A branded commerce experience
Patagonia is a family-owned apparel and outdoor sporting goods outfitter, rooted in sustainability. As a leader in eco-friendly business models, they’ve paved the way for others to reimagine their practices with sustainability in mind.
A brand that lives its values
For Patagonia’s flagship experience, we were tasked with crafting a design solution that brought its massive product and content library to life in a simple yet insightful way. For a brand that truly lives its values, it was vital that the user experience echo that; our challenge was to create a digital shopping experience that tells a brand story at every touchpoint.
A brand hub for activism & content
Being no stranger to storytelling, Patagonia has always maintained a strong voice. Our approach was to elevate this voice and bring it to life in a clear, simple execution while striking a balance between culture, business, and the environment. One that begs consumers to consider the impact of their choices—right down to the clothes they wear. The reimagined eCommerce platform serves as a brand hub for both activism and content, through a cohesive digital style guide, UX principles, and a consistent narrative. The experience invokes human emotion and rational understanding and is entirely driven by the brand’s mission. Most importantly, it serves both function and storytelling by not only selling clothes but transforming value systems.
This project called for a deeply collaborative process—one that demanded a unique agency-client partnership. We quickly embedded the Patagonia design team into our San Diego HQ and worked in tandem from concept to completion. This set the foundation for a longstanding, successful relationship that extends beyond the traditional boundaries of agency-client servicing.
Our team spearheaded the broader user experience while closely consulting with the in-house team at Patagonia on art direction, design systems, user testing and scripting. As the project progressed, we were given an additional opportunity to own the visual and strategic redesign of Patagonia’s brand initiative, The Footprint Chronicles. In doing so, we achieved a simple, cohesive design system that complemented the larger site.
Navigation & information architecture
A new navigation system considers the full scope of the consumer journey—from initial interaction to finding exactly what they’re looking for. We transformed the experience by organising content in a clear, logical way, and integrating relevant stories when appropriate. This gives products more context while seamlessly injecting the brand voice throughout the entire journey.
The new navigation prioritises the overall design’s larger goal for product and purpose-led storytelling through a simple curation strategy. An extensive library of cultural initiatives like Patagonia Action Works, The Footprint Chronicles, and more are properly showcased for easy discovery.
To maintain the simplicity of our design, we needed a powerful filtration tool that could optimize a complex product catalog. The end result was a floating, contextually aware action button that becomes the most prominent prompt on any page. This responsive UX pattern is designed for approachability and progression and successfully helps users browse.
It was essential that this experience was personalised and always relevant to the consumer. Our goal was to ultimately guide users to the best product for their needs in one simple flow. By implementing an in-line Q&A and product comparison overlay, we were able to help customers decide which product is right for them, saving them the hassle of toggling between product detail pages. As a result, users are directly routed through the sales funnel in one seamless UX flow.
The delicate balance between purpose and product truly came to life throughout our overall content strategy for this redesign. We set out to create a central system that could not only serve as a shopping platform but a brand initiative as well. In doing so, we were able to weave Patagonia’s passion and purpose right into each product story and keep consumers engaged in the brand, even if they were just looking to shop.
Since the launch of Patagonia mobile revenues have grown by over 25%
The delicate balance between product and purpose was the driving force behind our entire design system. Focus, clarity, and simplicity became our guiding UX principles, which allowed us to help Patagonia tell compelling stories—while maintaining both emotional feeling and rational understanding. We set out to strip away any excess that did not support our larger goal of one, centralised digital experience.
Constant collaboration between Patagonia’s team and ours—both designers and developers—resulted in a refined digital style guide, with a technical solution to support it. Each element of the redesigned system, from the homepage to navigation to our new product filtering system, was built into the style guide to the highest fidelity. As the project progressed, our development team was embedded into Patagonia’s tech team to offer seamless support in building out The Footprint Chronicles and Patagonia.com. From this, we built an intuitive content model within the Salesforce Commerce Cloud, while our frontend efforts produced a highly interactive site with meticulously rendered motion to tell The Footprint Chronicle story.
