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China-based online department store Shangpin.com is hosting e-flagship stores for several brands it carries, including high fashion house Lanvin and lingerie designer La Perla. The e-flagship stores follow the model of a store-within-a-store concept in brick and mortar department stores; the flagship brands have a page of their own within Shangpin.com. The Lanvin page includes images of celebrities wearing pieces the brand, fashion editorials, and models next to standalone images of the pieces for purchase. That is a stark contrast to Shangpin’s other pages, which are just standalone images of objects next to product information and a link to buy.

In our Digital IQ Index: Department Stores report, we found that user experience can increase conversion rates in brick and mortar and e-commerce. For example, including videos on an e-commerce site can increase conversion rates by 160%. Maximizing that online user experience is especially important for department stores because they don’t benefit from the built-in advantages of aspirational brands, i.e. a name that users will flock to even if the online purchasing experience is subpar.

Online stores have started to take advantage of that brand recognition by featuring certain brands on their website. Most never go beyond a full-page ad or a link to product pages on a brand’s homepage, but an e-flagship unique to an online department store could increase conversion rates for luxury goods.

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