PARIS — Dior has launched a full e-commerce site in the United States as it continues to expand its omnichannel experience, with plans to roll out online sales to a host of new markets this year, including China and Japan.
Dior’s U.S. e-commerce site launched on Nov. 28 with a capsule collection designed by men’s creative director Kim Jones in collaboration with U.S. artist Kaws, which sold out in two days. On Feb. 21, its offer was expanded to women’s ready-to-wear, handbags, footwear, accessories, fine jewelry and timepieces.
Traditionally reluctant to sell its wares online, Dior has instigated a major change of strategy since the arrival last year of Pietro Beccari as chief executive officer. One of his first big hires was Jens Riewenherm as chief digital officer, charged with accelerating Dior’s omnichannel development.
Since joining last April, Riewenherm, formerly managing director of German luxury multibrand web site Mytheresa.com, has laid the foundations for a global rollout this year that will see online sales expanded to a host of new markets worldwide.
“Time and convenience are the new luxury — especially for younger generations. E-commerce and omnichannel are important pillars in our strategy to cater to this demand. But Dior stands for excellence and perfect customer service. Therefore, we needed to make sure that we have the right team and infrastructure in place to deliver a Dior experience for e-commerce as well,” Riewenherm told WWD.
The fashion house now offers online sales in 12 countries, mainly in Europe, in addition to South Korea and the United States.
“It’s a start, but we have more ambitious plans. We opened six countries in 2018, but most importantly we just launched our U.S. e-boutique. It was a shame not to be present in one of the biggest markets for online luxury fashion before now, but we had to make sure that the offer was right and the service perfect,” he added.
Following a first revamp last September, the Dior web site will receive a full makeover this spring, with the addition of features designed to improve the user experience, such as better navigation and filters.
“The site has now a clear e-commerce focus. Accessibility and simplicity were two key targets when we started to work on the new Dior.com,” he said. “We also introduced omnichannel features like click and collect or e-reservation in some test markets and will roll that out soon.”
In addition, Dior has set up new warehouses in Europe and the U.S. and recruited e-commerce teams in key markets. “We needed to start with the foundation to roll out omnichannel in a professional way,” said Riewenherm. “But this is only the beginning as we have ambitious targets, namely a Dior.com e-flagship which offers a broad assortment comparable to the physical flagships, combined with state-of-the-art omnichannel services and special digital animations that could involve, for example, pre-launches or e-exclusives.”
The scope of those ambitions was highlighted at parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s annual results press conference last month. “We are just getting started,” said group managing director Antonio Belloni. “We have very big growth ambitions for Dior online, but these are the early stages,” he added.
Although the brand is available on 24 Sèvres, the global luxury web site owned by LVMH, it has no plans to expand its multibrand presence online, Riewenherm said.
Among the biggest recent changes has been the addition of women’s collections, designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri, to the online offer. Going forward, Dior plans to better integrate its editorial content, focused on the house’s history and know-how, on the shopping pages.
“It won’t be separated and isolated on the web site anymore but rather integrated where we have the most traffic, on the category and product pages. We will use targeted Dior Mag articles to support e-commerce with storytelling, too,” said Riewenherm.