La Gar√ßonne got the cool…

In JC Report, Nina May of Nina and Lola (reportage from her current London pop-up shop will ensue soon just as soon as I get down there!) gave an interview where she said the likes of Net a Porter have become like Amazon with too much choice available.  So… how to hone in on a target audience, get a pretty sizeable roster of labels and maintain a vibe that doesn’t make you feel like you’re shopping in a fashion hypermarket….?

Now I don’t know how many of you subscribe to La Gar√ßonne’s mailers and as someone who has experience with email marketing, I’d stick my neck out and say that La Gar√ßonne probably gets a 10% click rate from emails sent with a click to sale rate of about 50% (these are high stats….) because everything is just presented so damn immaculately, making everything as enticing as possible   

There’s a quiet confidence about La Gar√ßonne that you sense immediately as opposed to the likes of ASOS whose rebranding I talked about, seem to aspire to what La Gar√ßonne have achieved but fail to have a clear voice.  LG blatantly say in their About Us section that they are targeting ‘Indie Girls’ with a natural desire to be original and they’re effortlessly cool and quietly defy style guidelines.

Intimidating stuff for any prospective customer but I guess the point is that this minor snobbish-ness gets them their niche audience.  It’s a ‘We’re cool…. we might let you have some of that cool…. if you want it bad enough…’ and when you go through the site and see their in-house editorials and features on people like Louise du Toit from Acne, you sort of do fall for it hook line and sinker.  Of course the brands speak for themselves but it’s the LG umbrella that holds everything together.  As someone who is fascinated about the developments and challenges that fashion e-commerce faces, it does intrigue me to know end why I will contiually click on some e-boutiques, probably not even having the least bit of intention to buy and why others will just go in the ‘Bin’ list.   


*Excuse the rather ‘market-y/meedja’ esque observations I’ve been making lately.  Trying to psyche myself up and convince myself that I…erm…know shit because I might be giving a very long and scary presentation about fashion, blogging, etc, etc in lands far-away….

18 Replies to “La Gar√ßonne got the cool…”

  1. LOVE this post! I am obsessed with online shopping and I love checking out all the smaller, niche sites. The quote about Net-A-Porter is right on, but the site I really loathe is ShopBop, which actually IS owned by Amazon. It has no character and only happens to carry some cool brands because of the sheer vastness of the selection…most the brands are pure trash and it takes them forever to catch on to the good ones. For example, they only just started carrying Opening Ceremony this season.

  2. I don’t see whats the big deal about net-a-porter; you hit the nail on the head. LG does seem like it’s better than ASOS–and the labels prove it. Now, if only I had experience with either shops to prove it..

  3. LOVE La Garconne. Only ordered from there once and I would do it again in a heartbeat, esp. for that peach dress with zippers. I second the 1st comment re. Shopbop. It’s hard work looking past the styling and sorting through the huge inventory, not to mention total crap labels like Lauren Conrad & Juicy Couture. My other favorite small site is Le Train Bleu.

  4. This kind of sounds like an advertorial. I don’t mind if it is but think you should address whether it is or not.

  5. I love this site – I stumbled upon it whilst looking for Philip Lim stuff to buy online. I do however like Net a Porter simply for its “everything under one roof” thing and I also find it easy to order from and v. quick delivery. Im easy really!

  6. um, it’s blatantly NOT an advertorial since susie never does that and sells the things she gets for free anyway. If it was an advert, i’m pretty sure she’d stick it on the side like the others.
    Anyway, I disagree with the comments about shopbop. No it’s not a wee boutique with a carefully edited selection of stuff, but I know that pretty much every brand I want I can find there (in terms of generic mid priced brands). And they have decent shipping to Canada. And no La Garconne doesn’t compare to ASOS because they are going for two completely different markets. ASOS borrows a bit of indie edge to appeal to the mainstream and that is there focus. Mass selling at cheap prices. La Garconne edits carefully and sells things to a more limited clientele at a higher priced point. I love all these three shops and contrary to the others, I like having mass selection. I like knowing there are some shops who have carry brands I like and interesting pieces, and some shops I can rely on for basics and for carrying a wide variety of designers. I think all are necessary for me personally as a consumer.

  7. Anon: This is MOST DEFINITLEY NOT an advertorial… it’s something I’ve been thinking about posting every time I get those LG mailers… a personal fascination of mine because of my job in marketing and the way people respond to online media….. might sound a bit sad and tragic but sometimes I do look at things in that meeedja way….
    Actually, you brought me onto a further point which is that LG don’t seem to do active banner advertising nor do they have mag ads…. again, another demonstration that their store speaks for themselves and they have cornered a niche that doesn’t need further promotion…
    Meg: Your outlook is definitely a good one…. those three are all incompable to each other and all serve different purposes. I was just using ASOS as an example of a brand that doesn’t know what it wants to be and that by borrowing a bit of LG-esque cool, they are trying to reposition themselves.
    Imelda: Will reply to your email but it’s not where you’re thinking!

  8. This is such an interesting post.
    I’ve used LG once before simply because of a mailing. I completely fell for their subtle and sophisticated marketing tactic and I don’t regret it for one minute!
    I also agree with Meg’s outlook: as a consumer I want diversity and choice. I want to be able to pick certain pieces from LG, NetaPorter or ShopBop and like the fact that each business caters for different “needs”.

  9. la garconne has become my favorite e-shop, because every time i visit the site, it seems like the buyer has the same exact taste as me. i never read their ‘about us’, but if i’m their target customer, then they’re doing an excellent job.

  10. I think La Garconne does a really good job cornering the indie niche market- but they do place banner ads and have before on NYT T-Magazine

  11. Ooh please don’t excuse the post, I’m really interested in ecommerce and so this was useful to me. How exciting about your presentation! I’m sure you are scared as hell but don’t forget, you have to go thru the fear the first time as you know that it will never be that scary again, it can only get easier. (Erm…what is it? Ok, tell us in your own time.)

  12. I’m not sure how long this outfit will be around. They’ve been bouncing their employees paychecks, they don’t pay overtime as required by law.

  13. I don’t know about bouncing paychecks, but the owner Kris Kim thinks she’s better everyone and treats her employees as such – telling them to know their place and yelling at people until they cry or quit. Because of this most of the employees are totally miserable working there… Not to add that everyone is underpaid and overworked. They refuse to hire enough people to do the work because they don’t want to pay anyone. They keep just enough people on staff so that no one can be full-time and get benefits or salary. There’s so much more too…

  14. Just came across this post since I was looking for reviews on La Garconne. Wow, that sounds terrible! It seems like they have such a good reputation, I’m surprised. Interested in the “so much more” that you mentioned, Daphne..

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