Company History
Hermès was founded in 1837 when Thierry Hermès, great-great grandfather of Jean-Louis Dumas-Hermès, recent chairman of Hermès, established a harness shop at 18 Rue Basse du Rempart. Fundamental to the development of the company, the personal relationship between patron and House has been the guiding principal of its expansion.

Case Study Concept
The highest quality luxury brand, Hermès would like to evolve its website to impact and grow its overall business in U.S.A while maintain exceptional product and service image. By emphasizing on-line personalized experience and relationship, Hermès team will present its recommendations for development of Hermès.com

Design, Business and Marketing Plan Solution
The mission for the Hermès case team was to draw solutions of how Hermès should evolve its website to impact and grow its overall business in the United States. The team analyzed the current Hermes.com website and the internet strategies of other luxury and mainstream brands. Hermes.com was one of the first luxury brands to develop an e-commerce platform and is a leader in offering customers the opportunity to purchase luxury products via the internet.

The research revealed potential to attract new customers via the website and improve the consistency of brand image and customer shopping experience with the Hermès retail stores. A survey revealed that customers use the website not only to shop for items but also to browse the collection before visiting a store. At the same time, the team explored internet technologies that would address the current trend of customers desiring a more personalized shopping experience. Given this information, the team developed their recommendations around these key elements.

The team developed solutions to weave the established brand image into the current Hermès.com by keeping consistency with the brand concept of retail Hermès stores through a new site entry page. To facilitate browsing before visiting a store, a section featuring the entire collection, even items not offered on the website for sale, was recommended. Further ideas were suggested to romance the product by communicating the rich stories behind them, giving the customer a connection to the products and therefore increasing sales. Also, the team focused on enhancing customer relationships through leveraging Customer Relationship Management technology to personalize the shopping experience and create the ability to make recommendations that would align with the customers buying history.

The Herm&egraves Project Team
Jillian Avey, Columbia Business School
Franklin Isacson, Columbia Business School
Noha Mohsen, Columbia Business School
Ho Jun Kim, Columbia Business School
Paul Shih, Columbia Business School