Bicycle Cards

An e-commerce experience for the leader in playing cards

bicyclecards.com Stargazer bundle

Bicylecards.com is the e-commerce foundation for Cartamundi, a global manufacturer and seller of board games, card games, and collectibles. 

DEPT® leveraged our knowledge of e-commerce experiences and scalable technologies to deliver their team a successful platform. 

Reimagining and modernising the brand’s visual image 

Bicyclecards.com is a classic brand that’s been producing playing cards since 1867. Therefore, the history of the brand had to be balanced with its newfound digital store.

Our team worked with Cartamundi to reimagine–but also preserve–the company’s ethos, positioning, and style. 

One of the main goals was to build consistency and unity across the brand with regard to different audiences, all while promoting their products. From a design-to-development relationship standpoint, a top challenge was incorporating various APIs while ensuring that designs felt cohesive.

bicyclecards.com game

User needs based on four archetypes 

After completing market research, competitor analysis, content audit, and new information architecture, we designed a solution to interweave the business objectives, brand DNA, and user needs based on four key archetypes: 

  • Socialiser 
  • Magician/cardist 
  • Design + gadget lover
  • Collector

We analysed user data points and behaviours to strategise the most effective ways to communicate with these audiences and build the corresponding user flows.

All about scalability

Not only did Cartamundi seek to grow revenue by selling Bicycle Cards, but they also wanted to create a technical foundation for the rest of their brands. 

This required both design and technical strategy to ensure future teams (DEPT® or not) would be able to use the framework from bicyclecards.com. 

For design, we created a robust design system and e-commerce style guide to ensure visual unity. And for development, we prioritised a platform that was scalable, headless, composable, and mobile-first. 

This combination will allow them to quickly add e-commerce platforms for various brands, in different locations, languages, and currencies.  

Bicyclecards.com was also the alpha site for the DEPT® product known as DASH. DASH is designed specifically to reduce development time and get websites and e-commerce platforms to market faster than traditional development. 

Bicyclecards world of Warcraft

Our goal of sharing the magic of playing together was fully realised by DEPT®. From the conception and design phase through the building process, they were able to take our ideas and bring them to life in brilliant visualisations.

Patrick Lane
Vice President, Global eCommerce

Explore the Bicyclecards.com store

Medela

A 360° growth strategy on Amazon

pregnant woman, woman with baby

For over 60 years, Medela has been the healthcare choice for more than 6 million hospitals and homes in over 100 countries. They are trusted in providing them with research-based breastfeeding and baby products, as well as healthcare solutions for hospitals.

In 2021, Medela was looking for input to generate additional e-commerce growth. FACTOR-A/DEPT® took on this challenge and helped Medela accomplish its goal by:

  • Evaluating its status quo performance
  • Creating targets for the year with a customised roadmap
  • Implementing a continuous progress tracking method

We facilitated a complete Strategic 360° analysis for Medela EU5 to identify their growth potential, the number of required investments, and the necessary actions. Our work with Medela has resulted in a significant increase in conversions and advertising sales.

+18%

Glance views

+9%

Conversions

+69%

Advertising sales

The challenge(s)

Medela’s extensive portfolio presented the challenge of building a well-rounded growth strategy because they operate within the very niche maternal products category. Other challenges were building a general strategy that covers Medela’s pan-European presence, and developing a separate one for search advertising in the UK.

The solution: creating a strategic 360° analysis

Through collaboration with the global Medela team, we offered a comprehensive approach to the brand. We supported them in their journey to go the extra mile on Amazon by combining our expertise in: consulting analysis; advertising campaign management; retail management; content optimisation with the entire dashboard, and QBR monitoring.

Amazon Ads

Our goal was to scale the Medela Europe search advertising campaigns in order to increase the market share, visibility and sales. We aligned this based on the regular results of the market share analysis and share-of-voice analysis. Besides competitor targeting, we paid special attention to all other kinds of targeting (auto/generic/defensive/ ASIN/retargeting), as well as different ad types (SPs, SBs, SDs, SBVs). Furthermore, we considered local market trends and situations in the campaign setups.

smiling woman with baby

How we did it

Step 1

In the form of a roadmap and related tracking measures, we depicted our 360° analysis for EU5 to identify the possible growth, required investments, and actions needed.

Step 2

We showed Medela’s day-to-day performance and the tracking process via our factor-a suite and reporting from different teams to keep an eye on Medela’s KPIs.

Step 3

We demonstrated how we leverage Deal & Advertising in specific markets as two main performance factors on Amazon to improve growth. We also looked at competition, price, content and visibility/traffic indicators.

pregnant woman

The results

The performance in all areas of Amazon has increased with specific measures taken in advertising and deals. These are the following:

  • Reallocation of budgets between deal and AM
  • Refinement of the strategy for Prime Day
  • Optimisation of the AMS campaign
  • Close monitoring of key competitors

This has also led to better mapping of the company’s efforts and needs, as well as shown great results on the bottom line. The project had implications on the budget allocated such as reallocation of budgets between deal and AMS, focus on deals outside of the big deal period, as well as adjustment of the AMS campaigns. In combination with the internal team setup, it resulted in defining the future focus on the consulting side with new exciting projects unique to Medela that are planned for 2022.

In combination with the internal team setup, it resulted in defining the future focus on the consulting side with new exciting projects unique to Medela that are planned for 2022.

medela case trend line

Wrap up

Unique mix

Our work with Medela serves as a perfect example of a full-service client willing to go the extra mile on Amazon with our full support. It’s a unique mix of consulting analyses, advertising campaign management, retail management and content optimisation, fully monitored through the dashboard and the QBRs.

