Building Customer-Centric App Design and Commerce Programs

Product Design and Development

At a Glance

A consumer’s path to purchase is rarely linear. At Said Differently, we develop connected commerce strategies that reflect real-world shopping behavior. Our work ensures e-commerce sites, apps, and in-store experiences work in conjunction to delight users and drive the desired consumer behavior. In a mobile-first world, apps play an important role in building customer relationships, connecting the user journey, and driving sales. Our teams have designed and developed apps for nearly every vertical and use case. A common denominator across projects is our emphasis on understanding the user journey so we can design real-world experiences, not just applications. 


→ Companies need approaches that reflect the way consumers shop – cross-channel commerce design rooted in a holistic strategy and underpinned by shared systems to support online and offline shopping patterns.
→ Commerce means more than your store or e-commerce site. You need a plan for differentiating yourself in retail environments, including Amazon.
→ By emphasizing user understanding, organizations can create apps that are as useful as they are beautifully-designed, and that serve as the remote control for real-world experiences.

Launching connected commerce strategies that grow businesses

Designing an e-commerce site is one thing. Designing a connected commerce strategy that includes online and offline components is another. 

Those who approach e-commerce platform design in a vacuum are overlooking how people actually shop. Rarely does someone know exactly what they want and head directly to a brand’s website to buy it. In reality, paths to purchase wriggle and writhe along online and offline touchpoints. Perhaps a shopper sees something on Instagram, Googles it, and finds a review that leads them to a retailer with a store nearby, where they try on the item, then jump on their phone to take a dressing room selfie and compare prices to other retailers. 

Fail to prepare for these complicated customer journeys and you will miss out on chances to connect with buyers. At Said Differently, we take a cross-channel approach to connecting with shoppers, architecting holistic systems that can support and integrate all the ways a product or service is bought and sold, including desktop, mobile, and in-store shopping experiences. 

Specifically, our teams have helped consumer brands develop strategies for standing out in wholesale and social shopping environments, as well as on Amazon. We have designed and developed websites, shopping apps, and in-store shopping experiences that generate sales, win design awards, and reflect a brand’s ethos. 

One example is designing and developing a shopping website and app for a well-known subscription-based service. Our project scope covered the entire customer journey, from the customer acquisition campaign, to the sign-up experience, to product unboxing. When these elements are handled by different agencies, the end experience is often disjointed. Our holistic approach allowed us to stitch together an effective process for driving qualified leads and improving the likelihood of those leads converting.

For Neiman Marcus, the iconic luxury retailer, we developed an omnichannel commerce strategy that was so well-received, we were hired to bring elements of the strategy to life. On the heels of this engagement, Bergdorf Goodman, a subsidiary of Neiman Marcus, enlisted our help to reimagine the in-store and online shopping experience for loyalty reward members, design the functionality for the market-ready version (MVP) of its website and app, and replatform the retailer’s app and website to the FARFETCH platform, an enterprise commerce solution for luxury brands. Because we assemble bespoke teams for each task, we can tackle multiple projects in tandem, without losing sight of the overarching strategy. 

Developing apps that act as the remote control for a brand’s ecosystem 

Our user-centric design approach underlines every project, allowing us to build applications that act as the remote control of a brand’s ecosystem. For example, when tasked with building an app for a travel hub, we didn’t start by drawing app wireframes. We started by visiting the physical space to observe consumer patterns, interview future app users, and identify ways to deliver unique value to audiences. 

Commerce apps are one subtype of app experiences. Our teams have designed and developed award-winning shopping apps for brands you would recognize, including luxury retailers. The apps we build look as good as they perform, emanating luxury principles while engaging users throughout their connected shopping experience.

After the successful development of a four-year omnichannel commerce strategy for Neiman Marcus, the retailer hired us to design and build key components of the plan, including its website and commerce app. For the commerce app redesign, we brought on industry-leading design, UX, and UI experts, whose work decreased the user bounce rate and increased the app’s rating in the Apple App store from 2.4 stars to 4.5 stars in six months. Our work reflected in-depth customer research, including surprising discoveries about Neiman Marcus shopper demographics, as well as luxury design principles, and tried-and-true e-commerce best practices. The app won a 2022 PRINT Award for design excellence. 

In sum: experience-led product design creates transformative results

At Said Differently, a rich understanding of connected commerce and user-centric design allows us to build long-term shopping strategies for brands, retailers, and organizations and design and develop all of the connected touchpoints, including physical experiences, websites, and apps. 

Our digital products are designed with the customer’s needs in mind. They reflect a brand’s ethos and end goal while delivering something of value for users. Our teams believe that we are not only designing an app, we are designing a real-world experience that the app can help control.

Often, our product design and development reflects a brand strategy that Said Differently created – the true end-to-end delivery of brand innovation. 

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