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Redefining Commerce, March 2015: Born Shoes

Shopping is a very visual activity -- online or off, being able to see and feel materials, textures, colors, and patterns is vitally important when deciding whether or not to make a purchase. While online shopping is easy and convenient, it lacks the tactile experience a shopper gets when they visit a brick and mortar store. For this reason, online retailers have a challenge in front of them: to create an experience that delights and converts without the customer ever physically interacting with a product. Few retailers have really mastered this, but Born Shoes is one of the select few that have.

born shoes homepage

The Born Shoes website is truly a work of art. Their stunning visuals and beautiful brand story are captivating for shoppers, delivering an experience that evokes feelings in a way that many traditional e-commerce sites cannot. At every touch point across the site, you’re immersed in their brand story -- a beautiful union of written content, product, and graphics. They use clever language, video, and stylized photography to weave their story throughout each and every page, while delivering precisely the information that a shopper might want, and nothing more.

born shoes hand sewn

Craftsmanship is a cornerstone of their brand, and is a clear focus across the site. Their “hand-sewn” story is an online interpretation of their high-quality, hand made construction, which is clear if you have a chance to actually wear a pair of their shoes. It’s another point at which they have expertly reinvented their in-store experience online.

born shoes get the look
born shoes product page

They use beautiful photography and clever copy to tell the story of their “artisan crafted footwear,” and tout their products as an “artful interpretation of nature expressed in beautiful organic designs.” The above images outline the user flow from homepage to product page, which is visually cohesive, relevant, and informative. Individual product pages not only include all the desired product information, but their craftsmanship story is included there as well, to reinforce their commitment to quality.

born shoes community

They also have an impressive integration of user generated content, as seen above in their product page Instagram feature. Shoppers can join the Born Community to share photographs and favorite Born looks with other Born Shoes enthusiasts. Encouraging users to interact on their own volition - with the brand and with each other - is the best way to develop lasting customer connections and deep brand loyalty. This social integration is completely seamless, and creates an easy path between their website and social channels, while remaining well-branded and well incorporated, so the user content looks right at home.

born shoes community
born shoes community

It’s clear after spending some time on the Born site that the brand knows itself inside and out, and they know their customers too. They speak to a certain shopper with a defined voice and personality that is interesting and compelling, and really resonates. The Born website does an incredible job of creating a true user-centric experience that engages and excites, and effortlessly merges written and visual content with commerce for an integrated user experience that will keep shoppers coming back.

What’s Working:

  • Brand Imagery That Tells a Story. Born’s entire web presence is built around their visual brand representation. They have a story that they want to tell, and they do it through using truly beautiful imagery that incites emotion and effortlessly incorporates product.
  • Integrated User Content. Users experience is front and center across the site, but incorporating user generated content on individual product pages goes a step above to really unite the customer experience with the brand experience, and also gives the brand stronger validation.
  • Hand-Sewn Craftsmanship Story. The craftsmanship story is robust and meaningful, and helps to unify the in-store vs. online experience for Born products. Integrating this information across the site and product pages really drives the point home that quality is a major brand pillar, and something they rest their hats on.
  • Mobile-Style Navigation. The Born homepage pays homage to a more mobile-friendly format, with a collapsible menu in the upper right corner that is discrete but easily accessible, allowing for their beautiful imagery to really be front and center.

This blog series - Redefining Commerce - highlights retail brands that are elevating traditional online commerce experiences, pushing the boundaries of what it means to be an online retailer, and delivering unparalleled consumer experiences.

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