Welcome to Luís Onofre’s Virtual Store

Welcome to Luís Onofre’s Virtual Store
April 15, 2021

Welcome to Luís Onofre’s 360 virtual store

The world is closed. The Internet has opened its doors.
The Luís Onofre brand has faced the difficult situation we are all going through this past year with the same determination and inventiveness that we have all needed during the hardships of this period.

The brand’s investment in a digital strategy isn’t new, nor was it motivated by the pandemic we are all involved in. The brand has always had a creative flair and an appetite for new things. This is one of its most important identifying features. Bringing the luxury of Luís Onofre shoes and accessories to the whole world through the electricity and waves of the Internet became a dream and a challenge.

Now, thanks to an innovative and audacious strategy, Luís Onofre has been growing more than the market itself. In 2020 we grew 156% (article in Portuguese).

Breaking the rules of the fashion world

The launch of the virtual store is the corollary of a continuous bet on the brand’s digital strategy. Since the website was launched (in 2016), Luís Onofre has understood it as a privileged platform for growth. This must be more than a simple sales guarantee during the pandemic, it must be a permanent way to increase visibility, internationalization and penetration into other markets.

“At the moment, the webstore is our main sales channel, and with the help of our partners, we have managed to adapt it to our reality and use it to grow faster, both nationally and internationally. Even after the physical stores reopen, we will remain focused on that channel because we know our customers won’t totally unplug theirs screens.”

The brand’s digital strategy has several goals, that have to do not just with guaranteeing sales during the pandemic but also with increasing visibility. It’s a tool the team is using to ensure the internationalization of the brand and penetration into other markets.

Surviving behind closed doors

To have a digital strategy for the brand was key to not be caught off-guard. Yet, when our stores are spaces of such glamour and showmanship, it’s always difficult to close the doors.

There were moments of brightness. We straightened relationships with some of our best customers. People whose passion for whom the art and craftsmanship of our products compare to our own. We contacted them directly, like shops used to do in the past, recovering a form of direct contact that we thought had been lost to retail. We want to continue doing this, even after the pandemic is passed.

Still, in general, the emptiness loomed large.

We realised that the future could only have one shape: a hybrid experience. Our desire is to have our shops back, and with the same strength and potential as ever. But not only do we not know when that will be possible, we must also not waste all of the magic we have created online.

FREEDOM means opening your wings

The Luís Onofre Spring/Summer collections are always full of colour, vivaciousness, and joy. This year, faced with a world locked at home, Luís Onofre feels that it’s more important than ever to bring that energy into our lives in any way possible. Freedom is an expression of all that was taken away from us during the pandemic. It’s life, it’s colour, it’s light, it’s the outside space and the outdoors. It’s the flora, the fauna, the whole world outside seen through a window of creativity.

These pieces, so fresh and so vivacious, needed to be seen and discovered by customers in our shops, but that was impossible.

This impossibility made us realise that s many of our customers, people who are so near and dear to us, that truly enjoy our creations, can never actually visit. They can never see the pieces in the space we have purposefully created to host them.

How can we fix this?

Our third store is virtual

Working in tandem with APICCAPS, the CTCP (Centro Tecnológico
do Calçado, the Portuguese centre for technology in shoemaking), Happyfact, and VR 360 the Luís Onofre virtual 360 store is now a reality.

Virtual stores and exhibits were an idea promoted in the context of APICCAPS (Associação Portuguesa dos Industriais de Calçado, Componentes, Artigos de Pele e seus Sucedâneos, the Portuguese guild that gathers shoemakers and other leather craftsmen, Luís Onofre himself is the current president)to replace national and international fairs, which were among the first victims of this horrible situation.

We have decided, in this context, to reproduce our entire store. To bring everyone to us. To show them, in a mediated way, everything we can. It’s a complete experience, through which the customer can browse an integral version of our flagship store in Porto. Not only is the space perfectly reproduced, but all of the pieces of the FREEDOM collection are on display to see and buy.

The virtual experience intends to recreate the luxury of the in-store experience. We want those who visit us to find the pieces in tailor-made surroundings, even during a pandemic. We also want to provide this experience to international customers, who haven’t gotten the chance to visit us yet.

“It was awful for us to have the stores closed. It made us realise how necessary it is to provide the customer with the opportunity to browse our pieces in a space that was made for them. This virtual store intends to have the same effect of luxury and sophistication that will bring the customer closer to the brand. Whether they’re in Portugal or anywhere in the world. I want everyone to enjoy the full shopping experience, even at a distance.”

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