Frette is one of the oldest and most respected names in luxury linens. From the altars of the Vatican to the Titanic, Frette’s work graces the some of the most storied locations in the world. Gorilla was engaged by Frette with the idea of marrying an old-world brand with an up-to-date experience that would reflect an overall intent to appeal to a relatively younger market.

The obstacles that face a venerable luxury name like Frette are many when it comes to selling online. How do you overcome the tactile nature of the product? How do you hold on to the luxury posture that has served the brand so well for so long and still pay attention to all of the experience design cues that drive sales? How do you overcome the challenge of a product that is usually bought in sets as opposed to a collection of disjointed parts?

All of these are questions Gorilla had to answer as part of our initial approach with the Frette team as they prepared to make their online channel a greater success than it already was.

The Approach

Frette’s product is one driven by relationships. More specifically, collections are at the heart of the Frette brand. Previous iterations of the Frette site fell short in making the product relationships transparent.

Catalog and retail were still the most pervasive channels, and rightly so. The brand had a rich heritage and it was natural that traditionalist buyers were flocking to traditional channels.

During the discovery process we visited several retail locations in addition to our normal stakeholder activities. In a series of both planned and undercover visits, some insights began to emerge.

First, while buyers started with a base product set, most purchases branched out as the needs and options to customize increased. Secondly, quantities for purchase varied widely based on individual need, so flexibility was important.

The Outcome

During the course of the project paper prototyping and wireframing with live photography was used to eliminate confusion internally around how the experience would work. This was coupled with some informal user testing both on the client side and agency side to validate design decisions along the way.

The overall experience is one that can transition from being very brand driven and cinematic to very promotional when the need arises. Administrators have the power to choose alternate page layouts based on the overall tone desired at a particular time.

The result is a site that brands when it needs to, sells when appropriate and provides a backbone to educate new loyalists to the intricate product relationships.

Numerous options for browsing and purchasing product are present, both in the individual and group context. The brand heritage is fused together with a highly browsable experience.