Transparency culture

Overall, we are able to follow Medela’s performance on a day-to-day basis, leverage its key factors in the specific markets and report back to Medela. This is what our test and learn approach looks like, as well as the transparency culture that we value so highly.

Questions?

Team Lead Sponsored Advertising

Nesma Abdel-Hamid

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bol.com

Bol.com’s Christmas House

Tim Kugelmann Bol

By putting a fully decorated Christmas House up for sale on Funda, the most popular real estate platform in the Netherlands, we strengthened bol.com’s link with Christmas under an audience that’s usually very difficult to reach.

Challenge 

Bol.com is a brand that is, from its heritage, strongly linked to Sinterklaas. The ambition for the 2021 Christmas campaign was to also establish a similar mental link to Christmas, to ultimately become the leading retailer during the whole holiday period.

The goal was to be in the top three brands that are associated with Christmas. A hefty challenge. In 2020 the list was dominated by strong ‘Christmas brands’ Albert Heijn (16%), Coca-Cola (15%) and Jumbo (7%), with bol.com closing the ranks with the 9th position (2%).

Christmas is a cluttered time in the advertising space. We had our ATL campaign in place, but we also knew we didn’t have the media budget that would allow us to have the number one share of voice for 3 weeks long. An extra challenge was making an impact with our target audience under 40, who were hard to reach through our traditional assets. So we had to go clever about it.

Idea 

Bol.com’s Christmas campaign was all about going all out this year and celebrating Christmas better than ever after two years of COVID. This involves decorating your house with beautiful Christmas decorations. To display and promote bol.com’s Christmas range in an original way, we used a very special and relevant medium: Funda.nl.

Funda is not only for buyers or sellers. With 5 million viewers every month, the platform is also visited en masse to find inspiration or sheer entertainment. The second reason was the booming housing market, especially for people between the ages of 30-40. That’s why we used the largest real estate platform in the Netherlands.

So we put a house up for sale, fully decorated from top to bottom, because Christmas decorations really come to life in a house. With Christmas lights, a snow projector, a huge inflatable Santa in the garden and every room in theme, the house was completely Christmassy, ready for sale and a sight to behold in all the pictures.

Another unique part of the content on the Funda page, was the presence of real estate agent Tim Kugelmann in the promotional photos – dressed up in all kinds of outlandish Christmas outfits. This made the house ad even more over the top. We also put some bol.com boxes as little easter eggs in the attic of the house, hoping for some first response from observant viewers.

visual fundacases

Execution 



As bol.com is not officially allowed to sell houses on Funda.nl, we first reached out to real estate agent Tim, who was already known for his eccentric way of promoting houses on Funda. This also gave legitimacy to the activation, as we could then communicate through a reputable real estate agent. Tim was immediately excited about the prospect and already had a fitting, typically Dutch house in mind. 

We then joined forces with Jelier & Schaaf, a full service art department, to create a design and fully decorate all the different rooms in the house, in several Christmas themes. 

With the house fully decorated, we then created typical ‘house-for-sale content’, together with the real estate’s official photo- and videographer and launched the house on Funda on the 6th of December. We first built as much organic reach as possible with a targeted PR approach. After that, paid content was used to make the link with bol.com even more explicit.

Influencer Kees Tol, known from tv programme ‘Weer Verliefd op je Huis’, gave Christmas fans a tour of the house. In the same week, Funda displayed banners from the overarching bol.com campaign to inspire people with the bol.com Christmas product range.

Check out the case film below!

Impact 

The Funda Christmas House activation achieved a total reach of 8.230.011 impressions and a total PR value of €137.805,-. The Christmas house was the most viewed house on funda.nl for over a week and had the strongest single medium effect (compared to traditional and other digital media) on the total uplift of the campaign. Meaning that the target group who have seen the Christmas house, associates bol.com 8.2 times (index 820***) more with Christmas in comparison to the group with no exposure to the activation. 

Bol.com won the attention battle and ended up as the number one brand linked to Christmas, going from the ninth to the first place. Overtaking big Christmas brands like Albert Heijn and Coca-Cola.

Relevancy 

In order to really stand out and win the most important retail period of the year, we choose to not only rely on ATL communication, but rather display bol.com’s Christmas assortment on a medium that is already visited over 5 million times a month. 

Funda is not only for buyers or sellers. The platform is also visited en masse to find inspiration or sheer entertainment. By understanding this cultural value and the power of the platform, we found a smart way to get earned attention without pushing the brand too much upfront from the beginning. 

With one activation on a relevant platform; we cut through the clutter, reached and engaged with our target audience under 40, proved bol.com’s position as the one-stop shop for all your Christmas goods and we activated the relevant feeling of going all out this year.

Tim Kugelmann Bol 1

Questions?

Strategy director NL

Dennis Hamakers

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ABOUT YOU

HYPEWEAR by ABOUT YOU – the first online shop for digital fashion

ABOUT YOU is one of the fastest growing e-commerce companies and one of the leading online fashion retailers in Europe, driving innovative projects and seeing itself as an industry pioneer in digital fashion. ABOUT YOU approached DEPT® with the vision to create an online shop for digital fashion. The aim: making digital fashion items accessible to the general public. DEPT® supported end-to-end, as both consultant and implementation partner.

