Consumers have never been so comfortable with e-commerce. How do brands stay digitally relevant?

In the case of En Place, the fledgling travel and shopping venture of a creative consultant (and former vanity lounge editor) Alexis Kanter, elevating the customer experience means predicting consumer buying desires and being, as the name suggests, in the right place to capture the sale. Think of it as the hotel gift shop 2.0: in partnership with boutique hotels around the world, the site collects artisanal products spotted during a stay (ceramic vases from Oaxaca, Moroccan rugs and woven light fixtures Ghanaians included) on a single platform. For an even more transportive experience, inspiring travel guides and hotel reservations are also accessible through the site. The brand’s next phase, Kanter Previews, will include an on-site presence at the venue, billing it as “reinventing the hotel gift shop.” Instead of a small room limited to a few categories, why not expand this and apply it to the entire property?

Like En Place, the Nopo showcases its global roster of artisans through an editorial lens with tastemaker-led travelogues and a deeper look at maker processes. Recently, the site also launched The Nopo Design Society, a series of designer-curated edits that kicked off with picks from Urbanology’s Kathy Kuo, Karen Wolf, and Ginger Curtis. “It happened organically because we were getting more and more requests from designers who were looking to find unique products for their clients,” Breakstone Roth says of the program, which offers affiliate income to collaborators. .

Moroccan designer Soufiane Aissouni, whose work is featured on The Nopo.

Photography courtesy of The Nopo

Despite changing human behaviors, companies can take comfort in knowing that consumer shifts are relatively gradual, compared to the swings of the pendulum of design trends, that is. What’s clear: “Consumers expect faster execution and smoother transactions,” says Kanter. “Corn [at the same time]they are increasingly aware of sustainability issues and want to buy brands that share their philosophy and values, and they are willing to pay more. »

It’s these ideas beyond expectation that attract consumers, whether providing access to new categories or new markets, creating engaging content and collaborations, or providing a commerce experience. top-notch, if not top-tier online. And in doing so, as Rebecca Atwood, En Place and The Nopo exhibit, in beautiful intentional digital packaging about its branding, graphics and narrative. Because social media like Instagram and Pinterest have value, “but you want to bring people back to your site,” Atwood says. “The website is a living, breathing thing.”

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