Case study

Winderen’s success story: What it takes to launch a global, D2C luxury brand

Client
Winderen
Year
2018
Services

Frontend development

Product design

Overview

Niche as it is, the equestrian sports market operates and is organized in a very traditional way. The majority of products made for riders are found at brick-and-mortar stores – there, consumers can try products out for themselves and get a sense of both quality and fit. 

Winderen, an EU-based maker of high-end equestrian gear, approached us with an interesting challenge. They wanted to disrupt the traditional equestrian sales model and offer their products directly to customers via e-commerce. When they came to us, their brand was still quite new and not very well-known, which posed additional difficulties. 

Not only did they have to change their customers’ behavior, but they also had to build credibility and trust to an even greater extent than their retail competitors.

During our collaboration, we completely rebuilt and redesigned Winderen’s website. Our aim was to enhance the premium feeling of Winderen’s online brand while also offering customers a smooth, consistent experience. 


Winderen

In numbers

15
languages
10
product lines
6
Years in business

Winderen operates globally. They support customers in 15 languages and sell 10 distinct product lines. Some of their most popular products include saddle half pads, stirrups, and bits.

Collaboration

Upside was responsible for both UX design and for implementing Winderen’s platform’s front-end; we also had to seamlessly integrate a legacy back-end underneath it all. 

When we started our collaboration, Winderen operated a simple website that wasn’t fully responsive and was in desperate need of a visual refresh.

Even more importantly, though, the website lacked a content structure that could properly help customers experience the products that Winderen offered – as an online, rather than a brick-and-mortar, seller, this was a big hurdle that Winderen needed to overcome. 

Breakdown of our work

  • Designing an engaging and consistent user journey that started with browsing and ended at checkout. Since Winderen’s sales channel is exclusively online – i.e., customers can’t look over products in-person - their website needs to effectively provide a full picture of each product, giving customers the info, and the confidence, they need to make a purchase. In addition to informative text, that means providing high-quality photos and visuals. 
  • Designing and implementing a mobile-first experience. During the discovery phase, we noticed that nearly 95% of Winderen’s traffic came from mobile devices. In 2017, when we crafted the initial design for the website, mobile commerce was still an emerging trend. The limitations of small devices forced us to put extra effort into designing and optimizing even the tiniest details within the store.
  • Optimizing content to provide customers with a sense of security and bolster Winderen’s brand credibility. A big challenge for emerging brands operating online stores is giving customers a sense of security. It’s even more difficult when dealing with expensive products, especially when customers are used to purchasing these products offline. Together with Winderen’s team, we put tremendous effort into designing a content architecture that boosts credibility and eases possible pain points.
  • Setting up processes for internationalization to support global growth. From the very beginning, Winderen operated internationally; they had ambitious plans to provide localized experiences to customers in many countries. As a part of the design process, we needed to incorporate internationalization (provide services for multiple languages, currencies, etc.) while also clearly outlining global shipping rates and policies. 
  • Designing and implementing complex checkout processes, which included product configurators. Some of Winderen’s products offer a lot of configuration options (to match specific riders’ and horses’ needs). Part of our work included designing intuitive configurators to support the sale of those products.

Technologies we used

JavaScript
Google analytics
Hotjar
Sketch

Conclusion

Since launching the MVP, Winderen has grown 10x in revenue, built a presence in 15+ countries, and launched four new product lines.

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