Weekly Web Watch: E-tailer with an emphasis on windows

Boo.com must have had one of the longest run-ups to the launch of any internet site. In fact, many people were surprised by the 3 November launch, as they thought it had been active for some time. Now the site is finally with us, was it worth all the hype?

Boo.com must have had one of the longest run-ups to the launch of

any internet site. In fact, many people were surprised by the 3 November

launch, as they thought it had been active for some time. Now the site

is finally with us, was it worth all the hype?



At a time when differentiating one e-tailer from another is a real PR

challenge, boo.com has managed to secure a number of ’firsts’ for

itself, an increasingly difficult claim.



The sport and streetwear fashion e-tailer is billed as the first truly

global e-tailer. It is a multi-lingual site with multi-currency

facilities, and local deliveries across Europe and the US. It has yet to

be seen how the site will deal with the thorny issue of pricing across

different countries.



The shopping environment is also like nothing ever seen before

on-line.



Customers can rotate any product 360 degrees and zoom in close enough to

see the stitching, thanks to boo.com having the largest 3D library of

product images on the internet. There is also a virtual sales assistant,

Miss Boo, to guide shoppers round the site, as well as mannequins in

’changing rooms’ so items from different brands can be seen

together.



The aim of the trio behind boo.com - Ernst Malmsten, Kajsa Leander and

Patrik Hedelin - is to build a global brand that really does change the

way young consumers shop for cutting-edge clothes. They have backing

from significant investors, including the Benetton family’s private

investment company.



The brightly-coloured site is easy to get around, with fantastic

graphics.



Users can search for clothes not only by colour, price and brand, but by

product category and sporting activity. More than 20 international

brands are currently available on boo.com, including Fred Perry, whose

on-line store is all 1950s-style domestic brown and orange

illustrations.



One of the frustrations of shopping on-line is that you sometimes to

want to talk to a human sales assistant. Boo.com has a 24-hour customer

service centre staffed in London, New York, Munich and Stockholm by

people who fit the profile of the target clientele and can be reached by

telephone or e-mail.



As well as being a shop, boo.com is the home of a magazine, Boom. It has

features on sports, clubbing, news and trend reports written by

reporters from around the world from publications such as Vogue and The

New Yorker.



Boo.com is a sexy site which has achieved the extraordinary feat of

giving consumers the same aspirational feel of walking into a real shop

stocking ’in’ labels. Amazon led the way in buying goods on-line, but

boo.com is destined to pave the way for the next generation of

e-tailers.



Company: Boo.com

Issue: Launch of fashion e-tailer

At: www.boo.com



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