August 27, 2008, 12:00 AM

Ralph Lauren kicks off interactive e-commerce at Rugby.com

Rugby.com, until now a brochure site, joins RalphLauren.com as Ralph Lauren Media LLC’s second e-commerce site. Rugby stores will mark the debut of the Web 2.0-powered site with touch-screen windows for street-side e-commerce.

It may be late to the game of e-commerce, but Ralph Lauren Media LLC’s Rugby.com is entering the world of online retailing in a big-league way with Web 2.0-powered features. Even Rugby stores will mark the online debut with touch-screen windows for street-side e-commerce.

Rugby.com, up until now a brochure site, joins RalphLauren.com as the retailer’s second e-commerce site for apparel and accessories. The site will provide several interactive Web 2.0 features, including videos that let shoppers click images of garments in the videos to get more product details and the option to make an online purchase. Dynamic product videos are designed to show how apparel items fit and move on a person.

“We are thrilled to extend Rugby’s reach to a larger audience,” says David Lauren, senior vice president of advertising, marketing and communications at parent company Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. “Rugby.com presents a dynamic online shopping experience by recreating our unique retail environment in an innovative and impactful way on the Internet-we are engaging our customer like never before.”

Rugby.com’s front-end customer experience environment was developed by Ralph Lauren’s Interactive Creative Group with GSI Commerce Inc. supporting the checkout process, a Ralph Lauren spokesman says. A “Make Your Own” feature, for example, will let shoppers customize shirts with particular Rugby logos, color patterns and monograms.

Rugby, which operates 12 bricks-and-mortar stores in high-end shopping districts, will offer interactive e-commerce windows at several store locations including New York, Boston and Washington, D.C. The interactive windows, first offered on Ralph Lauren stores in 2006 for shopping on RalphLauren.com, will let shoppers use a touch-screen interface on Rugby store windows to shop and place orders on Rugby.com.

paul@verticalwebmedia.com

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