How to Build an Iconic Online Flagship Store

It turns out that brands are the big winners of the digital age. And iconic ONLINE FLAGSHIP STORES are a big part of their success. This new type of online store drives digital innovation and future growths for brands. And the good news is you don’t have to replace your commerce platform to do this.

Why is that?

Brands that played their cards well already took advantage of digital platforms to transform their business. They moved closer to their customers, built better and more iconic brand experiences and created deeper relationships. As a result, those brands generate more attention and reach more customers through digital channels globally than ever before. They also invented more beautiful buying experiences that help convert more business on mobiles and all the other devices customers use than ever before.

There is an underlying trend behind the rising power of brands: The more connected our world becomes through digital platforms, the more powerful successful brands will be. Powerful symbols—and brands are exactly that—spread faster and further than ever before. Successful brands capture the imagination of people all around the world at a speed that we haven’t seen before.

To take advantage of this mega trend, leading brands implemented a new type of online store: the ONLINE FLAGSHIP STORE. This premium online store captures the essence of a brand by providing unique inspiring brand experiences seamlessly interwoven with the ability to interact with the brand and order everything a customer wants at a touch of a fingertip. ONLINE FLAGSHIP STORES are iconic and experiential and almost always the biggest “store” in the companies portfolio of shops.

Funnily enough delivering cutting edge ONLINE FLAGSHIP STORES is a real challenge for established commerce platforms from IBM, SAP Hybris or Salesforce. These platforms have been designed to standardize processes, improve efficiencies and scale the operations. In other words, they are very good at the transactional parts of the process but not very good at the experiential parts that make iconic brand experiences, inspiration and discovery possible.

Brands need to provide unique and innovative customer experiences that excite and haven’t been done before. That is the opposite of standardisation. Creating these unique experiences is and always will be core to a brand’s success. Or put another way: the experience is the brand.

While established commerce platforms are outstanding at standardising backend processes and drive efficiencies, the resulting online stores often fail to meet a brand’s expectations. Rarely do they provide immersive, beautiful and iconic experiences. The common result is a middle-of-the-road online store that works but fails to inspire customers and therefore fails to differentiate a brand.

The time to use a brand site to inspire customers and a separate online store to actually sell products is running out. This approach created significant drawbacks that brands can't accept anymore:

  • A brand site that doesn’t convert.
  • An online shop that doesn’t inspire.
  • Lost visitors between the two sites.
  • Lower overall conversion.
  • Inconsistencies and poor SEO.
  • Slow to update and costly to maintain.
  • Customer experience is less engaging.

ONLINE FLAGSHIP STORES are built to overcome the above limitations and avoid the huge waste of money they create. They integrate brand sites and online store into one seamless experience. They bring all your potential customers walking by your store window into the store.

While all this sounds good, here comes the best part: Brands don’t need to replace their commerce platform to do this.

Replacing a commerce platforms is often cost-prohibitive and can take years. Fortunately, there is a way for brands to protect their existing investment into a commerce platform. Instead of replacing their existing platform, brands can use a best-of-breed approach and add just the components that are missing: sophisticated content and experience management with a deep integration into the commerce platform. More best-of-breed components can be integrated in a headless way.

At CoreMedia, we’ve been working with leading brands and retailers like YOOX Net-A-Porter, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Luxottica, Walgreen Boots Alliance and Office Depot. In our experience, ONLINE FLAGSHIP STORES provide strategic advantages and will be the future for all successful brands.

You can read about the strategic advantages of FLAGSHIP ONLINE STORES in a separate blog post here soon.


About the Author

Managing Director & Founder Sören Stamer is head ninja, top strategist, main innovation engine, and chief optimist of CoreMedia. Technically the company’s managing director, he leads the company’s vision: forward focused while acutely aware of today’s competitive climate. Sören’s interest is in the power of massive networks to bring about massive change. A pioneering advocate of social media, he has contributed important thought leadership on web content strategy, digital rights management, and enterprise 2.0. Along with a Master of Business Administration (Diplom-Kaufmann) from the University of Hamburg, he has extensive startup and leadership experience, co-founding CoreMedia in 1996. He is passionate about early childhood education and solutions for society's challenges in the age of A.I. Sören is an award-winning author, speaker, father of four fun kids, and a very happy husband (not as hard as it may sound lol).