Why we love Bever

We have some real outdoor geeks on our team. Like Fabian, who always has the freshest gear and loves to pitch his tent in the middle of nowhere. So we were thrilled when Bever — the biggest outdoor retailer in The Netherlands and part of the A.S. Adventure family — called and asked for our help.

Fabian about to go camping
Fabian about to go camping.

Challenge

Bever and the other members of the pack — A.S. Adventure and Cotswold — are widely known to be outdoor experts. Their physical stores stand for quality and expertise. However, this in-store feeling wasn’t translated to their online platforms. Time to flip this.

Solution

Our designers and researchers stepped into the outdoor world and set a new foundation for all three webshops. Every pixel we designed is based on customer insights and brand values.

Step into the outdoor world

Bever, A.S. Adventure, and Cotswold are solid brands with a long history. Just mention Bever right here in the Netherlands and most people have a vivid picture of it: a store with the best outdoor gear and experts who are ready to advise you on what you need. 

So, we started off with a few workshops to go through the essence of the brands, their core values, their promise, the market they’re in, and their goals. 

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Understanding the brands is one thing. Understanding customers is the other. Together with teams of the three brands, we went through previous research, feedback, and analytics. Who are A.S. Aventure, Bever, and Cotswold customers? How do they differ from each other? What are the important nuances? How do customers currently use the website? What are their goals, needs, and frustrations?

Dive a little deeper

Through the workshops, we already knew a thing or two about outdoor consumers. Not enough though. We took our assumptions and research questions, did remote interviews in three countries, and learned everything about how people shop for outdoor gear online. We discovered what issues they ran into, what they liked about the sites, and what could be improved. 

Since I have this jacket myself I know it has beautiful features like an internal pocket, but the site doesn’t show this”

Andrew, regular Cotswold customer

We learned a lot from the stories that participants shared. For instance, they showed us that getting to the right products and making a shortlist was hard. The same goes for navigating to the right category. They had too many options and filters felt a little random and confusing.

Another example: people want to get inspired on the product detail page. However, it was difficult for them to get a good impression of the product. Photos didn’t show specific features and fabrics. Characteristics of the product were shown without much context and therefore didn’t make sense. All of this added up to serious doubts about value for money. 

In other words: after the workshops and interviews, we understood where the three brands could do better.

Old sites of A.S. Adventure and Cotswold
The old websites of A.S. Adventure and Cotswold.

Spread the insights

We put all the insights — from minor details to conceptual issues — together in a short slide deck and presented it to the teams. We included videos of the interviews — a powerful way to create a sense of urgency at all levels of the organization. And last but not least, we delivered some quick UX fixes to make the site a little better right away while we worked on the concept for the new webshops.

Make a redesign

Familiar with the brand and market? Check. Deep understanding of the customers? Check. Ready to move on? Absolutely.

First, we set a few design principles. It makes sure our design work is consistent and in line with the brand and customer insights. It’s a shared truth and helps make better decisions faster.

Visual of a few design principles
Preview of the design principles.

The A.S. Adventure site — the mother of the pack — was our starting point. Our interaction- and visual designers worked out the most important elements of their webshop, like the homepage, category pages, lister pages, product detail pages, and the checkout. Eventually, we translated this foundation into new designs for Bever and Cotswold as well.

To make sure we stayed close to internal teams while designing, we partly worked from their offices. Are we on the right track? How do you feel about this or that element? Is this technically possible? Doing it together creates understanding, ownership, and it makes it more likely that the designs will be picked up and worked out as we intended. We also kept testing with customers to make sure our designs matched their expectations. Talking with stakeholders and customers should never be a one-off, but a constant instead.

By diving into all the complexities, we were able to deliver a simple concept. One that makes both brand and customers happy. One that the A.S. Adventure family can build on.

Concept A.S. Adventure site
Preview of the concept for the A.S. Adventure site.
Case bever previewasadventure homepage
Preview of the concept for the A.S. Adventure homepage.
Case bever previewcotswoldandasadventure
Comparison between A.S. Adventure and Cotswold.

Developers and designers of A.S. Adventure, Bever, and Cotswold have been working on the concepts we created together. Initially, we stayed on board to hand our work over, guide the UX team, and review their work. After a few weeks, we fully passed the UX torch to the internal teams of Bever, A.S. Adventure, and Cotswold.

Is your site or app ready for a redesign and do you need some help to get started? Feel free to hit us up.

  • Chris Scholten
  • Fabian van Noort
  • Nils van den Broek
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