Virtual Fashion – unlimited possibilities

First, the HYPEWEAR brand was created and the CI designed, both in close coordination with ABOUT YOU. DEPT® then conceptualized and developed the HYPEWEAR digital fashion online shop based on the agency’s own Algomart solution. As a last step, DEPT® created a teaser video for the high-profile launch of HYPEWEAR.

In addition to the fashion e-commerce business, ABOUT YOU aims to conquer the virtual fashion space and offer customers a wide variety of outfits. Virtual fashion allows creators to design pieces that are not wearable in real life or could not exist like this such as a jacket made of virtual flowers, a dress made of dancing tulle elements, or other unusual voluminous highlight pieces. There are different collections available in the HYPEWEAR shop; some of them are rare and limited in number, others are available more often. Customers have the opportunity to express themselves in a completely new way and to present themselves digitally; this is particularly relevant for Gen Z with regard to the fluid understanding of their identity.

Hypewear Visual Still 02 Desktop Komprimiert

It’s all ABOUT YOU

With the new platform for digital fashion, there are no physical limits to the customers’ own self-expression. HYPEWEAR is a first mover to offer digital fashion and, according to its motto ‘From Tech to Human’, the items are not only affordable for digital fashion fans, but also accessible without crypto knowledge. This makes the platform one of the pioneers in the market.

Fast First Mover – fast, simple and intuitive

The aim was to bring a first MVP of the online shop live in the shortest possible time to establish HYPEWEAR as the one-stop store for digital fashion items. The user journey was to be designed as simple and intuitive as possible, even for ‘non-web3 natives’, in order not to exclude anyone and to ensure that every user can purchase digital fashion items. In addition, brands should be able to sell their 3D fashion via HYPEWEAR to provide a large selection of different fashion pieces on the platform for the target group.

Hypewear Visual Still 01 Desktop Komprimiert

The solution

An online shop for digital fashion based on the Algorand Blockchain

The selection of the appropriate blockchain was a key part of the project. The main focus was on ensuring that it was ecologically sustainable, fast, and had low processing fees (i.e. fees for mining and transferring the NFTs). DEPT® and ABOUT YOU selected Algorand. This blockchain has a minimal CO2 footprint and enables fast transactions between marketplace and customers. 

Through the integrated CMS in the online store, ABOUT YOU can create and upload as many digital fashion items as desired. The occurring processing fees on Algorand are minor.

Thanks to the integration of custodial wallets, the creation of the crypto wallet in which the items are stored is handled directly for the customer in the registration process. This prevents a break in the customer journey, which would be associated with the time-consuming and complicated creation of crypto wallets and the subsequent connection in the store. Even Web3-inexperienced users can receive their digital fashion pieces with ease.

In addition to the 3D model of the respective digital fashion item and the NFT, customers also receive an edited photo of themselves onto which the virtual fashion piece is mapped. This step also fits perfectly into the entire customer journey and is kept as simple as possible. Customers can easily manage their digital fashion items in their profile and use the edited photos for social media.

Within just a few months, DEPT® and ABOUT YOU have created the first online store for digital fashion. HYPEWEAR pushes the boundaries of conventional fashion with three-dimensional fashion pieces. The platform acts as a digital milestone in this field, providing the impulse for many more future-forward, virtual projects.

Screenshot 2022 07 28 at 10 11 42

The metaverse will continue to gain importance in the upcoming years and we see great potential here, which we want to explore together with the experts of DEPT®: We strongly believe in a transition phase of augmented reality, where your physical self presents digital fashion on social media, breaking down the boundaries of the previous fashion world and reaching an even larger audience.

Marius Bingener, Teamlead Content Development, ABOUT YOU

Visit the HYPEWEAR online shop

Questions?

Director Marketing & Business Development

Gesine Meitler

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Ralph Lauren

A personalised Ralph Lauren gifting experience

Ralph Lauren Red scaled

Luxury fashion brand Ralph Lauren was founded in 1967 and is a global leader in the design, marketing, and distribution of premium lifestyle products, including apparel, accessories, home furnishings, and other licensed product categories. For over five decades, their long-standing reputation and distinctive image have been consistently developed across an expanding number of products, brands, sales channels, and international markets.

For Holiday season 2021 and beyond, Ralph Lauren challenged BYTE/DEPT® to find a way to elevate their existing gifting experience within the digital space.

Ralph Lauren Gift Chatbot 1 1

The challenge: developing a strong bond

The aim was to provide users with a more immersive and personalised method of picking the perfect gift, matching their interests with compatible products available on the Ralph Lauren website. They wanted to develop a strong bond between the brand identity of Ralph Lauren, the digital assistant, and the customer, breaking any barriers of communication and supercharging the journey to finding the perfect gift.

This was coupled with a desire to be pioneers in cutting-edge communications with customers, tapping into emerging, innovative mechanics to bring the gift experience to life.

The solution: a gifting chatbot

Combining data-driven insights from previous gifting chatbots with innovative Instagram platform features, we built one of the first branded Instagram chatbots available in the industry and worldwide.

We optimised the conversation structure based on data collected from the Messenger and WhatsApp gifting bots we’ve previously run, to ensure the best experience for users throughout the Holiday season and beyond. We know how the customers behave and what they like when shopping for gifts, and have taken that to the next level on Instagram.

A personalised journey

The conversation takes you through a personalised journey towards discovering the perfect gift – just like you would in Ralph Lauren’s flagship store on London’s Bond Street.

