November 27, 2012, 4:51 PM Hard goods, soft sell

The look of a high-end site.

Lead Photo

At, simplicity, elegance and romancing the shopper are in. On the outs are product information overload and the hard sell. Five years ago Restoration Hardware began transforming itself from a middle-of-the-road housewares and home furnishings retailer into a store and web merchant that caters to affluent shoppers who don’t mind spending $8,000 or more on a Belgian textured wool sisal rug. At the ample space on the home page to feature a single image of an annual light fixtures sale or the front cover of four digital catalogs is meant to draw customers into shopping for a home lifestyle and not just buying a new kitchen rug or cabinet hardware. Digital catalogs also let shoppers click and buy, leave notes on particular pages and share pages on Facebook and Twitter.

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