The ultimate guide to why invest in e-commerce design

Grebban is the No.1 agency for e-commerce design. With Brand + Conversion in harmony, we are helping brands design next generation e-commerce experiences and digital flagship stores. With UI, UX, Conversion, Brand and Identity we can help any ambitious DTC or e-commerce company take their design to new heights.

Brand + Conversion in Harmony

Grebban has a tagline for our e-commerce design offering called “Brand + Conversion in Harmony”. It has been a core foundation for what we believe in since we started working with e-commerce in the early 2000’s.

We believe that to succeed online, you need to design an experience that focuses on emotions, values, messaging, identity and visual attractiveness in combination with a streamlined, optimised, business-first, UX-smart and converting. It’s not one way or the other, it’s both in harmony.

  • Brand, to take care of the emotions and values
  • Conversion, to take care that it becomes business growth in the end

The funny thing is, what we see together with our clients is that brand is driving conversion, and that conversion is helping the brand recognition. E-commerce, especially in DTC / Direct to Consumer, is a channel where it cannot be only one thing taken into account.

Also, emotions are getting increasingly important for businesses in general but for digital advertising in particular. To make digital advertising efficient, you need to capture attention quickly. This is something great design and branding do better than anything else.

But to make digital advertising work, it also needs rational depth, which includes conversion optimisation, landing pages, smart customer journeys and A/B testing.

UI, UX, Brand, Content, Conversion and Tech?

For us, e-commerce design is much more than a site design. It is the ultimate brand experience, the digital flagship store, the platform where the customer journey usually has the most touch points and a place where the conversion can go through or where it can start.

When we design, we don’t only create a layout and then you can fill it with the content that you want. We help you set a vision for your content, guidelines and build a customer journey that handle both rational and emotional aspects of shopping and brand experience.

  • User Interface, UI How the site looks, feels, and works and how the design elements are combined. It’s a lot about layout, grids, design systems, iconography, buttons, colours, and elements.

  • User experience, UX How the site should work and why. What is the customer journey? How do we measure it? What are the different touchpoints? Navigation, customer flows, checkout etc. These days, UX has become much more abstract and complex due to personalisation and advanced CRM and advertising tactics.

  • Brand, Digital Identity and Brand Experience Grebban is a full-scale branding and design agency and we work with all aspects of branding, visual identity and branding for e-commerce. For us, e-commerce is the ultimate brand platform. It’s the only place where the full brand experience can take place - in video, in content, in shopping, in products, in brand assets, in identity, in values and animation. E-commerce is the single most important channel for brand building today - and we help you set the right digital identity to achieve your brand's potential.

Content: Content is often overlooked when doing e-commerce design projects. Another department often runs it, or it’s “too much work to change it” to make it worth it. We think content is one of the most important aspects of selling online and, therefore, also in our projects. E-commerce has many competitive advantages over other channels but content is one of the more extreme. In other channels, you can’t have metadata, descriptions, photos, videos, 3d, AR, VR etc available in infinite numbers, but online you can. It doesn’t add direct costs to have more content. It does make an interesting UX exercise to make it available but still be clean and without clutter, with a focus on the core messaging. With content, you can sell more, help the customers make better buying decisions and also - if you are a DTC brand - tell the story of the products that resellers don’t take their time to do.

Conversion: Conversion optimisation is always a key part of every e-commerce design. There are some brands, especially high fashion brands, that don’t think this is important. But it is. A design can be artistic, playful, or whatever style we want, but core conversion optimisation shouldn’t be overlooked. Who wants to buy from a badly designed checkout or a search result that doesn’t help you find what you want?

Localisation: E-commerce is a global opportunity, an international market, and with that comes complexity and abstractness. How to design an e-commerce website that feels local yet international, that has local attributes and functionality such as payments, shipping and trust symbols, yet be managed with a small team? How does the design scale to different languages - from English, Spanish and Italian, to Arabic, Greek and Japanese? This is something that Grebban has a long history of solving for our clients. We have clients with 30+ fully localised markets and we know what it takes to design an experience that scales with localisation.