  • Tell us who you’re shopping for and their style
  • Match their style with the perfect gift using bespoke Taste Profiles
  • Refine your search with dynamic filters (such as price or outerwear) that remember your search history and tailor recommendations accordingly 
  • NLP functionality that would take you to specific product pages when certain trigger words were typed e.g. ‘jeans’
  • Get bespoke product recommendations from a dynamic product feed

We made use of powerful discovery features including automated replies to story @mentions, and DMs to drive new conversations cost effectively. We also built a series of creative assets that were channelled into Ralph Lauren’s paid campaigns to drive traffic to the bot.

One of the first branded Instagram chatbots in the world

Ralph Lauren Gift Chatbot 2 1

Excellent results

Our gifting chatbot saw excellent results in its first few months.

Average of 12k monthly users over Dec 21 – Mar 22
We’ve seen very healthy traffic into the bot, with 3.5x more users on Instagram compared to Messenger and WhatsApp combined.

82% organic traffic
Over 80% of users are introduced to the bot organically, making it very efficient compared to paid media campaigns. Essentially high quality traffic at zero media spend.

6 minutes average time spent on the bot
This is 3x higher than the average time spent on our other gifting bots, showing that users are engaging well with the bot experience.

2.7% click through rate to website
Almost 3% of users that land on the chatbot visit the website and show purchase intent.

0.4% users handed over to Customer Services
Only 0.4% of users required a handover to a live Customer Service agent. This is one of the lowest rates we’ve seen in the industry.

With the chatbot now successfully rolled out in 4 markets (UK, IT, DE and FR) across 4 languages, we’re looking into further expansion across more global Ralph Lauren markets for 2022 and beyond.

Questions?

Lead Technology Planner at BYTE/DEPT®

Maria Temneanu

eBay

Helping eBay start a conversation with the world

From Sydney to San Francisco, FEED/DEPT® partners with eBay to conceive, create, and deliver transformational digital campaigns at scale. Throughout eBay’s extensive online presence in Europe, North America, and Australia, we work across every digital touchpoint.

Our bespoke automation technology means that eBay can keep up with the ever-changing retail marketplace landscape, engaging customers onsite, through CRM, and on social channels at rapid speeds.

Engaging audiences worldwide

With over 170 million global customers daily, eBay needed an agency that could keep the conversation going 24/7 in seven different languages. They tasked us with creating a leading customer experience, executing ideas, concepts and designs that would engage their audiences worldwide. eBay wanted campaigns that were consistently relevant to each of their users, from seasoned sellers, to new buyers, to lapsed customers. And, they wanted to connect on an emotional level across multiple channels.

Not all customers are the same

In order to take eBay’s comprehensive conversation to the next level, we gained a deep understanding of the different customer journey paths that their platform provides. Through communications that speak directly to specific customer types like regular buyers, sporadic sellers, passionate collectors, or alternate makers, eBay could forge an intimate connection with each of them. 

This meant they needed to generate personalised content and relevant experiences with their customer segments in mind, approaching them with seamless, responsive communication to drive revenue, retention, and brand loyalty.

Hyper-personalised content

Our DEPT®/Creative Automation tools allow us to create multiple cross-channel communications to various eBay audiences. At the click of a button, we can generate thousands of creative variations from just a few inputs. Automated asset production allows us to tailor messaging to each individual customer segment, and iterate on the messaging quickly based on performance data. Our tools make it easy to adjust copy and design, so that we are always producing hyper-personalised content that truly resonates with eBay customers around the world and at every stage of the user journey.

Hundreds of campaigns monthly

By streamlining the creative process with technology, we create over 200 monthly campaigns in multiple languages for eBay. We are able to convey their unique brand voice and articulate their values consistently to millions across global regions. Through personalisation at scale, we talk to the specific needs of every customer and build meaningful relationships between eBay and their users that drive significant engagement and amplify conversion. Our approach ensures that eBay remains a household name that informs, inspires, and moves at the speed of retail.

Questions?

Managing Director – Canada at FEED/DEPT®

Adam Jewson

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FREITAG

Design-it-yourself with FREITAG F-Cut

EN f cut landing

The sustainable Swiss brand FREITAG, known for their bags and accessories made from used truck tarpaulins, has always stood for individualism. With the new digital tool F-Cut, FREITAG now offers its customers the opportunity to design their very own super unique items. The idea behind it was born 20 years ago – and comes from a DEPT® employee.

Desire for more uniqueness

Each of the approximately 300,000 FREITAG bags and accessories produced each year is unique. A large proportion is manufactured in Zurich, where the truck tarpaulins are dismantled and washed by FREITAG employees before the bag designers cut out the best motifs with their cutter knives and templates and these are then processed into bags.

So far, so good. But more and more often, customers inquire in the FREITAG stores whether a specific bag is also available in another color, with this or that motif. The bag makers have taken these requests for (even) more uniqueness to heart – and fell back on the diploma thesis in which DEPT® employee Severin Klaus invented, designed and programmed the first F-Cut for FREITAG 20 years ago.

EN f cut main

Democratisation of bag design

The DEPT® team in Switzerland has been working with FREITAG since 2020 and has, among other things, implemented a bag swapping campaign on Tinder for the brand. Now FREITAG approached us to awaken the online cutting table F-Cut from its slumber together with bag and UX designers, logisticians and many other experts.
 
The following positioning and visions were defined in a preliminary project:

Democratisation of bag design

Every interested customer should have the opportunity to design their own unique bag according to their own taste, beyond all design guidelines.

