Grindstore ● Retail
Making Grindstore more than just a store.
Grindstore has been the home of alternative fashion since 2004. For fans of rock, metal and punk music, Grindstore is a unique online destination delivering alternative clothing and official band merchandise. Grindstore approached Tribe to develop a new digital strategy with a responsive e-commerce website at its centre – focusing on a more modern online representation of their brand and delivering a streamlined user experience to their diverse customer base.
Playing to a mixed crowd
From our research and insight phase we discovered many of Grindstore’s competitors all shared a similar aesthetic, with loud and busy pages full of grungy textures. Unorganised chaos, with little visual hierarchy and all components fighting for attention. They have generally been designed to reflect the sub-cultures and product styles, with little consideration for the larger target audience or user experience.
While a visual style that represents the Grindstore brand is important, shifting focus onto the usability and customer journey with a more refined layout and art direction would be key to producing a successful, fully-responsive e-commerce website. Our aim would be to produce a cleaner layout, reduce visual congestion and let the product take centre stage. With many of the once niche products now falling into mainstream fashion, taking inspiration from leading e-commerce websites that would entice a larger demographic of customers to Grindstore was key.
We discovered that the Grindstore target demographic covers two distinct groups: A fashion-led audience, and a scene-led audience. The fashion demographic are likely to buy based on style/taste and current trends, and would be primarily focused on a clean and simple user experience. The scene-led demographic are likely to buy as an expression of their support/loyalty for a particular band or subculture, and would be focused on finding the right (official) product and related products easily.
Amplifying beyond the beat
Fashion products have seen the largest growth of all products purchased by customers from their mobile phones, so this became one of the main focuses of our design development. Dynamic social engagement was also key, moving Grindstore from an online shopping experience to an alternative fashion community. Integrating Instagram and a Polyvore ‘Outfit of the Week’ offers the opportunity for cross platform promotion.
The stage is set
The final website design has streamlined the customer journey in a much cleaner visual framework, bringing focus to the individuality of the products themselves. The site offers a feature to search by a specific band for die hard fans, clearer product pages for both the fashion-led and scene-led audience, and a platform for social media promos. Grindstore is, once again, the go-to destination for official band merchandise.
Our strategy was to make the product king and design for the customer – with brand equity being gained and loyalty built from a positive buying experience first and foremost.
We developed an icon suite as part of the visual identity of the website, making sure they’d work across other brand touchpoints such as brochures and posters.
The site was designed from a mobile-first mindset, with users 67% more likely to use their mobile phones for making purchases if the brand’s website has an application or a smartphone friendly version.
“Everyone is buzzing here since we launched. Great response and sales are very strong. People are commenting that it still feels like Grindstore, which is something we couldn’t afford to lose – but faster, better, stronger and slicker. Such a leap forward.”Martin Glover Director • Grindstore