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From a standing start to online competitor

When we founded Black White Denim last September, we believed in our concept with such evangelical zeal that building a transactional website to sell to the world felt like an inevitability.

Our only concession was to wait until spring 11 to launch Blackwhitedenim.com.

As was the case with fitting out our boutique, we set our standards high but tried to work within a budget.

We hired Manchester’s CheethamBell JWT (who created Black White Denim’s corporate identity) to design the site and fashion ecommerce specialist Docnet to
build it. The goal was always to stand toe to toe with established giants Net-a-Porter and My-Wardrobe.

Top-quality photography was key. We sourced invisible mannequin shots of each garment from Prodoto in West Yorkshire and complemented these with model shots. For autumn 11, we will have short catwalk videos. We were also determined to launch with our own video channel, BWD:TV, not only to dispense style advice but because video is such a powerful SEO driver.

The site also features a frequently updated blog. We have a linked Facebook page and a very active Twitter account. All of the above is managed by a very young and, if truth be told, inexperienced team at BWD HQ. But that’s the challenge we all accepted, knowing that we’d all be learning on the job, at breakneck speed.
Two months in, the site is pretty much on target. We’ve had 8,585 unique visitors from 115 countries. Some 74 products have been purchased in 65 transactions. Our average order value is £247.49 and our conversion rate of 0.48% is very respectable for a new site. Most trade has come from the UK, but we have shipped to the US, Australia, Denmark, Japan and several other countries.

For the time being we’re very happy with that business.

Jo Davies is owner of premium womenswear indie Black White Denim in Wilmslow, Cheshire

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