The Footprint Chronicles
What started as a partnership to reimagine a digital storefront soon became a collaborative consulting engagement. Our team was asked to help revive one of Patagonia’s transparency-driven brand initiatives—The Footprint Chronicles.
This story of sustainability needed to be told in more than one place, so we developed a system that would surface it in the shopping experience. An informative card structure highlights key details about a product’s carbon footprint to educate the consumer and drive brand purpose, perspective, and conversion.
Give people pause
In an effort to shift the consumers’ mindset, we used product detail pages as an opportunity to invite a bigger brand purpose. By gently educating shoppers on how products are made and the impact it has on the planet, we’re able to give them a moment to pause and consider their habits. In doing so, we can convert product seekers into purpose-driven shoppers, while telling meaningful product stories.
An immersive story
Our goal with The Footprint Chronicles was to first build empathy with customers, then drive action. Our content strategy and component design allowed us to tell rich, dynamic stories through interactive content that allows users to explore and learn. The flexibility of this design lets us not only educate consumers about the brand mission but impacts real change in the cultural mindset.
A call to action
Our overall strategy and goal for The Footprint Chronicles culminates into one simple storytelling structure. We start with why each aspect of our mission is important—why these points need to be made and stories be told. Consumers are then given an honest explanation of where we stand in this journey to make and see change. Finally, the brand’s commitment to what’s next. Where does Patagonia progress from here and what can consumers and every brand do to play a role in this shift.
Webby Award – Fashion & Beauty 2021
Webby Award – People’s Voice Winner 2021
An interactive, data-fuelled campaign
Lyst is one of the most celebrated breakthrough stories in fashion retail. Established in 2010 from a small shed in London. Lyst emerged to become the largest global fashion search platform, bringing together 5 million products from 12,000 of the world’s leading brands and retailers, all in one place. Lyst continues to innovate e-commerce with a curated customer experience and partnered with a Dept to conceptualise their latest campaign. Fulled by data and brought forward with award-winning creativity, an interactive quiz encouraging users to ‘Discover your Fashion DNA’ was launched.
Using data to fuel creativity
Dept took a strategic, data-led approach towards developing the campaign concept. The structure and narrative of the quiz were cleverly designed to compel users, prevent drop-offs and encourage social sharing.
Using relatable, scenario-led questions in a quiz format, Lyst was able to effectively gather lifestyle-oriented data to generate a better understanding of its users, based on their preferences. As this information was gathered, it was directly linked into
Lyst’s existing database of website analytics, paths to purchase, onsite user journeys, and favourited products or categories. Adding this new data and filtering results into categories enables Lyst to formulate well-rounded user personas to frame future marketing campaigns with highly personalised touchpoints.
Enhancing UX with micro-interactions
Innovative technical workarounds
Dept worked in collaboration with the client throughout the project in an agile way; being reactive to budget and timing changes, as well as iteratively releasing demos and digital modules as they were being developed. With this partnership, creative assets were produced in-line with Lyst’s tone of voice, and points of sign-off were streamlined, allowing the team to continuously progress.
It was important for a timely launch of the campaign, which required a technical workaround to maintain the original creative concept. It would have been best practise to build each animation in code however, time constraints meant that we used an alternative method involving video that worked just as well.
Upon completing a question, a video is triggered to play for the duration of the timing gap leading into the next page. On mobile, videos were swapped for GIFs. The end result was a seamless transition, demonstrating how Dept’s dynamic teams of design, motion and code experts can release digital products, to brief, when the pressure is high and time is of the essence.
AWWW Honourable Award
AWWW Site of The Day
Dept created a highly engaging campaign for Lyst that recognises the differences between countries and people, celebrating the individuality of nations and people alike.
The quiz indulges users in an interactive experience that eventually gives them insight into how their lifestyle preferences position them on a global scale; a fair value exchange for Lyst to gather user data.
Launched in March 2020, The ‘Discover Your Fashion DNA’ campaign was translated in 8 languages. There are over 200 possible clothing items that are displayed on the results page and many, many more found within the quiz.
