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E-commerce case study: Glen-Anthony Watches

Q1) Give me a brief description of your business

We make bespoke watches, around a couple of hundred a year, and I try to make each one slightly different from the next with most of them being based around a motorsport theme – although we also make dress watches as well. What makes us unique is that I create new designs for dials and cases every few weeks, with interchangeable bezels on some of the models.

Q2) What is your current e-commerce setup

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We currently operate through a shopify website which allows for complete control over the site’s navigation, content pages and design.

Q3) How has your e-commerce business been a success

It is still young, only around a year old, and what we found is when we do exhibitions we tend to find that customers come to try on the watches and see how they fit, but then buy them online afterwards. We don’t sell anything in shops, so we do our own exhibiting at shows.

We also promote on Google Adwords, Facebook etc to drive people to our website and that goes hand in hand with handing out business cards at shows and directing people to our website. After events we always see more people visiting the site. It is sometimes difficult selling online, as people do like to try our watches on, so that’s why having the website with the exhibitions works so well for us.

Q4) Tell me a bit more about the design of your website

We have a watchbuilder feature where you choose and customise our synchro model, customising the dial, the bezel and the strap – you can easily change all the elements allowing the customer to design their own bespoke watch.

Q5) How did you design this aspect?

Our web designer, who is also a professional photographer, photographed the watches and then had the feature built into the website. This was one of my main desires for our e-commerce platform to have. In years to come we are hoping to build on that with options for more dials, straps and bezels, as we create new items.

Q6) Did you want this to reflect your physical showroom?

Our showroom is designed like a lounge with leather seating and glass cabinets and just like the website they can see the watch, see the dial, see the movements – This is one option we are also looking to add online.    

Q7) What is your biggest e-commerce accomplishment?

I think the drive to the website and building of the brand has been a big accomplishment. What will happen is that customers go to the website, but then they often meet me at the outdoor events, and while they may not buy then they will probably buy a watch on the website a week or two after.

This allows them to see the real thing and then go online and design their own. Without the website we wouldn’t be able to do that. The website gives the business stability and gives us provenance.

Q8) What is your plan for the website in the upcoming years?

We will be investing into the watchbuilder and adding new aspects and models. We are also planning to add ladies watches to our online offering as we are a bit behind on that at the moment.

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