Marketplace

Cresus - multi-brand ecommerce for luxury watches UX case study

Released on 
Jan 27, 2022
 • 
4 min read
Written by
James Burghes

Cresus has been the global No.1 with regards to pre-owned luxury watches since 1993. They sell a huge range of luxury watches, and the website, as you will soon see, has been expertly crafted to create a similarly luxurious experience.

Keep in mind that this is a highly custom storefront with a lot interesting features (too many to cover in one blog post) and as such, will have required many hours, days, months, or perhaps even years of design and frontend development.

Not everyone has the time and money to invest in a storefront like this (especially for an MVP), but it certainly serves as a great example from which to draw some inspiration.

That being said, let's dive in!

Navigation

On all devices, Cresus features essentially the same megamenu, but appropriately optimized for both mobile and desktop.

Often, you may find that mobile versions compromise on some features to make it more mobile-friendly, but here the design and development teams have done a fantastic job of creating the same feature-rich experience, regardless of device.

Cresus navigation

Homepage

The vast majority of ecommerce homepages feature a slider or static banner at the top of the page, and Cresus is no exception.

Notice how, on both devices, they also manage fit in a very stylistic section that link to their top brands (slider) and main categories (silver, gold, white), all above of the fold! They three sections almost appear to be one element on desktop, but the stacking on mobile reveals its true nature.

Cresus homepage

As we scroll down, we are greeted by a section that explain the services provided by their company, another that promotes the latest offers, and two that promote the newest products in the form of a banner and a carousel.

Cresus homepage

Next we see a collage of images promoting categories, subcategories, and one of their most popular brands.

Notice the difference in the images used for each. Categories have simple product images, subcategories feature inspirational images, and the brand has very stylistic product image.

Cresus homepage

Next is a recommended product carousel that display products based on the pages the user has viewed, the benefits of which include increasing average order value, better user engagement, higher conversions, to name a few.

Cresus homepage

Then a section that specifics the locations and contact details of their physical stores. If you have physical locations, do make sure to let your users know about it, preferably in the same manner as Cresus.

The photos of the store interiors could possibly help to make customers feel a sense of comfort or familiarity should they decide to visit in person - ideally something every customer should feel when shopping both online and in-store.

Cresus homepage

A description of the timepiece-related services they provide. While not directly related to their ecommerce site, it is nonetheless a part of their business so why not advertise it?

Cresus homepage

And finally, a brief history of the company itself - a nice way to round-off an incredibly feature-rich homepage.

Cresus homepage

Footer

Besides the newsletter signup which is common feature of many footers, we see six graphical icons with descriptions that present some of the key information surrounding their services and products, such as secure payments, warranty, and in-store pickup.

Cresus footer

If all of that wasn’t enough, they even implemented a live clock that displays their usual hours of operation.

Cresus footer

Brand Page

Cresus go to great lengths to represent the brands they list on their website, and each brand page begins with a banner consisting of high resolution product images supported by a brief company description.

They also added an anchor link that redirects to the product listing further down the page and an option for users to create alerts for that specific brand.

Below that, they added a carousel of all available models.

Cresus brand page

The next section includes more banners that match the brand imagery, supported by additional information about the company’s history.

Cresus brand page

A carousel featuring discounted watches with an animated “Special Offer” component that rotates like a timepiece.

Cresus brand page

And now, the aforementioned product listing. On mobile, the filters are hidden until clicked on which opens a popup, whereas one desktop, they are displayed in a bar above the products.

New products and sales items are labelled with stickers, and all products have a few details describing the year of production, and whether or not it comes with the official papers and box.

Cresus brand page

At the bottom of each brand page is a more lengthy description of the brands history, production process, and their company values.

Cresus brand page

Product Page

The product page is one of the most standard in appearance, but they did add some not-so-standard options to book a viewing in store, request more information, and create a product alert.

Cresus product page

They also made sure to include all the product attributes associated with the product. When selling such high value items, you can’t skimp on the details!

Cresus product page

The add to cart button follows as your scroll, although with a slightly different design on mobile and desktop.

Cresus product page

Cart

As with the product page, the cart follows convention, but with a few extra features (obviously). 

You can add more products without leaving the cart, request to book a test in store, and they added FAQs to answer any doubts the potential customer may have.

Cresus cart

Checkout

Probably the most non-custom page on the entire website, the checkout is very clean, shows the next steps in the checkout process, and has a very trustworthy, authentic appearance.

If even Cresus decided not to extensively customize the checkout, then you should probably think twice before you decide to reinvent the wheel.

Cresus checkout

Summary & suggestions

From the homepage layout to the brand page sections to the small details on the product listing, it’s evident that Cresus has put a huge amount of effort into crafting its luxury, multi-brand shopping experience.

If you're looking for inspiration to redesign your storefront, then it can indeed be found here, regardless of your industry. However, we certainly wouldn't recommend anyone use this as a benchmark for creating an MVP as it would be extremely time-consuming and expensive, thereby significantly increasing project risk.

Cresus has had the benefit of being in the business for more than 25 years, meaning they intimately know their customer and have slowly tailored their user experience over several years since taking the company online in 2000.

No business should strive to achieve in their first year what Cresus has achieved in 20. Otherwise, they risk complete project failure and significant financial losses.

Instead, we always recommend keeping it simple for the MVP. If your business model allows it, making use of a no-code, industry-standard storefront template (such as Vendo's built-in storefront) would always be the best option in the beginning.

Of course, some projects may require custom features due to the nature of the platform itself or the specific product offering. In this case, the initial focus should be on building only those features that define the uniqueness of the business. In other words, don't try to do everything at once - focus on the essential aspects first and refine later.

UX deliverables guidelines

When it's time to upgrade your storefront design by using a more custom solution, here a few things to help streamline the process:

  • All layouts should be designed mobile-first, desktop-second (but you will need both)
  • Using pre-made components shortens the implementation time
  • Layouts should be presented following the user journey in an orderly fashion
  • All actions and menu or navigation states should be included
  • All brand or icon assets should be in SVG format 
  • UX design hand-over using Figma.com or a similar service is recommended
  • UX questions & answers sessions should be included
  • Follow up adjustments or corrections should be anticipated

Next steps 

Feel free to reach out to get a slide deck on:

  • What to ask from a UX agency?
  • UX deliverables & SoW scope
  • Go-live plan for your marketplace

Vendo lets you launch a luxury fashion marketplace at a fraction of a typical cost and within weeks instead of months. Vendo comes with a built-in storefront that allows you to go live in a matter of days. However, if you require a more custom storefront layout, we'd need your UX input in the form of branding and layout designs. To make it easy for you, we have a customizable storefront template ready for customization and guidelines for your designer. Feel free to review our other UX case studies or contact us to discuss next steps.

About Author

James is an account executive and customer success agent at Vendo. If you decide to reach out to us, you can be sure he’ll be the first the respond.

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