Jewellery brand Annoushka on making eCommerce the gold standard

Luxury jewellery brand Annoushka has a number of famous fans, including Kate Middleton, Gwyneth Paltrow and Rihanna.

But despite its success, the company has maintained a relatively low profile online until recently. When Sophie Litvinoff, head of marketing and eCommerce, joined the firm 18 months ago there wasn’t much of a web offering.

“It was a gesture of a site, rather than something that was going after sales,” she says, explaining how the jewellery sector as a whole has been slow to adopt to eCommerce, particularly in the luxury market.

Previously the website was using the first version of Magento. Working with digital commerce consultancy Tryzens, Litvinoff decided to migrate to Salesforce’s platform for the refresh. “We went live in January, it was a pretty fast build, and we’ve been delivering in more functionality since then.”

Traffic went up overnight, with “a huge spike” in conversion rates. But the company’s digital investment is part of a broader strategy to scale the brand, she says. “We see a lot of customers browsing the site and then going in store… The more we put into digital, the better the stores do.”

And in-store customers now have access to the “endless aisle” of online. Part of the re-platform involved developing bespoke landing pages to capture the full variety of items. “So we’re able to market our new product ranges in new golds that aren’t necessarily available in store and then pre-order through website.”

A richer offering

Another new feature is the live shopping Hero application. “It allows a personal experience through the website, which is the biggest challenge of jewellery - as it is very hard to communicate what it looks like on and bring it to life.” Customers in New York or Paris, where the firm doesn’t have a footprint, can chat online with a sales assistant and ask them to provide live demos. “We’ve seen big orders coming through Hero because the trust factor is there.”

Staying competitive means having rich content that tells a story. “[It’s] being able to demonstrate the beauty of your product in fresh ways that feel relevant to our luxury customer base who are always on, always travelling, have a house in three different countries. They don’t stand still, they are on their phones, and they are being marketed to at and extreme rate.”

She says social is another channel that is driving revenue. “This time four years ago I don’t think people expected someone would be comfortable dropping £1,000 through Instagram, but they are and more.”

The firm’s founder, Annoushka Ducas, recently commented that influencers are no match for Kate Middleton’s fame. Litvinoff agrees there is no beating the “Kate effect” for having a product line sell out in minutes.

But she says they are still an important part of it strategy. “It’s about getting influencers that align with our brand value rather than someone who likes to take photos of themselves.”

“What we don’t do is fire out our products to hundreds of different influencers and pay people to wear it, we don’t feel we need to. There is some good influencer content coming up, but it is always well thought out and has to be intelligent.”