February 23, 2011
French fashion empire Chanel is extending its ecommerce strategy to the mobile space with a new commerce-enabled, smartphone-optimized Web site.
Users can search for and browse through fragrance, makeup and skincare products, as well as special offers and a store locator. In addition to browsing various categories, consumers can search for specific items.
“Luxury brands must offer their customers a unique and mobile-optimized Web experience, as it has now become an expectation by consumers to search, browse and buy from their smartphone,” said Dan Lowden, vice president of mobile at Digby, Austin, TX.
“Luxury brands that create a great and unique experience different from their ecommerce site have the opportunity to reach and engage with their customers 24/7, creating greater loyalty and driving incremental sales from their mobile channel as well as supporting their ecommerce, catalog and in-store channels,” he said.
Digby mobilizes retail by enabling mobile Web and rich applications for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices. Digby did not mobilize Chanel’s Web site.
Mr. Lowden agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Chanel announced its mobile Web site via an email newsletter.
Chanel's email newsletter
How it works
Consumers who access the Chanel Web site from mobile phones will directly be rerouted to the mobile-optimized version. They can also reach the site from http://m.chanel.com.
Chanel users can now use the same features from the original Web site while on-the-go.
The main feature of the Chanel mobile homepage is a directory of different categories users can browse.
When users click on a specific category, it subdivides into more specific products within the category.
Clicking any one of these tabs brings users to a new section that lists the different items available along with thumbnail images and pricing information.
Each individual product page includes a larger image of the item. The page also provides a product description which lets users read-up on it before adding the item to the virtual shopping cart.
Consumers can enter their email address to sign-up for Chanel’s news and updates.
Driving luxury sales via mobile
A number of high-end retailers have broken into the mobile space recently.
For example, Kiwi Collection, an online destination that lets affluent travelers book reservations at discounted prices at luxury hotels, has bolstered its marketing strategy by optimizing its Web site for mobile device (see story).
As prosperous consumers are very likely to own a smartphone, providing a mobile site where they can browse and shop Chanel products is logical.
Mobile-optimized sites are the first step in a luxury brands mobile strategy, according to Mr. Lowden. Luxury brands must take a strategic approach to mobile when creating unique experiences and value for their consumers.
“Luxury brands should incorporate their mobile channel story in all if their outbound marketing and communication so customers are made aware of and are driven to the mobile site,” Mr. Lowden said.
“These elements should including mobile commerce messaging on their ecommerce site, catalogs, in-store, advertising, social media like Facebook and Twitter sites, for example,” he said.
Chanel's mobile-optimized Web site via iPad