Why a design studio is tackling online commerce

Why a design studio is tackling online commerce

Today’s internet is the most diverse and accessible marketplace civilization has ever known, and yet the advice proffered in The Cluetrain Manifesto almost 20 years ago is a philosophy still lacking in many online transactions:

“When you think of the internet, don’t think of Mack trucks full of widgets destined for distributorships, whizzing by countless billboards – think of a table for two”.

At the intersection

Realm Cellars: Video by Matt Morris

No matter the medium, the most effective transactions balance delight and convenience in equal measure. With due respect to the data we don’t think the answer is entirely analytical. To make the second sale, you must create desire.

Realm Cellars

The Realm Cellars website (2017-2021) encourages visitors to explore the brand through exhaustive (and unexpectedly transparent) content, but the product remains beguilingly elusive until you “sign in” during one of a handful of distinct annual offerings – coveted wines become increasingly tangible as virtual visitors approach the completion of the sale, rendering the purchase process a highlight of the visit.

To ensure the future, respect the past

Designing Commerce
Legendary wine importer and retailer Kermit Lynch (pictured second from left). Photo by Gail Skoff.

With more and more people embracing the convenience of online buying, even successful brick and mortar establishments are looking to get in on the action. So how best to honor tradition while embracing the now?

Kermit Lynch

For more than 40 years, people across the country have eagerly awaited the arrival of the monthly Kermit Lynch newsletter. Rife with information, recommendations and personal anecdotes it is considered the guide for new world consumers of old world (French and Italian) wines and has influenced an entire generation (arguably two) of wine consumers.

But where would we be if everyone simply adhered to that old favorite, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Three years ago we began work with Kermit Lynch as they entered the shallows of the ocean that is ecommerce. Having proved concept through the successful launch of a limited online catalog, we recently worked with them on a robust website that brings their encyclopedic wine knowledge and distinctive personality from paper to pixels.

Stymied by the rigid, inflexible structure of existing commerce platforms we built our own

Can you take a tool and make it an experience? The work produced with clients such as Realm Cellars and Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant (described above) demonstrates capabilities not possible before the creation of Figure – software we created and produced with the specific intent of ensuring that good design is woven into every online transaction.

Designing Commerce


There is arguably no market sector more focused on a hospitable experience than the wine industry. When the average spend is hundreds if not thousands of dollars, and as many as 50 percent of all sales are conducted online competition runs high – a beautiful website can only take you so far. In order for a satisfying visit to culminate in a successful transaction, the entire experience must reflect the personalized service upon which most wineries stakes their reputation. From the landing page to the packing slip, Figure delivers a beautifully branded experience for online wine buyers.

Explore Figure

Introduce yourself

What types of services are you looking for?

**Interested in wine ecommerce? Have a look at Figure.

Additional details

Thank you for your interest in Offset!

A beautiful website can only take you so far. Frustrated with the software options available for online wine commerce? We designed our own.

Explore Figure