Seattle’s REI gets a lot of things right.  20 years ago, the Northwest icon had the foresight to build a new flagship headquarters in a rundown area next to I-5.  Today the building is in the center of a booming techlandia, surrounded by cranes and glass towers.  The store has become a model of enduring physical shopping experience and is not going away anytime soon.

REI also gets it right in the digital world.  Here’s an example from a recent email campaign.  Watch how REI moves the customer effortlessly from email to web.

The first image on the left is the email.  Notice the “menu” icon in the upper right.  We’re in an email, but REI uses familiar web and mobile nav style to instantly convey that you can do more if you click on the infamous hamburger.

The second image shows the hamburger menu expanding.  We’re still in an email.  But doesn’t it already feel like a web page?  Most of my emails don’t have functional menus!  I select “Snow”.  Here’s the jump.

In image three, we’re now on the web.  Note the continuity in look and feel.  Under the covers, a big platform change has occurred.  But visually it’s all one user journey.

The final image shows what the actual web hamburger menu looks like on the REI site.

Done well, cross-channel experience keeps the user focused on their job or task.  It’s not about the technology – it’s about the information.

It would be easy to start tapping around in REI’s email and never even notice you’ve moved to the web site.

Which is exactly as it should be.

Now time to put some of those snow sports deals to work…



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