Behind the Omexco website redesign
Omexco is a Belgian brand of fine wallcoverings, founded in 1976. Distributed world-wide and with clients that include Louis Vuitton and Maison Martin Margiela, quality and luxury are at the core of everything they do.
And yet, Omexco’s brand communication never really lived up to the expectations of the respected company they embody. This is where Base came in. We first worked on a clear-cut communication strategy and then built a new visual identity off of it. Simultaneously we fully re-thought their website. The obvious goal was to bring the brand’s public perception closer to who they truly are.
From the get-go, everything we did aimed to put the emphasis on their savoir-faire, the stories behind their luxurious collections and the superior quality of their products. In this article I wanted to dig in deeper into the website we created for them highlighting a few key elements of the strategic thought process behind.
1. From a wallcoverings company to a luxury brand
Storytelling is the guiding principle of the new website. Omexco do not only design wallcoverings, they also self-produce them in their workshop near Brussels. This naturally brings an interesting dialogue between designers and craftsmen.
The website unveils the story behind each wall coverings collection: from the sourcing of the raw natural materials, to the inspiration of the design studio and the level of craftsmanship needed to produce them.
The true value of Omexco’s products comes alive in the designs of interior architects using them. To continuously inspire, the new website has a dedicated area for interior designers to showcase the projects in which they used Omexco wallcoverings, and the stories behind them.
Overall throughout the website, soft transitions and animations bring an additional layer of luxury and finesse to the design.
2. Translating touch onto the screen
Omexco doesn’t cover walls, they make them stand out. I understood that the very moment I was face-to-face with one of the walls in their atelier.
We figured the only way to recreate this experience online was by immersing visitors into a full screen view of Omexco’s products. That’s why instead of having visitors stare at a blank screen upon loading a wallcovering page, a smooth sliding transition briefly shows a full-bleed photo of the design you’re about to discover. It’s a first nice immersion.
But there’s more to the story. Because when confronted with Omexco’s products, we noticed a layer of depth that we hadn’t perceived at all through any of their communication at the time. To give you an idea: all of us naturally let our fingers slide gently over the wallcoverings, to fully perceive the texture. It’s hardly possible not to.
It was clear that we had to find a way to bring that sense of touch to the screen if we wanted to showcase the full quality and sensibility inherent to their products.
And as if that wasn’t puzzling enough, the solution we came up with had to work with the more than 1600 products of their catalogue. We prototyped multiple ways, and ultimately created a fully automated CMS solution: editors can upload up to 3 layered files, our code then mixes them to recreate a sense of depth that is true to the reality of the product.
On mobile we adapt the lighting and movement based on the motion sensor of the device:
We went far for this and we’re excited to see how Omexco will continue to push the detail of the product shots with forthcoming releases.
3. Finding the perfect fit
With over 1600 product varieties, filtering and search were a crucial website feature. But what exactly would Omexco’s customers search for? Interviews with interior designers taught us valuable things. We learned that they often choose wallcoverings based on color, mood and pattern. And so we built that right into the filtering system:
4. Samples, samples, samples
There was this one additional thing we learned from these interviews that may appear obvious in hindsight, but we honestly hadn’t anticipated it at all: in conversations with their clients, interior designers will typically only bring up wallcoverings of which they own physical samples.
To drive sales we created an easy interface that lets designers order up to five samples online for free. We emphasize this feature through explicit calls-to-action throughout the website.
This strategy has proven very successful since the launch of the new website. It positions Omexco as the generous company they are, but at the same time it is also a neat way to collect customer data and start a more direct conversation with their audience.
5. The website as a sales tool
Interior designers are not Omexco’s only audience. Their dedicated sales team travels the world to deal directly with a network of distributors. And so we built in the necessary filtering options, content and flows to help these salespeople (and retailers) take control of their narrative as they pitch to potential customers, iPad in hand.
Shortly after the release, the website became the number one sales tool of this team.
6. A quality build
A few months after its release, we’re happy to see that the team of Omexco is doing a splendid job on website content and social media. We believe the end result brings a sensory experience of beauty and an ongoing dialogue between Omexco’s historical know-how and their forward-thinking approach.
Creative and Digital Direction: Thomas Léon, Thomas Byttebier
Design: Lukas Liefsoens, Adam Sajkowski, Sander Vermeulen
Strategy: Annelies De Rouck, Thomas Byttebier
Development: Pierre Stoffe, Lou Verdun, Louis Hoebregts, Maxime Palau, Steve Piron