Bringing FREITAG’s values to life

Sustainability and individualism come first. The FREITAG Sweat-Yourself-Shops are to be transported from the physical to the digital world by means of F-Cut.

Revival of a classic

The new F-Cut is to be as good as the multiple award-winning 20-year-old original, but even more user-friendly and contemporary.

EN f cut mobile

Linking the offline world with the online world

F-Cut offers a unique combination of rough & real materials with digital perfection and a smooth product configuration – no matter on which device, including 3D preview in real time. In this way, the offline world of FREITAG is linked to the online world thanks to a unique experience. 
 
For F-Cut, DEPT® not only implemented the UX, UI and the 3D preview, but also the back- and frontend. The visual identity and the texts were created by FREITAG.

From a technical perspective, F-Cut is a web application that combines various systems. On the one hand, there is of course the F-Cut app – the GUI – in which FREITAG customers configure their bags. Then there is the F-Cut backend with a headless CMS, which primarily provides a database and communicates via API with the checkout (FREITAG online store) and of course the F-Cut app. In addition, there are further admin interfaces with everyday tarpaulin management functions (configuration, orders, etc.) and tarpaulin upload, editor and export (DXF) for production.

EN f cut preview

Bag dreams come true

For the first release, the focus was on the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid): we limited ourselves to one bag type, the Messenger Bag F712 DRAGNET, which can be designed using four virtual templates from a selection of 20-50 different truck tarps. The designable bag types could be expanded in the future or the bag type could change at fixed intervals.

In order to ensure fairness and equality, new tarpaulins are silently added to the system to exclude disputes about the “good” tarpaulin pieces. Another important aspect for FREITAG was the balance between maximum design freedom and sustainability: leftover tarpaulins are used for accessory products.

f worker

What’s next?

Already before the go-live, F-Cut triggered enthusiasm both among the DEPT® and FREITAG teams. Several further development projects are already planned: more products and features are to follow. 20 years after the birth of the idea, F-Cut has finally awoken from its slumber and will continue to grow steadily.

Over 20 years ago, I got to implement F-Cut as a student one-man show – to rethink this project now, with the support of a fantastic team, both on the DEPT® side and on the customer side, while exploiting the possibilities of today’s technology, is a great privilege.

Severin Klaus, Tech Director, DEPT®

DESIGN YOUR VERY OWN
FREITAG BAG

Questions?

Senior Consultant

Vera Weber

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C&A

Building a modern shopping experience for C&A

woman c&A

C&A is one of the leading fashion companies in Europe, with over 1,300 stores and 25,000 employees across 18 countries.  Every day, over 2 million customers flock to its physical stores, or visit its online site looking for high-quality fashion at low prices. C&A turned to DEPT® to review and refresh its technical architecture in line with its extensive rebrand.

CA Case Visual 02 2

Flexibility and scalability – key factors in a digital world

The collaboration between C&A and DEPT® began in mid-2020. Initially, we were tasked with maintaining and further developing the front-end of the previous online store. However, the monolithic e-commerce platform it was built upon was unfortunately restricting the retailer’s digital growth. In today’s digital world where user expectations, trends, technology, and broader market factors change so quickly, a flexible and scalable system is key for companies who want to act instead of react.

C&A denim

From a monolithic platform to a headless microservice architecture

C&A needed a customer experience platform to act as its central digital touchpoint and support omnichannel consumer journeys to ensure a seamless shopping experience.  The retailer had already developed an innovative architecture concept, and planned to replace its legacy platform with an edge-based, headless microservice architecture with SPA front end. Together with C&A’s in house teams, DEPT®:

  • developed an agile product strategy and roadmap;
  • set up a cross-product design system;
  • developed new front- and backend components;
  • implemented a new, modern technical architecture.

Product strategy and roadmap

To effectively pursue the goals of C&A’s digital strategy, as well as the overarching business and brand strategy, DEPT® worked with C&A’s Product and UX team to develop a medium-term, agile product strategy for the new online store.

We first developed data-based customer value propositions for the target groups of the online store.  We mapped out an ambitious Webshop Vision Statement 2024 as a landmark for the product team. Together with C&A, we set strategic milestones and defined associated key results, to ensure the online store’s success is continuously measured and can be made visible to key stakeholders at any time.

To bring the online store strategy to life, we set up an agile workflow that leads directly to a dynamic, strategic product discovery and roadmap. Since expectations and impulses around digital products change at lightning speed, the online store will be strategically reviewed in regular alignments in the future.

group in C&A denim
CA Case Visual 06 2

Collaboration and process

From the very beginning, DEPT® established a broad collaboration with various stakeholders at C&A – from brand and marketing teams to IT and research units. This was an important basis for the success of the project, as it enabled a common understanding of how brand purpose and brand value propositions could be translated into the digital realm. Possible solutions based on consumer insights were developed with the help of collaborative ideation and co-creation sessions, and the results were tested using interactive prototypes. In order to routinely generate ideas for new functions and services in the future, the collaboration between the C&A user research team and the product managers was integrated and intensified – a new power force that will not only further develop the online store in a user-centric manner but also make it more innovative.

CA Case Visual 07

Architecture and technology

The technical solution conceived by C&A was further elaborated and implemented together with DEPT® to create a microservice approach. This scalable and flexible infrastructure enables optimal time-to-market performance, and enables personalised offers, content, and services to be delivered to the users. At the same time, the solution can grow seamlessly with future requirements.

