London-based Rapha has launched a new transactional site, created by Work & Co. As Communication Arts noted in a feature about the launch, it pushes the boundaries for an e-commerce experience: “The site for this cycling apparel brand motivates users to get on their bikes and start moving."
While Rapha has built physical stores —called Clubhouses— in several countries, it relies on digital as the singular face of its worldwide brand. Work & Co handled strategy, technical planning, design and prototyping for the new Rapha.cc. The site is rolling out globally; key markets include the US, UK, Tokyo.
“We always want to work with ambitious companies, and Rapha is about as ambitious as it gets,” said James Ayres, Design Director at Work & Co. “They’re unique in the retail space because they want to do more than sell great apparel —they want to elevate cycling to the number one sport in the world. Users come to the site not only to shop, but also to tap into a passionate community and learn how to improve their rides. So it was an exciting design challenge to take these different facets of the brand and seamlessly blend them into one experience.”
To create the new site, Work & Co partnered closely with various groups at Rapha, including their product, design, marketing, and brand teams.
“We want to fuel cyclists’ passions via e-commerce as much as we do via useful content,” noted Joe Stewart, Work & Co founding partner, in an interview with Comm Arts. “It was critical that the navigation be built to serve everyone equally as well, from professional cyclists to casual enthusiasts.”