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Alexander Wang’s online home at alexanderwang.com is getting a new look today — its first major overhaul since launching in July 2011.
This story first appeared in the December 2, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“We started e-commerce before we had our first retail store,” Wang said. “It was one of our first big ventures as a brand.” The designer described the new site as minimal, engaging, functional and easy to navigate. Currently, sales from alexanderwang.com make up 20 percent of the company’s direct-to-consumer business — but Wang expects the site to become the single-biggest contributor to the direct business by 2015. The company has 16 freestanding doors, the most recent opening was two months ago in Tokyo’s Aoyama District, as well as wholesale accounts.
The new site was designed in-house with Createthe Group’s CTS platform powering the commerce component and Wang said he wanted it to require as little clicking as possible. “You’re able to browse and shop and not lose track of where you started and where you want to end up. That was our main goal,” he said.
The brand rolled out e-commerce in Europe last year, and according to Wang, global sales online have increased quickly since launching an international site in collaboration with Yoox in Asia in May 2012 and in Europe that December. The majority of the brand’s online business still comes from the U.S., but 60 percent of the company’s growth overall is coming from Europe. Most of Wang’s retail and wholesale business is international: 65 percent comes from outside of the U.S., with Europe ranking as the biggest market.
Wang said handbags are the strongest-selling category on the Web site (while shoes stand as the quickest-growing category overall). On a global scale — where the brand is carried in 700 doors — 54 percent of the business is apparel and 46 percent is bags and shoes.
The brand’s other digital efforts include accounts on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Wang said his intention is to create an interconnected space where each platform has specialized content. And while Instagram is his favorite social medium personally — “I have a personal one that I share with my friends and it has like 20 followers,” Wang said — the brand has yet to actively share on the platform.