In this case study, we’ll uncover how Brandy Melville built its first and only online sales channel in China to streamline thousands of daily orders for local fashion lovers.
Brandy Melville is an Italian clothing and fashion accessories brand that has captivated the hearts of teenage girls and young women globally with its trendy, youthful, and contemporary aesthetic.
In September 2019, Brandy Melville took its first step into the Chinese market, establishing its inaugural brick-and-mortar store in Shanghai. Despite zero investments in marketing efforts, the brand quickly resonated with Chinese consumers as a whole style trend “BM style” was born after it, sparking large-scale user-generated content and discussions on local social media platforms, especially Xiaohongshu.
During the first year, although the brand's online sales channel at the time, a website not fully optimized for the Chinese market, was generating considerable sales, the new e-Commerce solution helped skyrocket its performance remarkably!
In the journey to create an effective eCommerce solution tailored to Brandy Melville and China, ITC’s design team embarked on a meticulous process of crafting a consistent yet localized user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design.
The goal was to maintain the brand's globally recognized aesthetic while addressing the distinct preferences and habits of Chinese users.
At the onset, the eCommerce application for China embraced the established global app design, characterized by its clean, simple, and minimalist design elements.
The neutral color palette, mainly whites and muted tones of pink, grey, and brown, matched the hues used in Brandy Melville's clothing line. Vintage-style typography with clean and legible serif fonts further complemented this visual identity.
The homepage displayed the latest product listing, and the same layout was adapted for different categorized product listing pages as well. This consistency helped keep users in a browsing loop that maximizes the on-app time.
Beyond the visual aspects, the functionality of the iOS/Android app for China was also seamlessly adapted from the global version to deliver a user experience that works universally.
Recognizing the nuances of the Chinese market and the preferences of local users, the China app later underwent strategic adjustments to enhance localization without deviating from Brandy Melville’s core brand guidelines.
In 2022, over 85% of mobile internet users in China adopted mobile payment methods. In urban areas, the penetration rate reached nearly 90%.
To further localize the e-Commerce app experience for Chinese fashion lovers, the shopping cart was also designed to be reminiscent of the function on Tmall – the country’s largest B2C e-Commerce platform, to offer a familiar experience for local consumers.
In addition, we implemented a one-step checkout process to minimize friction in their journey to conversion.
The backend relied on Magento – a technology solution that actually works in China to provide a robust foundation for Brandy Melville’s eCommerce system. The front end leveraged React Native for both the iOS and Android app development.
The headless infrastructure enabled seamless integrations with local mobile payment methods, as previously mentioned, and the live chat tool ClienK.
After publishing the China Brandy Melville eCommerce app onto the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Huawei App Store..., we also conducted regular maintenance and server updates to ensure optimal performance for these China eCommerce apps even during peak traffic periods.
The Magento application development for Brandy Melville yielded remarkable results with impressive revenue milestones for the brand in the dynamic Chinese market: