April 18, 2014, 3:51 PM

Fashion footwear brand Steve Madden lets customers tell its story on a new web site

In its first redesign in seven years, the shoe and accessories company has refocused its web content on the social activity of its young customers. The site pulls in images they post on Facebook and Instagram that are tagged with Steve Madden hashtags.

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Shoe and accessories brand Steve Madden Ltd. has redesigned SteveMadden.com for the first time in seven years. The new site, which went live last month, features user-generated content from social media sites, and allows shoppers to log in with their Facebook credentials. The changes are meant to appeal to SteveMadden.com’s young, socially active customers.

Before the redesign, the site concentrated heavily on product listings and information, says Mark Freidman, Steve Madden’s president of e-commerce. The new, socially focused design changes  that. “We wanted the site to be a combination of e-commerce and branding,” he says.

SteveMadden.com now pulls in and displays on the home page photos that customers post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and tag with one of various Steve Madden hashtags. For instance, on the home page today Steve Madden encourages customers to post photos of themselves wearing its products with the hashtag #SMOOTD, which stands for “Steve Madden outfit of the day.”

With the redesign, a customer can now log in to the site using her Facebook account.  That allows her to share products and purchases directly from the site to her Facebook page. When logged in, the site also indicates which items her Facebook friends have Liked on the social network. Steve Madden also re-launched its SM World blog with more connections to e-commerce. All products featured in the blog now include links back to their listings on SteveMadden.com.

Along with new features and functions, the redesign employed a technique known as adaptive design that tailors the look of the site to the device the consumer is using. To do that, the retailer’s server detects the device the consumer is using and only sends the page elements the retailer wants to show on that screen. That allows Steve Madden to have one web site for all customers that fits the screens of computers, tablets and mobile phones. In the past, the retailer operated a separate site for smartphone users. One site means requires less ongoing maintenance than two, and enables Steve Madden to present a consistent look to consumers no matter what device they use, Friedman says.

The redesign process took one year to be complete. The new site launched on March 13, and so far customers have been responding favorably, Freidman says, without giving details.

SteveMadden.com is No. 335 in Internet Retailer’s 2014 Mobile 500 Guide.

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