The Charles partnered with Sequential Brands Group, Inc. for a complete overhaul of Ellen Tracy's digital presence to coincide with the brand's 60-year anniversary and collaboration with Paula Patton.
To parallel Ellen Tracy’s quarterly fashion schedule and upcoming spring collection, the project was separated into two phases:
(i) A Microsplash site was created that focuses on brand storytelling and the brand's history, while serving as a teaser for the new site.
(ii) The website seamlessly integrated the Microsplash's identity design and user flow, bolstered with comprehensive functionality.
A Phased Approach
Launching the site in phases was a key piece of the digital marketing strategy devised by The Charles. The flexibility enabled Ellen Tracy to showcase the new brand aesthetic and communicate all campaign news as and when it happened, while the main site was still in production. With the visual aesthetic and key site features defined, the transition from Microsplash to main site was seamless.
Content Strategy Tailored to the Users’ Demographic
As we researched the target market and the users of Ellen Tracy's website, we observed and were inspired by how users of the demographic interacted with quotes, inspirational and otherwise coupled with images, created for the “Pinterest Generation.” We created a series of artwork, pairing encouraging quotes about women’s life with classic Ellen Tracy campaign pictures, to tell the brand history with relevance and to resonate the brand philosophy with viewers.
60 Years of Content
Ellen Tracy's archives held a wealth of content, including campaigns featuring iconic brand ambassadors like Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford. The Charles helped Ellen Tracy organize their creative assets to better leverage existing content and showcased the brand's prominent history to new audiences.
Through the phased approach, we were able to collect valuable user insights and behavioral analytics on what customers wanted from the site. These statistics were later used in the wire-framing process to inform the site’s user flow and hierarchy, improving the overall experience. The online audience insights were also beneficial for the peripheral activities of the brand's marketing team.
Collecting data from the Microsplash Page
User Behavior Profiles
Analyzing the data to inform the design for the full website
Full Site Design
A Brand Made for Women
To connect with Ellen Tracy's latest campaign "Women Hyphenated," The Charles designed and developed the site with comprehensive features. These features leveraged diverse content types, showcasing the womenswear, brand story, values and philosophy.
Dynamic Multimedia Content Delivery
Integrated with the third party CDN, the carousel of Ellen Tracy's homepage is flexible and easy to maintain in the backend. The dynamic content can either be image or video, which could be played in a lightbox to ensure the most immersive experience.
Gamified Signup Process
The signup process should be relevant and engaging to maximize effectiveness. Instead of a standard signup form, we designed a two-step questionnaire in line with Ellen Tracy’s brand philosophy. The feature transformed the signup process from a standard form into a direct interaction with the brand’s voice and ethos.
Optimizing the Faux-Commerce Experience
One of our main goals was to create a flexible platform to showcase the seasonal collection and drive product awareness. We encouraged the brand to not only showcase the aesthetic, but to grow customer affinity with the products, encouraging retailer purchases. By utilizing browser cookie data and leveraging ExpressionEngine's capabilities, we created the "Love List," a faux-commerce experience with a custom no-membership-required wishlist component.
User's Session Wishlist
Each item in Ellen Tracy's collection can be added to a temporary wishlist. The wishlist feature works automatically with each new item added in the backend. Using a combination of a user's session and a temporary cookie, the wishlist is tied into a browser session instead of a member's account, so no membership database setup is needed. With the fully flexible Content Management System, the client is able to manage entire collections and control every last detail on the site.
A Dynamic Way to Preview and Interact With the Look You Love
We pushed the limit of the traditional lookbook and added features such as the moving image, the details page and the functionality to save the look to a wishlist. The user stores and user flow are carefully planned out, and the design is precisely executed to ensure the navigation experience is smooth and not confusing.
An Intuitive Feature-Rich Experience
The Ellen Tracy website was strategically enhanced with a suite of interactive features to engage the target audience and convey the brand's philosophy.
Browsing across devices is becoming increasingly common. With almost half of the website traffic coming from tablet and mobile devices, we placed responsive design at the forefront of our strategy.