Marks & Spencer
Maximising multilingual paid search campaigns
Marks & Spencer Group (M&S) is a major multinational retailer, specialising in selling clothing, homeware and luxury food products. Founded in 1884, M&S has been a stalwart presence on UK high streets for over a hundred years. Today, it operates over 1,000 stores in the UK and 428 international stores in 56 territories across the world. Its ecommerce site is present in 33 countries in 30 languages. Combined, its global revenue is over £10.5bn.
12 markets & 8 languages
Marks & Spencer wanted to grow and mature its international business through an enhanced consumer experience, smarter digital investments and better strategic decisions on market entry and expansion. Improving Paid Search was identified as a key success factor to achieve this in the overall marketing mix, and it turned to Dept to help.
The initial goal was to take full ownership across branded search, and to build and execute a scalable and complete market-specific Paid Search strategy.
Dept helped M&S take full advantage of Paid Search advertising in 12 markets and 8 languages, including Ireland, France, USA and Australia.
We first conducted initial account audits, analysed Google Search data, and leveraged explicit channel knowledge to estimate market potential. This was a crucial element in designing and prioritising the optimal approach.
Together with M&S, Dept built roadmaps and forecasts for each market, and executed the Paid Search strategy across all nominated countries.
Achieving growth with consistent optimisation
Restructuring a fragmented set-up
The first challenge Dept overcame was to move away from a fragmented and unstructured Paid Search setup where international markets where treated with a a one-size-fits-all approach.
Dept restructured the accounts based on a combination of analyses and deep channel understanding. Designing a scalable and consistent Paid Search campaign structure made it possible to implement the Paid Search initiatives at a fast pace across the 12 countries.
The optimisation journey
It’s easy to turn on a campaign, but in order to achieve growth and ongoing development, Dept works in a three pillar approach: Structure; Quality; Financial Performance.
In doing so, we follow a transparent optimisation model tailored to both the specific market needs and Marks & Spencer’s marketing calendar. Automation helps to ensure the smooth and effective execution of promotion campaigns across multiple countries and languages.
70% increase in revenue
Thanks to a structured and consistent approach and our local language and market competencies, Dept managed to realise a large share of the international potential.
During the collaboration, revenue from the Paid Search channel increased between 25% – 70% across the twelve markets.
A platform for the game-changers
Sony PlayStation revolutionised the gaming world with groundbreaking entertainment, revolutionary graphics and gameplay. It delivers unbelievable experiences and incredible adventures allowing players to delve into new worlds with access to whole universes in the palm of their hands. With a growing network of 80-million active users, Sony PlayStation is celebrated for its innovative products and services. Sony turned to Dept with the vision of allowing its global audience from all corners of the world to purchase their official merchandise.
Through integrating the range of digital expertise within Dept, the PlayStation Gear merchandising platform was born and released throughout Europe. CentreSoft, the UK’s leading multi-format specialist distributor of video games, contracted Dept for the project on behalf of Sony. Dept strategists analysed the logistics of the retail venture, whilst our creative and technical craftsmen designed and built a bespoke e-commerce platform that boasts a truly interactive online shopping experience. The marketing team optimises the website, ensuring optimal performance and search visibility for the brand new domain. Launch campaigns were executed to introduce the storefront, engage with target audiences and increase traffic.
Merging gameplay with online shopping
Collaborating with Sony PlayStation to design, build, and launch a new multilingual e-commerce storefront throughout Europe was a massive achievement for Dept. The entire build from wireframes and planning, through to coding and tactical implementation took less than 6 months to complete, as the project was expedited in order to be live for the world’s largest gaming conference, E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo, and to partake in Sony PlayStation’s annual ‘Days of Play’ campaign. The initial release of PlayStation Gear was highly successful and laid a solid foundation for continued growth.
High search visibility
Prior to launch, as a brand new domain, playstation-gear.com had no visibility on search engines. Using a range of tools to monitor site performance, conduct behavioural analyses and optimise accordingly, the website is now approaching 3 million sessions. Over 650, 000 sessions are from organic search and almost 500, 000 are from paid search, as a result of executing organic and paid campaigns; the channels work in tandem, ensuring PlayStation Gear is positioned in a prime position within the search engines.