Due to the complexity of the project and the associated complete renewal of the architecture, the development of the new online store was divided into several stages. Stage 1 included the redevelopment of the store frontend for the customer journey up to the shopping cart, as well as the introduction of a new backend. Both components are hosted “on the edge” on a high-performance and scalable serverless infrastructure from Cloudflare. The generation and delivery of content to users is done via a worldwide CDN (Content Delivery Network), with thousands of nodes.

A new, modern headless CMS became the central tool for content maintenance across multiple channels such as the online store and the C&A app. Because the backend and commerce engine remained unchanged in Stage 1, interfaces to the legacy system based on GraphQL were developed in collaboration with software company novomind. This enables the parallel operation of old and new technology, and conducts ongoing A/B tests for 10% of the users. The connection of these APIs and all other third party systems like Reco-Engine, PIM, etc, takes place via a newly developed gateway, which provides the data in a consolidated form to the frontend; a modern and server-side rendered single page application based on React.

CA Case Visual 08 3

Product design, user experience and content

The entire user journey through to checkout was redesigned. A comprehensive set of content modules provides space for engaging, inspiring content that embodies freshness and modernity. Large-scale images and strong portraits combined with close-ups create an emotional connection, while striking typography succinctly brings user-relevant content to the point.

The header is now cleaner and clearer; there is a new navigation concept for the mobile and the desktop versions. New and more balanced product listings provide a better overview and support the user to make an informed buying decision.

Easy-to-understand labels and a focus on sustainability communicate the brand promise and good value for money. A user-friendly filter gives customers the most important options directly at their fingertips. The products on the details page now have a new arrangement, with a clearer buy box and integrated size advice, helping to underline the modern look and feel of the new platform.

CA Case Visual 09

The design system as the single source of truth

Built from scratch, the new C&A design system is a living digital ecosystem that grows and changes in symbiosis with the e-com products. It enables teams to develop a consistent experience for users as the new single source of truth for a common digital language. This increases efficiency and strengthens cross-functional collaboration, even for external partners. In a collaborative approach, our product design team worked closely with the client to develop and define the overarching guidelines such as digital branding basics and content principles. Shop-specific foundations, components and UX patterns are provided with guidelines and numerous best practices to offer the best possible orientation and guidance for a consistent experience.

Together with DEPT®, the strong partner at our side, we have built a state-of-the-art webshop. The new platform fulfils the wishes of our customers, reflects the modernity of our brand and forms the basis for our ambitious growth targets.

Ulrike Otto, Head of Digital Experience, C&A

Questions?

Managing Director

Verena Sandbote

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H&Mbeyond.

A unique Web3 experience for H&Mbeyond.

H&Mbeyond. is the innovation hub of the well-known Swedish fashion company H&M Group. Together with startups and innovators, its team drives forward future-oriented projects. H&Mbeyond.approached us to create the first-of-its-kind, Metaverse project for the H&M brand: the Virtual Showroom.

A central point for meaningful exchanges

In keeping with the current zeitgeist, H&Mbeyond. approached us with the idea of expanding H&M’s physical showrooms with a digital showroom. Based on the former, it should reflect the brand’s identity and values, just virtually instead of physically. A space without opening hours, where a wide variety of target audiences such as influencers and stylists, customers, employees, and the press can meet and learn more about H&M and its collections. The Virtual Showroom was to serve as a central point for meaningful exchanges in an immersive environment. Targeted tours by the H&M showroom team were intended to inform the audience about current trends and topics such as sustainability and new, innovative materials.

The number of visitors, countries of origin and the average time spent in the individual areas (which can be helpful for future brand activations), were defined as KPIs for this new showroom. KPIs including click rates of downloadable materials and qualitative feedback from showroom guests and media stakeholders are to follow soon.

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Bringing collections to life

How can we experience clothing when we can’t touch it or wear it? What added value does a digital experience offer visitors and customers? Together with our partner Journee – The Metaverse Company™, we explored solutions to these questions to develop a virtual, custom-fit world for H&M. In the H&M Virtual Showroom, content on H&M’s innovation topics and sustainability efforts are presented, alongside ‘information zones’, designed especially for the press or users interested in a conversation.

The look of the showroom is based on the DNA of the H&M brand, with appropriately designed areas for the most important topics such as the ‘Sustainability Garden’ (where information on the innovative material ‘AirCarbon’ is shared), or the H&M Home influencers meeting area.

The ‘Campaign Room’, accessible through a portal, is where the new H&M Innovation Stories campaign ‘Cherish Waste’ is interpreted in a fascinating new way. Here, Creative Director Ann-Sofie Johansson and Concept Designer Ella Soccorsi give insights into the design process of the collection and the campaign, as well as the materials used in the clothing. The highlight of this room are the six main pieces of the collection which dominate the room as detailed, oversized 3D graphics. The flowing movement and vivid colours of the graphics really bring the pieces to life. Special Collections, in particular, lend themselves to the creation of such individual spaces, with a wide variety of brand activation options and providing unique, added-value for the visitors and the H&M showroom team.

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From vision to (virtual) realisation

We developed all of the components mentioned above together with Journee and in close cooperation with H&M. The vision of the showroom grew piece by piece; our strategists developed the concept, and the designers brainstormed, scribbled and designed creative mood boards based on the creative direction of the campaign and the H&M brand DNA.

With the help of H&M’s user insights, we designed the user flows for the influencers, stylists and journalists at an early stage, which provided the necessary guidance during the creative process. With the design ideas sharpened, we continued to optimise the concept and content until everything could be implemented (virtually) by Journee, using Unreal.

