case study

Expanded into the Singaporean market through app localization

Crate&Barrel is a global brand in the housewares and furniture industry with 100+ stores and franchise partners in 11 countries.

Project Type
Furniture and housewares ecommerce
Product (UX/UI) Design
UX Strategy
App Localization
Marketing Design
Information Architecture
Design Process Optimization
Key Outcome
Acquired and converted more international customers
10 months
In collaboration with
A localization SaaS company


Crate&Barrel began their e-commerce operations in Singapore with a basic website and online catalog. Users could place orders and pick them up in their local Crate&Barrel store. But the company wanted to move to a full-service e-commerce site, localized for the market and optimized for mobile.

Strategy and approach

Insights gained through market research and analysis

I co-developed the market strategy based on research and analysis of local consumers and the competitive landscape. I also conducted interviews with local domain experts to acquire insights and confirm assumptions about local interface patterns and best practices.

Competitive website screens and pie charts for analysis
Extensive app localization

The entire e-commerce experience was localized, from merchandise categories and checkout flow to copywriting and promotions.

Local expressions were incorporated, including “Singlish,” Singapore’s unofficial language born from the country’s English, Chinese, Malaysian, and Indian influences. Promotional content was created around local holidays and annual events such as the Great Singapore Sale.

Homepage with furniture, housewares and Singlish expressions
Homepage in Chinese featuring furniture and housewares
Homepage design featuring "Singlish" expressions and the Great Singapore Sale, a popular retail event that happens annually in Singapore.
Mobile-first for Singapore

Singapore has an 85% smartphone adoption rate and the country is leading the global transition from desktop to mobile commerce, with 52% of all online sales expected via mobile this year. Therefore, it was important to optimize the user experience for mobile.

We optimized key pages such as furniture collections, making it easy to select and preview furniture colors and fabrics on mobile screens. We optimized for a pixel width of 375 instead of 320, since many Singaporeans are using newer, wider Android phones.

Crate and Barrel screens
Brand style guide with color palette and button details
Unified brand visuals and voice

Typically, when brands expand internationally, it’s difficult to align styles across countries and markets. This risks confusing users and diluting the brand’s unique look and personality.

To unify the brand and ensure visual consistency, I developed a style inventory audit and aligned the Singaporean site interfaces with the global design systems at Crate&Barrel.

Select e-commerce details

Retail store with large Christmas tree

Singapore-specific campaigns drive traffic to in-store events.

Mobile screen with chair and link back to collection

Mobile breadcrumbs help users understand where they are in the site.

Order summary showing final cost including goods and services tax

Full GST inclusive amounts are indicated to meet local e-comm expectations.

Screen with three top links and four category links underneath

Product categories and header navigation links are curated for local preferences.

The entire experience was tailored to local preferences, from homepage to checkout.


Global expansion

App localization efforts allowed Crate&Barrel to acquire and convert profitable international customers.

Bolstered e-commerce operations

Replaced static site with an e-commerce solution that is robust yet easy to manage.

Adapted to local language and culture

Site tailored to local preferences, paying careful attention to market-specific promotions, merchandise, translations, market behavior and user experience.

Transformed a static site into a fully functioning, localized e-commerce business

The previous, more simple homepage, plant in bowl
Homepage incorporating app localization, dinnerware on shelves

Additional services provided for this client


Educated client on best practices in mobile e-commerce, A/B testing, usability, and user research. Informed client about market research and behavior. Introduced design systems and tools after a style audit uncovered inconsistencies such as different checkbox styles.

Want to expand into a new market like Crate&Barrel?

Get in touch