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Adolfo Domínguez: Rethinking the designer experience for the online world

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Fashion retailing has changed a lot since Spanish designer Adolfo Domínguez founded his eponymous fashion label in the early 1970s. But according to the company’s ecommerce director there is more continuity than one might think.

The company has been working to replicate the experience of one of its physical storefronts online, according to Patricia Alonso, ecommerce and marketing director.

Adolfo Domínguez came online in 2012, and since then the online offer “hasn’t stopped evolving”, she says. Over the 2017-2018 financial year, online sales grew at more than 20% year-on-year.

Alonso, who took on her role in July last year, emphasises the importance of connecting with the public.

“When you go into an Adolfo Domínguez shop, you know it is one of our shops because of how it smells, its architecture, the way we care for our customer.

“Our aim is to bring that experience to our online shop.”

This view of the compan’y extends to marketplaces like Amazon, which Alonso claims are “just another retailer like shopping centres or franchises…through all of them we have our identity.”

One way of projecting the retailer’s identity is social media, which she says is its “biggest ally to attract new clients. It allows us to reach different segments, to get to know them and bring traffic to our site.”

“But there is no point in attracting customers to our web or stores if the experience they will live in them isn’t worth it,” she says. “Our customers’ experience, on social media, on the web or in the stores is key to everything we do.”

Another part of the experience is the use of customer data to create a “continuum” across different channels. Adolfo Domínguez uses a CRM platform for all online and offline purchases.

“This allows us to [tailor] our offer according to the customer favourite channel and personalise our communications and promotions.”

Where does this leave the physical store, of which the retailer still has nearly 200 across Spain alone? Alonso says it is “part of the purchasing process” but it also has a wider role in improving the customer experience.

Adolfo Domínguez’s delivery offer is less generous than many contemporaries in the online fashion world, which Alonso suggests is not by accident. Delivery is secondary to the product.

“We are a designer brand,” explains Alonso. “In an industry ruled by passing trends and fast fashion, we create timeless pieces of clothing that last many years in our customers’ closets.

“We want our products to arrive as soon as possible to our clients’ homes, but also with the quality, packaging and experience that identifies Adolfo Domínguez as a brand.”

Alonso says that this year will see the company focusing on the optimisation of its logistics processes and making its offer more bespoke. In online, she adds, “the best is yet to come”.

“We are already thinking about 2020 and further ahead. In 2018 we developed a new concept for our stores and merged of all our brands into Adolfo Domínguez and I’m sure that in 2020 we will surprise online as well.” 

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