CASE STUDY | Shotflow Empowers Express eCommerce “Shop the Look”

The Client: Express

Express is a leading fashion destination and apparel brand for both women and men. Since 1980, Express has provided the latest apparel and accessories for work, casual, jeanswear, and going-out, offering a distinct combination of fashion and quality at an attractive value. The company operates more than 600 retail and factory outlet stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as a best-in-class shopping experience through its website,, and mobile app. In addition, Express merchandise is available at franchise locations and online in Latin America.


Empowering The Customer Experience

Express is always focused on finding more ways to engage and delight its customers, including making it easier to shop for looks that appeal to each individual. Recently, Express launched the capability to “shop the look” at through unique capabilities offered by Capture Integration’s ShotFlow Studio Production Management platform. “Shop the look” entails presenting a look consisting of multiple components, such as jeans, shirt, jacket, and shoes, while enabling the customer to shop any or all of the items through interaction with the image. Delivering this experience requires an array of technologies throughout the content lifecycle, but most critically, there must be a means to accurately capture and convey information for all the specific products in the image. This task is complicated by the fluid nature of styling on a fashion shoot, where dynamic decisions are made regarding the specific items that will be styled together in a given shot. It is common for a skilled Art Director and Stylist to mix and match a variety of products to achieve an optimal look on the specific model, including accessorizing “on the fly” as the model is dressed on the shooting set.


Capture Critical Data on Set

Consequently, the point of image capture is the first and last time the exact combination of styles and colors being featured is truly known. Although there are several manual methods that can be employed to notate the product mix, they are cumbersome to implement, labor intensive, error prone, and can slow down a shoot that can be costly to produce. Express needed a way to capture and carry forward the exact product mix without impacting the smooth flow of their fashion shoots. Other technology vendors could not offer a solution to capture this critical product information without placing undue burden on the creative production team. ShotFlow was the only Studio Production Management solution in the world enabling the core metadata to power “shop the look” through a series of simple barcode scans from sample tags during model dress-out.

ShotFlow not only identifies all the products in the shot through this nearly instant scanning process, it also automatically attaches rich product metadata for all the products into the captured images in the form of custom XMP metadata.  This metadata, in turn, is read directly from the image assets by Adobe Experience Manager, Express’ asset management and web content platform. The “smarter assets” with extensive metadata created by ShotFlow can be leveraged by any marketing technology tool throughout the content lifecycle that supports the XMP open standard.


Fast Deployment

Not only did ShotFlow provide unique “shop the look” capabilities in any other tool, the solution was deployed in a matter of a few short weeks to meet a critical production deadline for Express. This speed of implementation was made possible by the extensive configurability of the ShotFlow platform, adapting to unique client requirements without the need for coding or complex API work.


A Partnership Approach

Capture Integration recognizes that no technology tool can stay static in today’s dynamic business world. The ideal tool today will be outdated tomorrow. Keeping a platform relevant to clients means partnering with them every step of the way to adapt to their changing needs. The ShotFlow Professional Services team is always available to respond, whether the change is a new report, a new system to connect and exchange data, or a new capability enabled by a ShotFlow expansion module.

“We are very excited to partner with Capture Integration. The ShotFlow platform is a critical part of managing our photo production studio,” said Jim Hilt, Chief Customer Experience Officer at Express. “Our production teams can focus on their creative work, while seamlessly integrating all the critical production data needed to enhance our customer’s experience when engaging with our content.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Express to enable a more efficient and exciting digital experience for their customers” said Eric Fulmer, VP of Operations and Strategic Growth at Capture Integration. “Solving major studio technology challenges for brands such as Express is our calling, and they challenge us every day to help them create aspirational content.”

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