity.  A red-carpet favourite, the designer has dressed A-listers from Angelina Jolie to Taylor Swift amongst many others.  Responding to customer demand, the international Haute Couture brand has built upon its runway collections and bespoke designer tailoring to include ready-to-wear lines, accessories, home living and fragrances.

With five bricks-and-mortar boutiques globally and over 160 international stockists, including Harrods, Net-A-Porter and Saks Fifth Avenue, the fashion brand is working to extend its D2C ecommerce services, as it seeks to digitally engage existing customers and attract a new generation of digital-first luxury shoppers.

The online luxury sector has undergone a paradigm shift, driven in part by the pandemic accelerating ecommerce demand for luxury goods, but also as an increasingly younger, digitally-first demographic of consumers are now driving luxury fashions’ post-pandemic recovery.  McKinsey estimates that online luxury sales will more than triple by 2025, rising to US$91billion, a boost that is being driven by Millennial and Gen Z shoppers, who according to Vogue Business will account for a fifth of all luxury fashion spend by 2025.

Having already selected Shopify Plus as its preferred platform, ELIE SAAB chose to partner with Astound Commerce as its digital agency, for their strategic consultancy and vision-led approach to building the site – from digital strategy, creative services and UX to innovation and technical solutions.

Astound also strategised and implemented the vision for capturing the essence of the brand and bringing this to life digitally – taking ELIE SAAB’s brand identity and translating its values of product quality and craftsmanship, and commitment to the highest customer service, into the online buying journey.

Astound and ELIE SAAB developed the digital brand vision for the new website to ensure the ecommerce site is an authentic manifesto for the brand, with each content asset closely aligned with brand values and tone of voice.  It also incorporates communications strategies across four key shopper touchpoints – the website, email, Instagram and Facebook – ensuring consistency of key messages and brand voice that supports ELIE SAAB’s aspirations, as well as driving engagement and commercial opportunity.

Partnering with Astound Commerce to migrate its online platform to Shopify Plus, ELIE SAAB has launched a new transactional D2C website that will enable the brand to curate the highly personalised shopping journeys its discerning customers have come to expect, as well as bringing new VIP services and experiences online by integrating brand-led content and storytelling into the site.

This gives shoppers immersive, content-rich buying experiences, whilst showcasing the depth and breadth of its collections, from ready-to-wear and accessories to home living experiences.

Shopify Plus functionality has been further enhanced through key technology partner integrations to recreate the high-touch, in-store customer experience online including stockist.co, which allows customers to view and search inventory across all stockists including Flagship Boutiques, and Calendly, which gives customers instant access to appointment booking.  Further integrations with the ERP (enterprise resource planning) app, Navision, and tax compliance vendor, Avalara, ensure a seamless checkout and shipping experience for international customers.

Elie Saab Jr., CEO of ELIE SAAB, commented:

“We want to give our customers more from their digital experiences when shopping with us.  We want to give them that same ‘ELIE SAAB’ experience that they would be used to receiving in-store digitally, and that meant optimising every touchpoint of the online buying journey.  Astound had the strategic vision to translate our brand values online, delivering a strong content strategy and tone of voice, coupled with the technical know-how to get us there seamlessly as we re-platformed.  Now our customers can enjoy immersive, content-rich online shopping journeys, no matter what channel they choose to shop from.”

Astound Commerce Middle East Managing Director, David O’Sullivan, commented:

“Luxury is undergoing a revolution that is being driven by digital commerce.  Future-forward luxury businesses, like ELIE SAAB, have recognised that this accelerated and permanent shift is redefining how consumers will engage with their brands. Now luxury shoppers want the same highly curated, VIP shopping experiences and levels of customer service they receive in high-end boutiques to be replicated virtually through immersive digital buying journeys.  And that’s just what the new website will allow it to achieve.”

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