Organic search reach
PlayStation Gear has grown in organic visibility for a range of brand, product and generic search queries since its launch. Each version of the multilingual platform appeared in over 2k core search queries which were instrumental in driving traffic and conversions. With over 650 root domains link to the website providing 76k+ backlinks, organic visibility is continuing to grow. In a single month alone, organic search has driven 82k sessions to the site.
Since launching in May 2017, PlayStation Gear has won multiple awards and is continuously praised in the gaming-community and over social media. Working in an agile way, under such a tight deadline, has strengthened Dept’s relationship with Sony and has led to a long-term partnership.
Ride without limits
Canyon Bicycles is a leading manufacturer of racing, mountain and triathlon bikes. Regarded as some of the best value options on the market, top athletes and the best teams worldwide rely on the brand’s high-tech bikes. Canyon is a pure play digital brand, selling its bikes online and direct-to-consumer, without intermediaries or sales partners. This is exceptional because the advice-intensive offer from Canyon speaks of a classic offline retail business. So, how has Canyon managed to become a leader in the cycling industry?
A purely digital experience
As a pure online player, Canyon sells all of its bikes online. This means that 100% of the product experience takes place digitally. The challenge here is to meet the high information needs of customers and to build trust because sports bikes are rarely a spontaneous purchase.
If customer interaction is primarily digital, this also creates new challenges such as customer anonymity. It is therefore important to better understand the interaction of consumers with the Canyon brand, to know which customers are interested in which products, and then build individual and relevant worlds of experience for them, across all touchpoints. From the brand’s website to social media and advertising campaigns, Dept has helped Canyon elevate their digital presence.
Creating an online cross-cloud solution
Dept has future-proofed the brand by delivering a strong e-commerce platform in addition to adding some tools to the company’s repertoire to further raise their brand awareness. However, our partnership is still ongoing and we aim to continue optimising all digital touchpoints.
Strolling into new ground
A platform migration, a new design, the implementation of a brand new content management system, all in just four months. This was the challenge Dept took on for the Dutch-based pushchair innovator Bugaboo. Through intensive collaboration, smart solutions, extensive knowledge of Salesforce Commerce Cloud and groundbreaking innovation, Bugaboo.com is now live. A future-proof, contemporary webshop.
Four months to launch a website in 26 countries
In June 2019, Dept started the migration of Bugaboo’s webshop to Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Since they have a global active webshop, their site could not be offline even for a minute. Additionally, the launch had to be accompanied by a global rollout in 26 countries to ensure that everyone’s child, no matter where they are in the world, can be transported in a cool, comfortable and customised fashion.
To ensure the short time to market and migration was possible, our team found a way between Bugaboo’s ambitions and those of the designers and developers involved, implementing new Salesforce Commerce Cloud technology, and meeting the hard deadline of Black Friday. Fortunately, unique features such as the brand new Page Designer tool, Livewords and customisation tools made the project a success. Since the brand offers a unique product that is configurable, this aspect also required customisation. For example, we developed a configurator with which a pushchair can be compiled by the customer.
The migration of their website and launch of Bugaboo.com is just the beginning of the partnership between Bugaboo and Dept. In the near future, we will be working on implementing interactive 3D models, optimising Livewords and Page Designer, and implementing new features such as being able to share made configurations. With these ambitions and plans, Bugaboo will continue to be a big player in the field of e-commerce in the coming years.
Creating an immersive showroom in six weeks
Four times a year, the Scandinavian cult brand GANNI would travel to Paris, London and New York for sales appointments. Their Pre Spring 21 collection was scheduled to be sold to buyers in May 2020. However, COVID-19 disrupted the company’s plans, forcing them to quickly re-imagine the way that they connected with their B2B buyers and presented their newest collection. Together with MOON agency, GANNI turned to Dept to help them create a unique and immersive digital showroom experience. The result? A retro microsite that emulates a Windows 98 desktop that featured a personalised playlist, a lookbook that combines both video and still elements, campaign imagery as well as private folders and dress-up dolls, all of this built in just six weeks.
