Moda Operandi is about to get more immersive — and expensive — with a new shops-in-shop section that will be introduced on the site today.
Burberry will be one of the launch partners to kick off phase one of Moda Operandi’s Flagship concept. It’s the first time that Burberry’s entire runway show will be available for pre-order, as well as the first time the brand will be sold on modaoperandi.com. Dolce & Gabbana will launch on Oct. 7 and Oscar de la Renta on Oct. 19. Each sale will last for approximately 10 days.
The concept mirrors branded shops-in-shop at high-end department stores and will give customers a more complete take on the designer’s vision featuring runway looks, which are generally more elaborate and more expensive than a designer’s other offerings.
Lauren Santo Domingo, the luxe e-tail Web site’s cofounder, said it was discouraging to see designer fashions presented in an “endless stream of product” online, often side-by-side with contemporary looks and accessories.
Most e-commerce efforts — including her own at Moda Operandi — have been built for ease, convenience and speed, but Santo Domingo said there is more about the e-commerce experience than “how many clicks it takes to get to checkout.”
“Fashion has got to be a little about the beauty, magic and experience,” Santo Domingo said, emphasizing the importance of how a brand is presented digitally. “Our customers want to buy into this. It’s important to me that designers have a place to be showcased.”
She pointed out that the average order value for the site’s online trunk shows is upwards of $2,300 — and the order size more than triples during the runway shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris to $7,800. This is significantly higher than other luxury e-commerce destinations, including Net-a-porter and Farfetch, which have each reported average order values of around $650.
Moda has big plans for its flagship boutiques. Phase one is mostly limited to pre-ordering from trunk shows. But the second season, or phase two, will feature full collections of in-season items alongside of the trunk show offering.
Each vendor will have a dedicated brand ambassador who knows the offerings inside and out.
“The client is coming into the world of the brand and I actually consider that to be a very sophisticated level of service,” said Deborah Nicodemus, Moda’s chief executive officer. “[They] can view a collection and not in an environment with noise — that is a service within itself.”
Nicodemus projects that the category will account for 25 percent of all sales by 2020 with the e-tailer adding roughly two brands per season over the next five years.
“This is heavy lifting for Moda,” she said. “We want to absolutely ensure that we are respectful and really adhere to their design language. The clear objective is to respect the standards of excellence the brand has already established.”
Brand Flagships are the latest effort for Moda Operandi to target its designer savvy consumer, following a Web site redesign in April. In the five months since the relaunch, traffic to the site has jumped by 44 percent. New clients have increased by 94 percent and conversion rates are up 30 percent year-over-year. Following the launch of its London showroom last year, the site will open additional physical spaces both in the U.S. and internationally between 2016 and 2018. Nicodemus said the company is on track to turn a profit in 2018 and hit the $500 million sales mark in 2020.