Bergdorf Goodman is bringing one of its alumnae and ex-Shopbop executive, Darcy Penick, back to the company as President this September. The luxury store has experienced slipping digital standards year after year, having fallen from Gifted to Challenged in Gartner L2’s digital rankings since 2013. If Penick plans to help return Bergdorf Goodman back to its original glory, here are a few places she could begin to avoid further unravelling for the company.
Though Bergdorf Goodman exhibits awareness of the customer experience in some ways, it falls short in others. For example, the luxury store focuses on brand-conscious shoppers by providing an alphabetical listing of designers and designer collections in the header of its website. However, leading department stores take it a step further by customizing their search experience based on the category of goods as well. Bergdorf Goodman’s category landing pages for dresses, for example, do include sophisticated filters—a crucial first step due to these filters’ importance in Google search visibility—but searches for “dress” only yield generic filters like size and color. By tailoring the search experience to include more contextual filters across categories, like “formal dresses” Penick could greatly enhance Bergdorf’s digital offering.
Another area in need of improvement is Bergdorf Goodman’s social media standing. Currently, its men’s Twitter account has been inactive since March of 2016. While old line department stores such as Bergdorf Goodman saw declining web advertising, mobile site performance, and social presence relative to other brands tracked in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Department Stores, pure play online retailers like Penick’s previous employer, Shopbop, saw significant improvement in these areas. For example, Shopbop posted on social from buzzy events such as Coachella, while also promoting both its apparel and services. Additionally, Shopbop earns high site traffic from display ads and pushes out creatives promoting Shopbop Rewards and Shopbop Gift Guide on major sites like ShopStyle.
If Shopbop’s improvement over the years is any indication of Penick’s future performance with Bergdorf Goodman, it’s possible the company could see a much-needed revitalization.