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Harvey Nichols’ web relaunch is a simple success

This week saw the relaunch of Drapers Keely Stocker gives her verdict.

When first landing on the new Harvey Nichols website, I immediately think it looks better. At first I can’t describe exactly what has changed but the site looks clean, appealing and, most importantly, easy to use.

The large images on the home page are engaging and when scrolling through them it becomes obvious that each piece of content relates to the top-line navigation. For example, when invited to view a fashion edit called ‘Sheer Delight’, the ‘women’ category in the top line navigation is also highlighted.


Each section is colour coded and while I wasn’t sure of this at first, it does ensure clarity for the user and makes it easy to filter content.

The shopping section has the usual filtering options (style/colour/size) but also gives the user the opportunity to look at the product as an ‘item’ (off model) or ‘outfit’ (on model, with added accessories). This gives Harvey Nichols the opportunity to upsell but does not make the user feel this is being pushed on them, as they have the option to view without.


The ‘fashion emergency’ link, which is always at the bottom of the page (alongside ‘recently viewed’, ‘shortlist’ and ‘connect’), is a nice touch and allows the user to speak directly to a sales adviser via live chat, email or phone.

As is the trend with many sites at the moment, an emphasis has been placed on editorial content.  Each editorial piece is colour coded to tell the user which department it is related to, meaning they can filter content according to their interests.


The use of hashtags throughout the site with headlines such as #Checkit alongside a share button make it easy for users to interact on social networks, helping promote the Harvey Nicks product. Consistent links back to the transactional area remind the user that the site is for shopping as well as reading.


Overall, while the new site doesn’t particularly show anything new or innovative, it’s a great example of how to go back to basics and do it all well. Strong imagery, engaging content, clear filters, easy navigation, a simple user journey and a good-looking site all work to ensure the new will appeal to its customers and could take the retailer’s online business to the 10% of total sales target that now-departed chief executive Joseph Wan wanted to achieve.

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