After a successful test of e-commerce last fall in its home market of Canada, outerwear firm Canada Goose is now launching direct-to-consumer shipping to the U.S., which is the fastest growing market for the company.
The launch is set for September 1 at canada-goose.com.
Kevin Spreekmeester, chief marketing officer of the company, said the move was informed by market trends that show robust growth in online shopping. Moreover, technology is allowing for better merchandising of goods – especially in the area of sizing and fit.
WWD: Consumers seem to be fully comfortable with online shopping for apparel. Is this driving the launch of shipping goods to the U.S.?
Kevin Spreekmeester: Yes, I think consumers have been quite comfortable buying online for a while now and that is only increasing as technology improves and brands become more savvy in communicating their unique value proposition in a meaningful way online. The drive behind our ecommerce launch is to offer Canada Goose customers an inspiring experience where they’ll benefit from the highest level of service. Not only does that mean offering a wider selection of product, it also means providing decision-making tools to help them find the perfect product for how and when they’ll be using the product, as well as their body type and preferred fit.
For example, fit analytics have been integrated to all product pages, which show in detail exactly how each jacket will fit, to drive a more informed buying decision. Another useful tool will be the availability of authentic consumer reviews.
WWD: As a brand, Canada Goose has a dedicated following. How does that played out online?
K.S.: Wearing a Canada Goose parka evokes a powerful experience – often it’s the first time people have truly felt warm – and that’s an experience they can’t help but share. In response, we’ve incorporated a place [on the Web site] for robust user reviews, including showing how likely customers are to recommend the product to a friend. A simple, honest evaluation that is valuable feedback for a potential buyer, and extremely useful information we can action from a product design and development perspective – it makes the consumer an influential part of our ongoing design process.
But as a storytelling brand, the site will do more than just provide information. Our products are unique, each with their own story and background. From the Skreslet Parka inspired by Laurie Skreslet who was the first Canadian to summit Mt. Everest, to the Mystique Parka made for Rebecca Romijn when she was filming “X-Men” and needed a full length jacket to keep her warm (body paint was her only costume!), our new site will shed light on the inspiration and design of the products, showing customers not just which product is best for them, but why.
WWD: Many companies have discovered that direct selling strengthens a brand by increasing consumer awareness and engagement. Did that weigh in on the decision to ship to the U.S.?
K.S.: We’ve been fortunate to have an extremely strong relationship directly with consumers, long before we became an online retailer – mostly because of the strong experiential nature of our brand, which drives huge word of mouth, and then is amplified via social media interaction.
Through this new channel we’re certainly looking forward to deepening those relationships and increasing engagement, as well as driving awareness with a broader spectrum of consumers – not just of our wide selection of products, but of our authentic story and the brand we’ve built over the last 55-plus years.