Digital media group Digit has been appointed to redesign Habitat’s website, paving the way for the retailer to add e-commerce to its catalogue and store offerings.
Digit won the six-figure account following a four-way creative pitch against incumbent German group Pixelpark, AKQA and Deepend. The redesigned site, www.habitat.co.uk, is due to launch in August. It will initially remain a showcase for Habitat lines but will become a selling tool within a few years.
A Habitat spokeswoman denies that the catalogue, which remains under the design directorship of consultant Sue Skeen, will suffer from the launch. “Buying furniture is a tactile experience,” she says. “The website will never replace it or the stores.”
The aim of the redesign is to do better justice to the products and make it more navigable, says Digit director of content Toby Evetts. The consultancy has also been briefed to set the scene for e-commerce functions.
To this end, it is working with digital ad agency Beyond Interactive to strengthen its e-mail relationships with customers through digital mailers informing customers of promotions.
“This is not just the Habitat catalogue on-line, we want to make it as useful as possible and bring the products’ textures to life,” says Evetts about the new site. “To give visitors a clearer idea of the size of products, rather than using centimetres, which are still confusing, we are introducing [a system of] dimensions to compare them to familiar objects, such as LPs,” he adds.
Digit will also experiment with helping Habitat’s on-line customers “play around with colours” and create “mood boards”, he says.
Habitat’s website was launched in 1999 and designed by Pixelpark. Foreign language and overseas versions of the new site will be available in Spain, Germany, France and Ireland.