Recreating the offline shopping experience online

Recreating the offline shopping experience online


eCommerce Website Design

REI is a brand with authentic roots, built by climbers to create quality gear, and it was time to deliver its strong message to a new millennial audience.


Background

Taking REI to greater heights

REI was founded in 1923 by a group of climbers with a passion to make quality outdoor gear, and to make it available to more people. As one of its primary brand development agencies, we teamed up to help it reach new heights. We were bringing its brand to date with fresh visual standards, and targeting a millennial audience.

We researched its current market, developed its future ambition, and created a strategy to build on its standing and attract a new audience. We felt that we could best achieve our goals by designing an immersive prototype that showcased how it could grow and elevate its current digital platform. Our work may never be implemented due to ongoing changes at REI, but our creative concepts and strategic insights have been applied to the recent site updates.



The Story

Understanding the consumer to define opportunities

We begin each strategic and creative process by getting to know a brand’s ecosystem. Discovering opportunities to reach and inspire new consumers without alienating current consumers is essential. Due to our ongoing involvements across REI’s brand and digital initiatives, we had a strong sense for the future voice and messaging strategy for REI’s multi-channel platform. Defining a web strategy that seamlessly translates REI’s best-in-class customer experience to an online environment, however, remained a challenge. Through research, past experiences, and candid conversation with frequent online shoppers, we established a few key insights that informed our design and interface decisions for the eCommerce platform.

REI.com eCommerce Website

Bringing the in-store experience online

From our initial insights and preliminary brainstorms, we set one establishing goal: to digitally recreate the in-store REI experience. The existing REI.com platform provided users with almost everything they were looking for. Our challenge was to bring the personalized in-store experience to it. Our concept focused on optimized interactions, connected content types, dynamic layouts, and an overall branded experience that’s rich in content and fun to explore.

REI.com Homepage
REI Product Listing Page

Creating the digital experience

During our exploration, we opened up the interface to reduce the clutter and contribute focus to the experience. We made the process personal by implementing Rich Relevance, which customizes product content based on browsing behavior and seasonal considerations. Bringing in expert advice from REI’s knowledgeable sales staff provides users with unbeatable levels of support, which, of course, contributes massively to the experience. The website is full of rich content and unique services, and we developed templates that give each of these services a unique look and feel so the user can find, understand, and enjoy every part of the experience.

Outdoor Hikers Walking on Trail

Growing the REI community

Much like experiencing the outdoors, browsing a digital destination should entertain and encourage discovery. This is why we leveraged social content to expand and sustain REI’s loyal fan base. The site now features UGC and branded content focused on bringing the REI community together. We established a platform that showcases the voice and expertise of REI. We made it a priority to communicate the membership benefits and co/op offerings by highlighting member stories and loyalty perks.

REI.com Community Landing Page

An adaptable mobile strategy

We conceptually redesigned and upgraded REI’s mobile site to enhance the shopping experience for users and tech-savvy millennials. Instead of following the responsive technology trend that many retailers were adopting, we opted for an adaptive build and flexible content framework that did REI’s wide range of product’s justice. Mobile and Desktop users have different needs; our mobile approach allows users to move between key site sections with ease. The primary desktop features were adapted for mobile, and the entire shopping experience is customized with features like personalization, diverse content/categories, and cross promotions. 

Additionally, we focused on the path to purchase within mobile, allowing users to make quick and secure payments. Guided by our slick interface and intuitive CTAs, product content and community offerings are exposed at the tap of a button. We also thought about the new in-store experience and how mobile can be used as a tool and key influencer. We implemented a barcode-scanning API that enables a consumer to quickly scan their product in-store to retrieve more information and related items.

REI.com on Mobile Devices