CMS & E-commerce Platform: The end-customer experience is so important but one thing that can’t be overlooked is how to administrate it. It doesn’t matter how it looks in Figma, if no one can make it work in the real CMS and e-commerce platform. We believe that great design, is a useful design for the administrator and manager, not only for the end-customer. Do you have enough possibilities in the CMS to create what you want? Can you do what you want in the everyday administration without help from developers? Is it easy to pre-schedule things? Is it easy to manage the design for many markets? Campaign design and setup?

One core concept Grebban works with when it comes to CMS and e-commerce platforms is to “go from templates, to modules”. Our idea is to enable you and your team to be more creative, without the help of developers. To achieve this, we try to build a design that’s centred around “modules” that can be used in different capacities, with different content, at different places. So instead of using “templates”, it’s a collection of modules that can be used, which makes the amount of possibilities much higher than in a more strict template-based environment.

Grebban has experience from many different CMS and e-commerce platforms and this quest is usually not about the right vendor, but rather how to use it in a smarter way. Some of the platforms we have made designs for previously: Centra Commerce, Norce Commerce, Commercetools, Optimizely, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Magento, Shopify and Shopify Plus, Woocommerce and many more. The same goes for CMS and we have worked with Storyblok, Contentful, Wordpress, Sanity, Contentstack, Bloomreach, Prismic, Craft, Optimizely etc.

One core concept Grebban works with when it comes to CMS and e-commerce platforms is to “go from templates, to modules”. Our idea is to enable you and your team to be more creative, without the help of developers

CRM systems: What does the CRM system have to do with e-commerce design? Well, for us, it’s part of the digital customer journey and therefore, it’s an important part of our e-commerce design projects. Email, SMS, personalisation and a lot of other tools that have visual and UX perspectives. The site converts the customers to buying, the CRM makes them loyal!

Tech Architecture, Apps and 3rd party services and Web Vitals: There are more technical aspects to design than CMS and e-commerce platforms. Most e-commerce sites today are run by several platforms, systems, 3rd party vendors, and, on top of that, omnichannel flows.

This can have a huge impact on the overall customer experience, and how to manage these for optimisation is an ongoing and important task. It’s more than web vitals with Pagespeed and more, it’s about continuity and design perfection. This is where the last 10% often happens!

E-commerce Platform and Tech Partner Agnostic

Grebban is e-commerce platform and tech partner/agency agnostic. This means that no matter your E-commerce Platform, PIM, CMS, consultancy partners, in-house developers, agency or outsourced solution, we can help you with your e-commerce design.

We do have a tech offering and are one of the most sought-after e-commerce development agencies, but we have a niche offering focused on Centra Commerce, Norce Commerce and large Shopify Plus clients. This means that we usually work with other agencies for our design work.

We are used to the politics of several agencies and we are not protective. Collaboration is core to everything we do, and we believe that every agency or partner has its place in the mix for a great delivery.

If you don’t have a tech agency, we can probably help you with our service offering in that capacity or to help you find a great development agency that we have worked with before.

It’s more than a site – CRM, loyalty, digital sales channels, marketplaces, digital advertising, omnichannel, retail experience, flagship stores

There is usually more than a site. We can help you take the state-of-the-art experience we create together to the physical world- flagship stores, omnichannel experiences, advertising, loyalty cards. We have designed communities, loyalty programs, packaging, in-store experience, CRM flows and digital advertising concepts. Your needs are our guidance.

For DTC and fashion / lifestyle brands

We work with international brands within fashion, beauty, sports and lifestyle brands. Some examples:

For multi-brand retailers and e-commerce companies

Multi-brand retailers and e-commerce companies we have worked with:

Project, or ongoing optimisation

E-commerce Design can be a short-term project with a handover to a more long-term partnership with ongoing optimisation. We offer flexible setups or fixed subscriptions for optimisation if preferred. A normal e-commerce re-design project is between 6 to 20 weeks. The most common redesign project is around 8-10 weeks.

Grebban offers an e-commerce design subscription for brands and companies that want continuous help. This is usually a combination of A/B testing, conversion optimisation and design production + strategy included.

Grebban was born in Scandinavia but we are now working with companies globally. Our present hubs are Stockholm, Gothenburg, Oslo, Copenhagen and London.

Free e-commerce design audit

Do you run a brand or a retail/e-commerce company and are interested in our e-commerce design offering? Let us make an e-commerce design audit of your site! Fill in this form and we will present the result in a video meeting.


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