Ever since January, when WWD leaked details of 24 Sèvres, LVMH’s late foray into e-commerce, fashion fans have been anticipating its launch — and wondering what to expect. Today, the site went live, confirming what has been reported — there’s a 77-piece capsule collection, items are available to ship to more than 80 countries, etc. — and revealing a number of unexpected elements. These five details likely caught a few shoppers off guard — and also made two things evident: Though international, the site caters to Paris, and even a site launched by LVMH and its Apple-bred digital officer, Ian Rogers, can have kinks out of the gate.
Customer service (during Paris hours, anyway) is a priority.
“E-commerce is driven by marketing efficiency and customer service,” Thomas Rankin, CEO of visual intelligence platform Dash Hudson, stressed in May, when discussing the site’s upcoming launch. “These are difficult to get right, so LVMH will need to prove that they can step up to the challenge.”
Consensus: It got off to a good (not great) start. The site is designed so that a “Personal Shopper” option, positioned in the bottom left hand corner, is a constant across pages. After clicking it, shoppers are met with a variety of services, all designed to assist with the shopping and purchasing processes.
Screen grabs from the Personal Shopper section on 24 Sèvres’ app
As one might expect, there’s the Personal Shopper option. By downloading the 24 Sèvres app and creating an account, shoppers can video-chat with one of four personal shoppers — all of whom are pictured on the site, for an extra-personal touch — Monday through Saturday, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Paris time.
There’s also a Style Bot, available through Facebook Messenger, meant to serve as a “Parisian fashion guide.” “Receive your bespoke style recommendation from one of our personal shoppers,” the site urges, above the “Message Us” call to action.
Though shoppers are met with an entertaining experience, involving lively GIFs and questions including “Pick your Parisienne alter ego,” the bot’s usefulness is debatable. A trial run, launched by a question about the top-selling shoes of the season, revealed obstacles (“With whom?” / “Co-workers” / “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand.”) and an unsatisfactory conclusion: After entering an email address and answering 14 questions, the shopper received the following message, wrapping the session: “Just give our team a few hours to inject their personal je-ne-sais-quoi into your bespoke recommendation and check your email inbox soon.”
A conversation between a shopper and 24 Sèvres’ Style Bot
Alternatively, shoppers can choose to live-chat with a personal shopper while on the site or speak with one on the phone (both within the same 12-hour time allotment), or connect with a representative through email — they can expect a response within 24 hours.
The loyalty program is chock-full of perks, particularly for Paris locals.
La Carte 24 Sèvres, 24 Sèvres’ loyalty program, offers a number of perks for those who join — and more for those who spend. The problem: Though “available soon online,” most (including Exclusive Rewards) are currently only available in store, at La Bonne Marché and La Grande Épicerie de Paris, the upscale grocery store located on the department store’s first floor.
The main draw for anyone to join: (eventual) Exclusive Rewards. For every dollar spent, loyalty members are rewarded one point. Once they earn 500 points, they are granted an Exclusive Reward — a limit of one per year — that earns them a gift voucher for 10 percent of the amount they spend on the day they redeem their Exclusive Reward.
Perks currently available to baseline members (“Status Invité”) online include invitations to private offers, free delivery of purchases over $300 and basic alterations free of charge.
Members who earn 1500 points (“Status Initié) are treated to free delivery on all purchases and access to seasonal beauty and skin care events offered online. 24 Sèvres shoppers based in Paris also receive free parking when picking up “Click&Collect” (a buy-online-pick-up-in-store program) items totaling over $100 and free “complex” alterations on Click&Collect buys.
Finally, those who spend more than $4,000 receive a free two-hour styling session once per year — remotely, through video consultation, for non-locals. In addition, Paris-based shoppers are granted free valet parking and complimentary express alterations (within 48 hours) on items purchases through Click&Collect.
Clearly, those with easy access to Le Bonne Marché have an advantage.
LVMH plans to play on Pinterest.
Amid a big digital push, it makes sense that LVMH is increasing its presence across social channels, through 24 Sèvres accounts. Some, we were aware of: Last week, Glossy reported that the site teased “24 secrets of the launch” on Instagram. However, the site also links out to pages on YouTube, Pinterest and Snapchat. Pages have yet to be populated with pins and posts — and the Snapchat link is currently broken — but that’s clearly in the plans.
Indeed, Kering brands are in the mix.
Though known that only around 20 of 24 Sèvres’ 160 brands would be LVMH-owned, many speculated that brands owned by fellow luxury conglomerate, Kering, would be eliminated from the bunch. Not so. Among the alphabetized list of designers: many of Kering’s top brands, including Stella McCartney, Gucci, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen.
It’s not all commerce.
Editorial content is included, though it’s kept separate from the shopping experience – and clearly not a main focus. By clicking on one of ten boxes on the “Explore” page (located through a top nav), shoppers will find everything from videos featuring the 24 Sèvres capsule collection (there’s currently no click-to-shop option) and a slideshow of accessories photographed on the rooftop of Le Bonne Marché, to “Un Café S’il Vous Plaît,” a photo tour of local coffee shops in Paris’s Rive Gauche.