Changing how GANNI interacts with its buyers
From its striped sweaters to banana and cherry print T-shirts, GANNI, the Scandinavian street-style brand has been making waves across the fashion industry as it grew to become a designer label which every follow-worthy Instagrammer was wearing. In a world that stays at home, the brand needed to reinvent how it connected with its B2B buyers by embracing a digital-only approach. Thanks to our previous collaboration together during which our team of experts redesigned the brand’s website in six week’s time, GANNI asked us to help them design and build a lookbook and digital showroom for their wholesale buyers together with MOON.
We created a unique and immersive digital showroom experience
Transforming GANNI’S creative director’s computer into a showroom
Although the aim was to present the brand’s newest collection to their B2B buyers, we wanted to take it a step further and create an immersive experience which incorporates some playful elements that reflect GANNI’s brand personality and make the user smile. Therefore, together with GANNI and MOON, we came up with the idea of recreating Ditte’s, GANNI’s Creative Director, desktop and transform it into an immersive digital showroom experience.
The core of the showroom experience was the lookbook which enabled buyers to have a 360-degree view of each style. Each selected product would prompt multiple pop-ups of both photos and videos that zoom in and out to demonstrate the fit, shape and texture of the garment. To keep the navigation process simple and intuitive, users could use the arrows on their keyboard to flip through the various product offerings and press “escape” to close all of the open windows. Making it easy to navigate through the brand’s various product offerings in a surprising and engaging way.
Taking the showroom beyond a simple lookbook
However, beyond the lookbook folder which showcased the newest styles in addition to styling suggestions and behind-the-scenes images from the photoshoot, Ditte’s desktop also included a virtual fitting room feature which prompted users to take a photo of themselves and play dress up with a few signature styles from the collection. Once the look was finalised, users could save and download their creations. This enabled buyers to visualise and style each item to their liking from the comfort of their homes.
Setting the mood
Lastly, we included a few small but fun digital components to set the mood for buyers around the world. So from a music player which played layback and lively music to a folder which opened the hampsterdance GIF and song as a fun 90’s reference; and a “private” folder with a personal letter from Ditte introducing this year’s collection and images showing the making of the collection, our team incorporated these elements to ensure this felt like an experience rather than just business.
Crafting a microsite using Netlify and Contentful
Our team of experts had six weeks to build and code a digital showroom for GANNI. Given this tight timeframe, we opted to use a customisable blank slate Netlify CMS which enabled fast and flexible development via a friendly user interface. Meaning we were able to deploy it quickly and GANNI employees could also easily work with it. In addition, we used Contentful for media hosting purposes. This enabled us to construct a small-scale coherent self-contained application.
Building the future of wholesale
In six weeks time, together with GANNI and MOON, we created and built a digital showroom that enabled 600 buyers to discover a more personal side to the fashion brand, browse the newest collection and save any items they wish to buy.
Nicolaj Reffstrup, GANNI’s founder comments “As COVID-19 hit, we realised that we had to radically rethink our approach to B2B sales. However, we needed to ensure that the project was 100% on-brand, totally immersive, digitally savvy and added value to our partners. We also wanted to combine the digital experience with playful and physical elements such as a handmade wine glass or a curated notebook with fabric swatches, creating tactility. The result was a completely tailored digital platform with an interesting brand narrative and content that was multi-layer. We were able to offer a high level of service to our wholesale partners as well as creating something that felt super personal in the shape of Ditte’s actual desktop.”
However, we’re just getting started. We are currently working on elevating the original concept by enabling e-commerce features in addition to adding more playfulness. As the world becomes more and more digital, GANNI is future-proofing its brand by catering to all of its customers in a digital manner.
Beats by Dre
A new home for the Beats brand
The Beats by Dre brand is a multibillion-dollar company that owns over 70% of the market. An icon at the center of pop culture, its stamp on music and sports was cemented by legendary founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. After changing hands through an Apple acquisition, Beats approached us to help pivot the brand in a different direction with a new digital flagship focused on building the brand while improving conversion and click-through rates.
