LOS ANGELES — To follow the branding makeover led by ad campaigns featuring Daria Werbowy and a design collaboration personalized by Alexa Chung, AG is relaunching its e-commerce site with more digital content that emphasizes original projects and social media.
In the works for over a year, the new site for the premium denim brand based in South Gate, Calif., went live Wednesday. AG deemed it the right time to take the next step on the Internet, after marking 16 years in business, opening 10 retail stores as well as three outlets and generating more than $200 million in annual sales.
“Obviously, in today’s day and age, your e-comm is your global storefront,” said Johnathan Crocker, AG’s vice president of global communications, who oversees branding and marketing strategy. “We wanted to make sure it reflected the sensibility and direction we’re taking the brand.”
AG hit refresh across the board with its web business. Besides taking the e-commerce operations in-house from a third-party vendor, it changed its font and used a more discerning eye toward images splashed across the site to better align with the aspirational vibe the brand projected in ad campaigns shot by photographers such as Cass Bird. Following the conclusion of Werbowy’s spring campaign, her finale as part of a two-year contract, AG plans to post images from Chung’s forthcoming fall promotions, which were recently photographed by Theo Wenner in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Equally important was the emphasis on social media to supplement the photos from AG’s look books and online-specific shoots. For instance, AG is planning to publish Q&A columns with social influencers and It girls. It is also looking to repurpose images and other materials from social media, whether the creator has 100 or 100,000 followers. At the moment, the company is not paying a fee to reuse the content. Visitors can click and shop on the AG product highlighted in these posts.
“Customers react to that kind of content — content that is much more authentic,” Crocker said. “The likelihood of people making purchases increases.”
AG estimates that 10 percent of its total sales this year will originate from the e-commerce site. Eventually it wants to add technology that enables 360-degree video and photos showing how the clothing would look on a customer interested in making a potential purchase. Acknowledging that the investment in the new web site is “a fairly significant expense,” Crocker said digital is the direction that many companies like AG must pursue, especially when omnichannel retail is a key strategy.
“There is no silver bullet that addresses everything. It’s trying to reach our customer and our audience on various levels,” Crocker said, adding that the goal is to build “a site that people wanted to spend more time on other than to shop.”