Launching DTC eCommerce for Bear Grylls

For any brand, launching an eCommerce store is an exciting time indeed. The chance to sell your products directly to consumers, through an experience you have total control of, is one offering huge business potential.

However, many of the brands we work with are not starting from a blank slate, they often have existing marketing sites and legacy platforms to be considered. With this in mind we focus discussions around determining the most effective growth strategy to align key business drivers to user needs and positive outcomes. One that sets the foundations for future loyal customers. 

Naturally, there are many questions and moving parts to consider such as platform choice, visual merchandising, site design and fulfilment. One such project that offers a great example of these conversations was the creation of a brand new D2C eCommerce store for Bear Grylls.

During our stakeholder discussions, three key considerations were agreed:

  1. We have an introductory range available at launch, but more products would be launching throughout the seasons
  2. We have an existing marketing site however it's not built on a platform that supports eCommerce.
  3. It’s important Bear’s involvement in product development is visible

Moving forward, we reframed these discussion points into ‘How Might We’ actions to foster an explorative problem solving approach.


We have an introductory range available at launch, but more products would be launching throughout the seasons
How might we  showcase an introductory product range and communicate to users the upcoming ranges?

The resulting opportunity

We created a bespoke Product List Page (PLP) that placed greater importance on copy and imagery to facilitate easy product comparison, discovery and education. Secondly we signposted upcoming new ranges and gathered expressions of interest via a campaign specific newsletter signup form.

Initially there would only be only a small handful of products in each category, so it did not make sense to limit ourselves to a common PLP grid layout. These grids are optimised to serve potentially hundreds of products while being very fast for the user to scan for the desired item. We wanted to present products in a way that invited slower browsing and ideally reading of the key features as this would aid the user to see how each product could be used and how it compared to others on the page.

So we ditched the standard grid and created a fast loading, bespoke layout that showcased not only super-sized product images but more importantly, provided plenty of space for descriptive copy to highlight the product benefits and key features. 

This level of detailed copy is usually only revealed on the Product Page. However by surfacing a version of it a page earlier in the user journey it allows users to compare products easily while remaining on the same category page. This also reduces potential pogo sticking and page parking often seen as a side effect of poorly considered content structures and site hierarchies.

The combined healthy scroll depth (75% of all traffic see at least 85% of products) and time on page attest to the user benefit of this approach.

Bear Grylls eCommerce Hotjar scrollmaps


We have an existing marketing site but it's not built on a platform that supports eCommerce.
How might we get to market as quickly as possible in order to start generating revenue while ensuring the best possible experience for our customers?

The resulting opportunity 

We largely left the marketing site untouched and created a separate shop domain to house the store. Then we created a bridge between the two by replicating the brand aesthetics and navigation across both domains

This use of an identical navigation and continuity of brand aesthetics creates an uninterrupted visual experience between the store and the marketing site for the interim in order to release the site quickly - test and learn. Our mindset here was to release something good, then make it great in the fullness of time. 

The next phase of work will entail gathering a deeper understanding of this audience, actioning the backlog of UX improvements as we integrate the marketing site onto the eCommerce platform as well as building a content strategy that ties in with social campaigns and the new product range launches. 

Bear Grylls eCommerce Navigation Design


It’s important Bear’s involvement in product development is visible
How might we ensure a strong presence of Bear Grylls throughout the site? 

The resulting opportunity

We designed the user journey to be led with images of Bear using the product that are supported by his advice and comments on the kit. 

We ensured that Bear’s presence behind the design of these products is visible on the site by including quotes from Bear at all the important moments in the customer journey. In these quotes Bear tells the customer in which scenarios he uses the product and why he thinks it’s great for them too. 

In the short term Bear’s quotes also function as a stand-in customer reviews, a feature that we’ll be launching soon and allowed us to elevate these products above the competition - what better reassurance can you have for the product than the man himself?

Bear Grylls quote on insect protein

Related Case Study