Centered around the idea of moving at the speed of culture, the new .com acts as a channel where brand inspiration, product information, and the Beats community come together. Storytelling lives at the service of product, and product is brought to life through more in-depth information and cultural context. Editorial content, brand campaigns, and product stories are now connected in a manner that encourages the audience to lose themselves in what they love.
The purpose of the digital experience was two-fold: to bring the emotion of the brand forward while emphasizing product benefits. Beyond a standard eCommerce platform, we helped build a destination for all things Beats.
Optimising for users and form factors – With a core audience ranging from 16 to 24 years old, the eCommerce experience is designed for thumb-first interaction. The navigational structure is adaptable across mobile, tablet, and desktop, ensuring we’re serving users of all behaviors and device types.
Through a research-proven approach, the experience works, looks, and feels like an app.
A digital-first design language and content strategy.
The new creative direction is distinctively Beats: bold, streamlined, and beautiful. The design system embraces minimalism and is modular in structure to create consistency and improve flexibility.
Product pages highlight unique stories and features through lifestyle photography and video, establishing strong art direction standards in the process.
A content hub to explore the Beats brand.
Social media has made relevance and engagement essential components of the user experience. Taking cues from popular channels like Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat, a centralized location for original Beats content allows users to jump in and out during the browsing experience.
The content tags relevant products to spark consideration and desire.
Through a research-proven approach, the experience works, looks, and feels like an app.
Interactive and modular styling for seamless updates.
We teamed up with Beats’ digital, brand, marketing, and technology teams to establish a system of site components that is easy to use and flexible enough for new campaigns, trends, and product updates.
Our digital experience manager allows each region to build out its own front end, while the style guide instructs internal teams how to use, interact with, and manipulate site components and code to tell timely stories.
To create consistency and expedite time to market, we created an interactive style guide that outlines design considerations and standards alongside code snippets to help engineering teams easily integrate across digital platforms.
Building upon the style guide, we engineered a custom page builder and prototyping system that enables the various departments at Beats to collaborate and test approaches.
The tool pulls together site-wide components and enables the client team to add and remove various experience patterns with ease. They can also save and share layouts as well as export functional code for deployment on Adobe Experience Manage
To grow their businesses and adapt to the changing cultural landscape, brands must rely on technical innovation. Likewise, the Beats brand needed a platform that was scalable, efficient, and frictionless.
To execute on its long-term vision, the Beats team needed best-in-class content creation tools and a modular system of components. Adobe Experience Manager provides enterprise-level media and content management, which allows the client team to focus on the messaging and user journey rather than scalability.
Webby Award – Site of the year 2017
Webby Award – Mobile Best Practices 2019
Conquering the biggest data challenge
Rituals was launched in 2000 and has grown into a must-have Home & Body cosmetics brand over the years. Rituals’ ambition is for continuous growth; increasing revenue in its primary markets (Netherlands and Germany), while growing in all its markets across Europe and the US. How? By improving its organic findability.
Duplicate pages: a true conversation killer
Each country has its own Rituals website, which is needed in order to ship the products to various countries. As a result, there are no less than 22 duplicates of the English website alone! It’s not great in terms of your SEO when you consider the large amount of duplicate content, significant fragmentation in authority and waste of crawl budget with more than one million pages. To give you an example, this is what happened in practice: people in France that used French search terms in their search ended up on a French website of Luxembourg. Due to duplicate content and incorrect hreflang tags which resulted in the wrong indexation. As a Frenchman, it wasn’t possible to check out on Luxembourg’s website version. In addition, if you switched countries on the website, the content of your cart wouldn’t automatically switch to the website version of the domestic country. And you end with an empty shopping cart: a true conversion killer.
