Creating a platform to drive e-commerce to retail

  • UI/UX Design
  • Product Strategy
  • Websites

To make retail more competitive against e-commerce Places bridges the gap between online and offline experience.


In recent years, e-commerce has boomed and changed the way we shop forever. Today, e-commerce represents 15% of online sales and has been growing year on year. As time goes on, there is no doubt e-commerce will become an even more powerful threat to brick and mortar. Where brick and mortar has been forcibly closed for public
health reasons, e-commerce has surged into essential business.

With commercial properties spread across North America, leading real-estate firm Terracap wanted to adapt it’s robust physical presence to the challenges presented by e-commerce.
With over $1.5 Billion dollars in real-estate across more than 40 properties and 30 years experience, Terracap had incredible expertise in brick and mortar. However, the new world of
e-commerce and the internet were less familiar territory. That is when they partnered with ADG to innovate their model and hedge their physical presence against the online tide.

Through research and strategic conversations, ADG and Terracap agreed to create a platform that would provide a robust online presence for its commercial locations.

Design Challenges

One Platform, multiple brands

We identified 8 sites that would be prime candidates ranging from 100,000 sq ft and up. Each site, however, has a very different profile of anchor tenants and the community that shopped
there. Further, the sites varied greatly in geography stretching from the east coast to the west coast. In order to manage these challenges, it would be necessary to create one-platform that
would be able to manage and accommodate 8 different local brands.

One Platform, multiple needs

Similarly regarding the multiple brands, the different sites also had different needs. For example, one was an enclosed shopping mall in Northern Alberta. This site played a very active role in the community and hosted a lot of events. We had to manage to make sure we included the basic needs that were common across each location with specific needs that sometimes varied by site. In order to do so, it would be important to create a modular platform that could accommodate the common and variable needs.

Places help retail shift online and create a bridge between online and offline shopping.


Based on the design challenges, we decided to create a flexible white-label template. The template was carefully designed such that different features could be seamlessly turned on and
off. Some features included:

  • Homepage that featured the key information users were looking for in the hero
  • Store Directory that was searchable by name
    and category
  • Sales page where tenants could post their sales
  • An optional Events module on the Homepage, accompanied by an Events Page
  • A Tenant portal where tenants could make changes to their hours on the fly and submit
    sales and events information
  • Location page with Google Maps integration and directions information

For the UI, the white-label template was designed in such a way that colours, logos, and branding could be swapped out while maintaining the integrity and a high-quality of design for the site.

  • Flexible white-label template design to accommodate variety of local brands
  • Contemporary look and feel that is easy to navigate
  • Block featuring the anchor tenants on the homepage
  • Consistent user-friendly design throughout
  • Mobile-friendly
ADG developed an attractive, easy-to-navigate interface to help Terracap build a robust online presence.


The site was launched across 8 different websites. We found that the sites had a high conversion rate of 80% from site visit to in-store purchase. Further, the value of each site visit was calculated to be $77, meaning the sites quickly paid for themselves. Since launch, the sites have converted close to $1M in sales.