Anthropologie is a moderately upscale American retail chain that curates an assemblage of various brands for a decidedly feminine lifestyle. With stores arranged in impeccably casual fashion, they provide their target consumers (women 2842) with an eclectic boutique-like shopping experience where they can gather items such as vibrant dishcloths, an overstuffed antique-looking sofa, a great pair of jeans and a progressive, designer bagall in one convenient location.
Owned and operated by Urban Outfitters, Inc., the company responsible for its signature chain, Urban Outfitters, as well as the collegiate clothing brand Free People, Anthropologie began seventeen years ago as a direct-mail business, then expanded into retail outlets and now boasts an impressive category growth of 27.6 percent in the past year alone. Urban Outfitters, Inc. and the brands under its umbrella are bucking financial trends with an upward swing in a downward-facing economy.
According to their website, the founders of Anthropologie created the chain to “cultivate a shopping experience unlike almost anything else in retail today.” Their touchy-feely messaging matches their feminine look, describing their collection of designers as artists with “an eye for craftsmanship, the smallest details, and that certain something special that makes each item you find in our stores and website more than novelty but a personal discovery.” Matching the romantic sensibility of many of their products, it also refers to their consumers as “soulmates.”
Despite never having advertised, Anthropologie’s customers stay longer in the stores than most chain shoppers, with an average visit clocking in at an hour and 15 minutes. Brandchannel paid a visit to Anthropologie.com to see if their online presence invites users to linger over their own special brand of boho mojo.
When a brand has such a strong identity woven into their catalog, the ideal would be to match that sensibility online, which Anthropologie doesat least visually. The homepage focuses on trends and “pushes” seasonal items with accompanying tag lines that outline the solutions to your shopping dilemmas (“Wild about bottoms, bewildered by tops? Visit Bottoms Up!”).
Such vast product offerings can be challenging to organize and display, but the folks at Anthropologie take a methodical, traditional approach to online sales, keeping the basics all in order with clear product images and detailed information.
It’s one task to make your brand’s website look as good as your catalog or your stores, but it’s another to entice target consumers to linger by offering tangible benefits from shopping on the site. The “For Your Home” section has found a way to do this with “Dwelling Dos” that provide a combination of information and interaction. For example, the homepage, featuring hardware, informs consumers about the benefits of their vast selection of drawer pulls and leads them to a “Personalize Your Look” page that encourages viewers to drag and drop the drawer pulls on mock furniture pieces so they get a visual of what the accessories might look like in life.
However, the “For Your Self” section, featuring clothing and accessories, is surprisingly devoid of value-added fashion content, save for a spotlight widget that delivers a featured product of the day to users’ desktops. They might consider upping the ante. By providing online shoppers with style guidance to help them assemble that chic Anthropologie look, the brand in turn enhances its positioning as an arbiter of bohemian style.
Overall, Anthropologie.com does a decent job of conveying the decidedly feminine sophistication of the brand. With a few tweaks and additions of value-added content to beef up the “For Your Self” section, perhaps visitors will be inspired to linger online as they do in retail.