Classic Design, Modern Approach: Burberry’s Take On eCommerce

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12:22 PM EDT January 4th, 2013

That Burberry has been around for 150 years is a big part of its success. But while its design and label can revel in its age, its marketing and sales strategies cannot.

According to Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry, that’s why her company is renewing its focus on eCommerce.

“We always said if we were going to target a millennial consumer than we had to do it in their tongue, which is digital,” Ahrendts told the Associated Press. “We just kept evolving the structure.”

That structure now combines elements of traditional brick-and-mortar retail with digital and mobile components for what Ahrendts hopes will be a “seamless” transition between online and offline buying.

Some of Burberry’s in-store initiatives include iPads for children to play with and video screens with Burberry fashion shows, while its online platform includes monthly updates to and a customizable coat feature called “Burberry Bespoke.”

Michael Cohen, chief retail industry analyst with the NPD Group, said Burberry’s evolution is important because it represents a retaliation that brands cannot survive on name value alone.

“It’s very easy to allow an iconic brand to remain true to its heritage and at the same time obsolete itself, Cohen said. “The hard thing to do is keep the iconic brand relevant.”

Ahrendts noted that Burberry sees around 10 times more online customers than all of its physical stores see combined, and referred to her iPhone as ‘the biggest flagship store in the world.” She went on to discuss finding the balance between reaching out to digital users and overwhelming them with marketing, but Cohen indictaed that any move towards the digital world is a positive step.

“To me, the key is that even the luxury brands have to learn, have to evolve,” Cohen said. “Without evolution the luxury brands will be overtaken by more progressive, up and coming luxury brands. Luxury has to worry about keeping their brand alive.”

To read more about Burberry’s digital platform, click here.

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