Redefining Commerce: Bellroy Slims Down Site Without Compromising Quality
by Taryn Collins
Bellroy sells wallets. That’s it.
Their product line is simple, straightforward, and practical. If you assume that those things equate to a boring, lackluster brand, you’d be wrong. Bellroy has a carefully developed brand image with a thoughtful, comprehensive story to tell about their product and how it fits into the lives of their customers. They’ve clearly built a business around understanding customer pain points and needs, and have executed a nearly flawless UX based on that information. Their website is interesting, dynamic, and fun -- anything but boring.
Right from your first experience landing on the homepage (both from a desktop and if you view their mobile site), Bellroy’s creativity and personality shines through. They use a mix of stylized product shots, illustrations, animated GIFs, and video on their homepage. Their use of mixed media adds intrigue and ensures that the customer will stick around to learn more.
Every customer touch point is easy. They don’t make you work hard to find what you need, and that makes their site pleasant and enjoyable to explore. From the top navigation, which only offers four link options, to the page layout which is easy to navigate, everything is easy to find and simple to consume.
Bellroy gives life to their products through weaving them into stories. Given the simplicity of the product, these stories could be pretty short or insignificant, but instead they do a great job of clearly explaining - through images and video - how their wallets can positively impact your life. Their “Stories” feature walks you through different use cases for their wallets, like travel or outdoors, and how exactly their wallets can make a difference.
Their travel story, titled “Transit with Ease,” is far more than just a ploy to sell a product -- they offer quick tips for making travel easier, a tutorial on how to efficiently pack a bag to maximize space, and how to “digitize your docs” to make travel easier. Only after they’ve gone through these super helpful hints do they pitch the product, and visualize through video the benefits of buying a Bellroy wallet. This added value for customers is something that makes Bellroy’s experience better, because they’re offering educational content that can really make a difference in someone’s day, instead of just trying to sell.
Specific product pages have the same look and feel as the rest of the site, and visuals are front and center. Upon landing on a product page, a video automatically starts and walks you through the benefits of your selected wallet, and animates precisely how the design works. A variety of practical product shots are included that visually display the benefits of the wallet. As you scroll down the page, you’ll find more product details, and more supporting visuals about the special wallet details -- what it’ll hold, how it all fits. This is done with pictures without relying on any text. At the bottom of each product page is a beautiful Instagram integration, which shows the wallets in everyday scenarios. Bellroy has a dedicated hashtag for collecting these images -- #MyBellroy.
The Bellroy site is simply a pleasure to peruse, and makes me -- someone not at all in the market for a wallet -- interested in buying one just to see if they’re the wallets are as amazing as the online experience. And as the icing on the cake? The company is about more than just making a profit. Read more about their strong ideologies and commitment to the environment, and to see what sets Bellroy apart from other similar commerce sites.
- Back to Basics. Bellroy strips down the traditional commerce experience to the bare bones, making it simple to navigate and easy to find all of their outstanding content. The true beauty of the site lies in its simplicity.
- Visualize Everything. Wallets aren’t an inherently beautiful product, but Bellroy makes them beautiful. Their product imagery is clear and simple, yet it resonates, leaving shoppers not only wanting to see, but to touch and feel these wallets.
- Know Your Customers. Bellroy has gone to great lengths to develop their products, which is part of what makes them so successful. Because they have a customer-first mentality, they’re able to offer an experience that feels more educational than salesy, and offer a product of tremendous value.
This blog series - Redefining Commerce - highlights retail brands that are elevating traditional online commerce experiences, pushing the boundaries of what it means to be an online retailer, and delivering unparalleled consumer experiences.