Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 12.39.50 PMOf 85 brands our fifth annual 2013 Digital IQ Index: Fashion report, Versace showed the biggest year-over-year improvement in digital competency. Named ‘Gifted’ and ranked 25 in our Index, Versace moved its ranking up 36 percentiles from 2012. In the 2012 report, Versace was ‘Average’ and ranked 46 of 64 brands.

At the heart of Versace’s improvement is its site, lauded for its all-encompassing approach even though it was a relative latecomer to e-commerce. Just a month after the brand launched its flagship U.K. e-commerce site in September 2012, it created customized versions for the U.S., France, Italy, and Germany. The new sites are in the language of each country and prices are converted to local currencies. Along with customization, they maintain a consistent brand across countries. The models and collections are similar, and all offer order tracking, store locators, and similar shipping rates. Traffic to the Versace site increased 300% throughout 2013.

Marc Jacobs, which showed the second-highest percentile improvement (32%) in our Index, also redesigned its site in late 2012. The brand transformed its site from a Sims-like virtual in-store experience to a clean display of products.

Both Versace and Marc Jacobs are active on popular social media channels Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The latter has one of the top ten Pinterest and Instagram communities among Fashion brands. Nonetheless, these top improvers show that a well-designed, functional site is the central piece of an e-commerce strategy.

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