The first test tours in the Virtual Showroom, plus the positive feedback and ideas received from H&M stakeholders, helped us to round off the H&M Web3 experience. Paths were rerouted, trees moved, images swapped, and descriptions added.

hm virtual showroom campaign area 1

An immersive user experience

The three avatar designs represent an important message: the need for more diversity and inclusion in fashion. With the avatars, users can move freely in the Virtual Showroom, so we paid special attention to user guidance, orientation and the order in the rooms. Even inexperienced users can navigate through the showroom with the help of various aids and explanations, helping them to discover everything in a playful way. Thanks to the separate rooms and different areas in the H&M Virtual Showroom, users can explore and experience the brand and the respective collections, or they can quickly find what they are looking for by simply teleporting to their desired destination.

hm virtual showroom garment feature 1

Results

A survey carried out with Gen Z visitors to the Virtual Showroom has resulted in very positive feedback:

69% of the respondents said that the showroom had aroused their interest in a virtual H&M brand experience.

In addition, 80% of the respondents are already interested in participating in a virtual H&M brand experience as an H&M Hello member.

Finally, 85% of the visitors surveyed rated the virtual showroom experience as very positive.

Remarkable press reviews

“Previous digital press meetings were nothing compared to this experience. Amazing space and visual execution, i.e. 3D moving garments in campaign room.” GLAMOUR

“Congrats to the space. In love especially with the visuals.” VOGUE

“Super cool to experience such an entirely new and imaginary environment. Love the photo booth to share.” FASHION UNITED

Within only 12 weeks, we created a first-of-its-kind metaverse experience with the team from DEPT® and JOURNEE, which not only triggered positive feedback from the target group and a remarkable press echo. The project is also the impetus for further innovation projects within the H&M Group. I am looking forward to further collaboration with the team and am excited to see how we will shape Web3 together in the future.

Oliver Lange, Head of H&Mbeyond.

What’s next?

By working in true collaboration throughout an iterative process, the requirements of H&Mbeyond.’s innovation approach were optimally understood and implemented. In the future, the Virtual Showroom is expected to host events such as launches, meetings, and concerts for larger audiences, all in addition to the presentation of new collections. 

“H&M’s Virtual Showroom is designed as a space for brand activations such as fashion campaigns. These are brought to life in a whole new and exciting way, combining innovation, digitalisation and sustainability. It makes me very proud to see how much energy, heart and soul our colleagues across countries and departments have put into this project. We are looking forward to exploring the potential in the countries of the Central Europe region and beyond.” Thorsten Mindermann, Regional Manager, H&M Central Europe.

A virtual concert goes through the roof

After the great success of the virtual showroom and the positive feedback from the target groups, H&Mbeyond. also wanted to offer an immersive experience to the end consumers. After extensive pitch and evaluation phases with a focus on Gen Z, the idea for the first virtual concert in the Metaverse was born. To build on the success of the Virtual Showroom with Love as quickly as possible, local and global marketing teams at H&M developed a concept in record time. In developing the immersive experience, the aspects of engagement and community were at the very top of the agenda. H&M finally managed to get the five-member ‘P-Pop’ boy band BGYO to perform the concert and realise it together with Journee and the existing technology. A new area was created in the existing showroom.

The result exceeded H&Mbeyond.’s expectations. For example, the concert dominated social media channels and was covered by the TV station CNN Philippines. Communication about the virtual event eventually went viral. After the concert, some participants were surveyed. According to this survey, the interest in such immersive experiences is very high. In addition, the great demand for products in the form of physical and digital merchandise of the band motivated H&Mbeyond. to think further in this direction.

The road to metaverse commerce

At our DEPT® Commerce Day 2022, Oliver Lange from H&Mbeyond. and Jan Gutkuhn, Director Web3 at DEPT®, talked about the creation of the Virtual Showroom with Love.

Take a look behind the scenes and get exciting insights on the topic of The Road to metaverse commerce in the following video.

Questions?

Director Marketing & Business Development

Gesine Meitler

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De Bijenkorf

A magical branded experience

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De Bijenkorf is the most well known department store in the Netherlands. It is a place to be Admired and Amazed. That one-of-a-kind sensation embodies everything de Bijenkorf stands for and serves as the ideal theme for a holiday campaign in 2021. DEPT®, Dogstudio, and de Bijenkorf have collaborated to create a magical, branded experience that digitally brings de Bijenkorf’s wonderful shopping experience to life in this Admire & Amaze campaign.

Outline of the campaign

Digitally bringing an exclusive experience to life

Together with de Bijenkorf, we embarked on a quest for an experience defined by inspiration and awe. This is how we came up with the concept of a meticulously constructed 3D world in which visitors are guided through a magical forest and past exquisite, handcrafted products.

Design: from idea to reality

We transformed a visual and interactive concept into a magical commerce experience that combines 2D and 3D elements through art direction, a storyboard, and inspiration from fairy tales and surrealism.

Technology: from concept to immersive three-dimensional

To translate all of the creativity into a fluid experience, 2D illustrations of the forest are layered within a 3D world. This world is completely rendered in WebGL, and the bee flies through it in three dimensions, passing all products.

Alluring features scattered throughout the campaign

The experience’s magical quality begins earlier with a video teaser on social media and surprising forest-related elements on de Bijenkorf’s website. For instance, the bee flies to debijenkorf.nl unexpectedly, and the visitor is redirected to the campaign website when they click on the bee.

