Urban Decay Launches e-Commerce Site To Eliminate Manual Processes And Enhance Shopper Engagement

To support the growth of its online business and maximize international exposure, cosmetic retailer Urban Decay has launched a new e-Commerce site, which is equipped with social engagement tools and video capabilities. The site was developed through the Demandware Commerce platform and was launched in partnership with Precision Design Studios.

Previously, Urban Decay was running its e-Commerce operations on a platform that required manual processes to complete orders. Since the system did not allow merchants to update information in real time, the retailer relied heavily on its internal IT staff to complete site updates. The goal for the new site was to create an improved, real-time experience based on shoppers’ personal needs and browsing behaviors, according to Katherine LaFranchise, Director of e-Commerce for Urban Decay.

“Our primary goals included creating a more tailored and relevant experience for our shoppers based on their search intent, effectively marketing in a more intelligent way,” LaFranchise told Retail TouchPoints. “Demandware was chosen because of baked-in features such as Active Merchandising, which allow us to optimize our site based on weighted values like search rank, newness and selling. We also appreciated the flexibility and pre-built options as related to third-party integrations.”


Through the Demandware Commerce platform, marketing team members now have complete control over all aspects of the online shopping experience, including merchandising promotions, catalog and pricing. Demandware’s SaaS solution also is designed to provide the retailer with automatic upgrades featuring new functionality without a costly IT infrastructure.

Urban Decay will implement multiple integrations with pre-built, third-party technologies through Demandware’s LINK Marketplace. New solutions include Bazaarvoice for the ratings and reviews feature, PayPal for regular and express payments and Avalara for tax integration. “We will use Demandware’s ‘Customer Groups’ feature to present content that aligns with a customer’s specific interests and history,” LaFranchise said. “Better customization will improve the shoppers’ overall experience, helping them find exactly what they’re looking for quickly, whether they’re there to purchase, or to find a video related to creating a certain look.”

By leveraging Demandware’s ‘User Generated Content,’ Urban Decay will encourage and increase shopper interaction on the e-Commerce site, LaFranchise added. “Our ratings and reviews allow customers to quickly surmise how popular a product is, and to also drill down to find users ‘just like them’ based on various attributes, allowing them to make more informed purchase decisions.”

The new e-Commerce site is designed to provide an in-depth view of product information, cosmetic color palettes and product finishes. Visitors can view and upload videos and photos to interact with the brand and other shoppers. Other key site features include SEO optimizations, real-time order status and more efficient customer service staff.

“Customers can get detailed product information and imagery quickly,” said Kevin Kennedy, CEO of Precision Design Studios. “In the press section, they can view different media sources where Urban Decay product is featured. Customers also can get product recommendations directly from the experts at Urban Decay.”

Urban Decay also is teaming with Demandware on a separate project, to develop a mobile storefront that provides the same media-rich experience as its e-Commerce site. Mobile coupons, source codes, videos, reviews and mobile checkout via PayPal are all expected to be included, Kennedy noted.

“We are leveraging the existing Demandware platform and e-Commerce environment in the mobile site,” LaFranchise said. “We also are considering a location-based service for our mobile site, which presents multiple interesting opportunities in correlation with our store locator and in-store events listings.”

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