Known as ‘the founder of the French girl look’, Patou has epitomised Parisian chic since its conception in the couture world in 1914. The label was acquired by LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) in 2018, leading to a critically acclaimed relaunch, complete with a new ecommerce site.
LVMH didn’t want Patou’s site to sit on a complex platform; instead, the prestige powerhouse joined a raft of luxury merchants who are launching their stores on Shopify Plus. So they approached Underwaterpistol about building a Patou concept store; one that would transform the French fashion label into a digital fashion destination.
- Shopify Plus
- Shopify Scripts
Perfection is essential when working with a brand as prestigious as LVMH’s Patou. This means meticulous attention to detail is required across at every stage of the build. They came to us with sleek designs from their creative agency B-Reel, looking for a team of developers that could translate the look and feel into a functioning Shopify store.
And, because the Patou site was to be a proof of concept for LVMH, the finished product needed to be every bit as covetable as their French garments. There were some intricacies in the brief that called for creative problem-solving, with the added challenge of retaining the brand’s high equity.
One such challenge was the need for Patou to be accessible to fashion enthusiasts across the globe. Because the essence and experience of the brand must be represented accurately online, the site needed to offer full multi-currency, translation and region-specific content that’s compliant with local regulations.
LVMH understands the importance of creating inclusive and accessible sites, and has established numerous accessibility initiatives throughout the company. The Patou store had to be built in line with their initiatives, while also being fully compliant with local and international cookie laws.
With a heavy list of challenges, complex functionality, and no room to compromise, we had to do some creative, outside-of-the-box thinking. The plethora of solutions that were custom-built for Patou now integrate seamlessly together to provide a seamless, enjoyable user experience.
Optimising the user journey went far beyond making it ultra-functional. The full movement of the site – from animations to speed – had to exude the luxury of a Parisian boutique. By working closely with the LVMH team and B-Reel, we were able to iterate upon the UX to provide an aesthetically-pleasing build that’s optimised to boost conversions.
Premium customer experience
A bespoke lookbook was included in the user journey, allowing the ecommerce team at Patou to create shoppable mini collections and display them in an intuitive way on the site. We also built dynamic, editable content sections for the blog, so the Patou team could present their content in a more engaging way, without code-heavy plug-ins. This made impactful details – like thumb-stopping image carousels, embedded photo galleries and eye-catching headers – far easier to update for a fast-paced fashion house.
The blog also became a key part of the internationalisation campaign, created with full translation capabilities and best-in-class SEO.
Meanwhile, the dynamic product page sections simplified the process of updating the content on a product-by-product basis. Altering messaging and promoting unique selling points (USPs) – such as the sustainable supply chain – are now quick and simple actions for the Patou team to undertake in-house.
Within the collection pages, complex filtering was added so customers could find a product quickly and intuitively. This filtering dynamically shows or hides products based on search criteria, as well as locale.
Custom internationalisation development
By creating an internationalised ecommerce experience, the Patou content dynamically changes depending on which of the seven countries you’re visiting from, and which language you’re browsing in.
All of this is achieved under a single instance of Shopify, rather than having a separate platform for each locale. This keeps the domain in one location and allows for a seamless user experience, as well as aiding the global SEO campaign.
Every aspect of the site is localised, from merchandising on the collection pages to pricing, content, availability of products, and private sales periods for specific countries. While the translation of the site is automatically detected by the customer’s IP address, this can be overridden with a simple drop-down menu.
The on-site search plays a pivotal role in the customer journey and user experience. As such, it was important that the translation of the site also filtered through to the search, offering AI-based suggestions and results in local languages.
Shopify Plus custom checkout
The checkout on the Patou site has been custom-built to fit in with the luxury feel and flow of the user experience. It dynamically changes based on customer locale. Modifying the customer checkout allows Patou to offer a gift-wrapping service for their must-have pieces, improving the average order value (AOV) and overall experience. Additionally, including a custom 'terms of service' checkbox at the checkout ensures Patou is compliant with legal and accessibility requirements.
Speaking of accessibility requirements, the Patou store was designed to adhere to the highest standards – and beyond – with a focus on improving access site-wide. Meanwhile, in order to comply with GDPR and localised cookie laws, the site allows the user to have complete granular control over which cookies the site can use.
Representing such a prestigious brand accurately online can be a daunting task. But by working closely with the LVMH branding team, we built out a store that exemplifies luxury. The Patou store is the perfect blend of design and functionality, delivering a completely bespoke experience – no matter where you are in the world.
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