Increasing revenue in its primary markets while growing in all other countries
In an attempt to solve this problem, we started a thorough rationalisation of all Rituals websites. This entails an extensive migration of all individual websites to one .com domain, focusing on “indexability”, “crawlability”, “authority” and “usability”. We kept the deadline of Fall in mind, so the rewards could be reaped in the winter season: the ultimate gift-giving season for Rituals.
Combining similar website pages together
Besides rationalisation, the right international tagging had to be added (“hreflang” and Search Console). And of course, each language had different countries and currencies. Because of the large number of pages and duplicates, Google failed to pick up on the pages in the way that it should have. The choice was made to make one version indexable per language/currency. The following considerations were taken into account:
- The link value of the duplicates could not be lost, which is why 301-redirects were moved from the duplicate pages to the main page.
- The pages that were to disappear still needed to be available for campaigns and check out, which is why duplicates of those pages were created. However, these duplicate pages aren’t visible in search engines. Consequently, a ‘disallow’ in the robots.txt (crawlability & indexability) and, for the completeness, a ‘noindex’ were added to the “new” duplicate pages.
Designing a diverse commerce customer experience
Ann Summers is a British multinational retailer specialising in sex toys and lingerie. Since its first store opened in London in 1970, the brand has trailblazed its way to dominating the industry with innovative product development and a daring brand proposition. Ann Summers now operates 144 high street stores supported by a growing e-commerce business. As Ann Summers’ digital estate evolves, the retailer wanted to ensure it fully reflected its brand values. It turned to Dept to redesign its website and onsite customer experience, in line with its 2020 brand refresh.
Designing for a broad audience
Ann Summers is a brand for everybody; it has been advocating for sexual liberation and fighting against body image preconceptions since its inception. The design of its website needed to communicate this message with an inviting aesthetic that appeals to a diverse audience. Our designers embraced an image-heavy approach to express its brand personality in an energetic real-life context, celebrating different types of relationships and body types.
A collection of images and videos were shot specifically for the website, depicting various adult age groups, body shapes and skin colours. These were strategically placed throughout the website, appearing natural in a visual hierarchy supported by alike information, allowing the user to easily find what they’re looking for.
A website designed to push buttons
Creating a dynamic brand experience
Two website interface designs were created to enrich the user experience, adding an element of surprise as they browse through collections. The core brand pages and more mainstream collections were launched in the ‘light mode’, with a clean white background and soft greys and subtle pink. In the more niche sections of the website, the entire brand experience changes as ‘dark mode’ is activated. The primary colour turns to black with sultry reds and dark shadows alongside bold, alluring messages like Welcome to the Wild Side.
Creating the two interchangeable themes throughout the website has enabled Ann Summers to set the mood for its customers based on the types of products they’re viewing. The design concept plays up the crossover between ‘day to night’ or ‘naughty and nice’, creating an intriguing experience that reflects the thousands of products on the website and the diverse styles of shoppers that visit.
Dept and Ann Summers have a long-term partnership, having originally built its e-commerce platform in 2015. As part of the redesign, Dept has also enhanced the functionality of the website. Using Ann Summers’ existing Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform, the team removed underutilised features, allowing the website to operate more efficiently and save costs. Furthermore, the website was made fully responsive across all devices.
In line with the company’s international growth strategy, new capabilities were implemented to automate currency conversion and shipping information. New payment methods were also integrated including Klarna, Amazon Pay, PayPal and ApplePay to cater to all shoppers needs and streamline the checkout process.
A winning formula
Right from the start of this project through to the website going live, our creative team were dedicated to pushing the design concept one step further. This mentality was echoed by Ann Summers’ internal team, who wanted to break away from typical model imagery that’s so prevalent in this industry. Their openness to innovate combined with our creative approach was the formula to create this exceptional re-design that perfectly conveys Ann Summers’ dynamic brand.
As an e-commerce website, the layout needed to be simple, grid-based and intuitive, with clearly marked categories; design should never be a hindrance to finding key information or distract from a path to purchase. With a brand as fresh and interesting as Ann Summers, it needed to provoke a response whilst continuing to adhere to the principles of e-commerce. The multi-tone website achieves this perfectly, setting the stage for various products to shine.