Reimagining Individuality in eCommerce


Designing a distinguished future for one of the world’s greatest retailers.


2022 - Present

The Challenge

A titan of retail in South East Asia with a growing luxury presence in Europe, Central Group is universally respected for their work in rapid retail development and now own a collection of landmark department store chains such as Selfridges, Rinascente, Globus and KaDeWe. 

Thanks to emerging digital marketplaces and competition from social platforms, Central has turned their investment towards digital capabilities — omnichannel commerce in particular — to recapture audience attention spans and wallet share.

To help them win the digital game, the newly minted team at Central sought us out for design support and strategic insights on customer behaviour and market trends relevant to Central, their flagship department store; and Tops, the group’s Thai supermarket chain. 

Refined Insights for Nuanced Audiences

Knowing Central’s audiences were not a singular persona or demographic, our first point of action was an extensive analysis of the key differences in shopping behaviours between global consumer bases.

Several insights stood out including the prevalence of heavy social proofing thanks to demand for first-hand accounts from digitally native buyers, a dominance of content-crammed discount culture leading to widespread use of aggregators and a general lack of memorable experiences in favour of frictionless conversion. 

Off the back of our research and a three-hour workshop which spanned UI, UX and strategy, we developed over 70 design propositions to infuse a touch of healthy friction into the customer experience and improve commercial results.

A Vision With Value

Having designed a roadmap for both the Central and Tops stores, we brought a few of the more intricate opportunities to life via a series of animated concepts with the potential to be recycled by the Central Digital team. 

Spanning voice-led shopping and automatic discount algorithms to immersive and shoppable video content, every proposition pushes forward the group’s new vision and correlating roadmap — all supported with strategic operations and a fresh set of design languages every stakeholder can get behind.