Collaboration: the new frontier

We created the ultimate branded experience with de Bijenkorf through an excellent collaboration.

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A one-of-a-kind experience brought to life digitally

De Bijenkorf is the Netherlands’ most surprising, inspiring, and creative department store, where everyone is treated as an individual. Additionally, the department store sells online in a number of countries throughout Western Europe. De Bijenkorf seduces with its style, inspires with its beauty, and inspires a desire for lovely things to spoil yourself or someone else. DEPT® has been tasked with bringing this unique and personal shopping experience to life digitally in collaboration with de Bijenkorf’s digital marketing and e-commerce teams.

Together, we embarked on a quest for an experience that transcends conventional shopping routes; a quest for an experience defined by inspiration and wonder. Because that is when magic occurs. How did we accomplish that? By transporting the visitor into a meticulously constructed three-dimensional world, accompanied by a bee that awakens in the winter and embarks on a journey of discovery through an enchanted forest. The bee leads us through rustling leaves, whispering trees, and brilliant light, marveling at the luxuriously presented products and inspiring us to feel the same way.

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From concept to manifestation

We created a magical forest, exclusive products, and a flying bee for de Bijenkorf’s digital experience. We explored how we could shape this into a user-friendly and enchanting story where commerce, brand, and magic all come together.

What is the initial step toward magic? During flight, the bee leaves a trail of sparkles behind. We collaborated with Myriam Wares – an illustrator known for her experiences with surreal environments – on the forest illustrations. Additionally, we made deliberate colour choices to avoid exact replication of the forest, but to add a surreal and magical touch. As with a real forest, we see how the forest lives in the digital experience. For example, leaves sway up and down in response to the visitor’s cursor movement. The audio has been considered as well; throughout the experience, we are surrounded by familiar forest sounds. Additionally, when we fly past an owl, for example, we hear it.

The ten products featured in the campaign were chosen with care for their vibrant and reflective prints that stand out even in the woods due to their high-end feel. Additionally, they are not haphazardly placed in the forest, but flow into it and become a part of it, from a dress worn by a bush to boots held up by butterflies. Subtle hints to Christmas tree ornaments — which are available at de Bijenkorf — are also illustrated and incorporated into the forest, such as a ladybug on a tree. Finally, we tie the products together with a narrative. We create a fairytale-like story with ten short sentences that always appear in the context of a new product, immersing the visitor even more in the flight through the enchanted forest.

Bijenkorf 3

From design to immersive 3D

We came a long way thanks to the designers’ taste and direction and a well-thought-out storyboard. However, much work must be done behind the scenes to translate all of this creativity into a successful experience.

The products featured in the campaign were photographed in front of a green screen in the exact poses they appear in the magical forest. Thus, the branches and trees that connect the products are imitated in the photo studio to achieve the most realistic result possible. They were then cut out and enhanced with light and contrast before being placed in digitally painted forest scenes by an illustrator. By layering all of these illustrations, which are 2D assets, and employing motion, we were able to create a 3D world that scrolls in a parallax effect. The bee is completely rendered in 3D in this setup, ensuring that it appears as realistic as possible from all angles. After loading Javascript, the 3D model is converted to code that is rendered using WebGL. Visitors can create a wishlist of all products displayed throughout the digital experience. This is automatically synced with their debijenkorf.nl wishlist. Even if visitors are not logged in, the wishlist is stored locally anonymously and added upon logging in or creating an account — entirely in keeping with de Bijenkorf’s unburdened style.

The campaign is available on desktop and mobile via a subdomain and is available in all languages in which De Bijenkorf operates, including Dutch, German, and French.

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Attractive features revolving around the campaign

Not only did De Bijenkorf commission us to create the digital experience, but the department store also wanted to hint at the campaign website via a striking and surprising element: the bee. As a result, we created a script for the 3D variant of the bee, which was later added to debijenkorf.nl by developers from de Bijenkorf. The script includes methods and settings that enable developers to make custom adjustments, such as determining where the bee should and should not fly on the website. When a visitor clicks on the bee, an animation begins that redirects the visitor to the campaign’s website. Additionally, a teaser video for social media is part of the campaign’s allure. Throughout the campaign, the magic reappears to entice visitors without giving too much away.

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Collaboration: the new frontier

We took on the challenge of creating something new, which we accomplished through an extremely strong and productive collaboration. Not only were DEPT® and de Bijenkorf involved in this, but also the undisputed leader in 3D, web, and immersive campaigns: Dogstudio. DEPT® and de Bijenkorf are responsible for the Admire & Amaze campaign’s concept and style direction. All three parties collaborated closely on the creation of a storyboard and subsequent elaboration. With the proper dedication, space has been created for all parties to impart their own creative stamp on the final product while adhering to the briefing’s guidelines. Regular check-ins, continuing to challenge one another, open communication, and flexibility on all sides has resulted in the purest form of co-creation, transcending the traditional division of roles between clients and contractors.

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The pinnacle of brand experience

What began as an open question, “Can you create something magical for the holidays?” evolved into a magical, innovative, and one-of-a-kind experience. This digital spectacle instills a sense of wonder in each online store visitor and contributes to de Bijenkorf’s mission to inspire. Together with de Bijenkorf, we created the Admire & Amaze campaign, a phenomenal branded experience that elevates the brand to new heights.

Experience the campaign

Questions?

Executive Creative Director

Max Pinas

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Swissmilk

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