A very interesting version of the Experiences logo

Experiences App

We created a new platform for the experience economy


Strategy, Design,
and Development


Web, Tablet, Phone


UI, UX, Development

Mediocre retail is dying

Traditional brick and mortar merchants have been decimated by Internet commerce and changing consumer shopping behavior. Hundreds of thousands of traditional retail stores have closed as people continue to use the happy convenience of buying their stuff online and having it rapidly shipped to their doorstep. In some places, it’s not crazy to drive past gutted malls that look like dystopian wastelands!

Call it a retail apocalypse or a renaissance, but we have to call it what it is, a huge change in retail experience norms.

An abandoned mall

The answer? Sell experiences first, products and services second!

Brands that focus on delivering a memorable experience first with the products and services playing a supporting role are the winners. So even big brands like Lululemon, REI are building flagship stores into education and activity centers instead of cramming the floorspace with uninspired displays of...stuff.

Here are some examples of the myriad options we see these days from retailers of all sizes:

  • Cat cafes (Coffee and cats anyone? Yes, please!)
  • Candle-making workshops
  • Craft distillery tours
  • Charcuterie design experiences
  • Haunted mansion murder mystery events
  • Blacksmithing experiences
  • Cooking classes
  • Goat yoga
  • Virtual wine tastings
More than 75% of millennials would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying something desirable
Eventbrite, Fueling the Experience Economy

An accessible experiences platform for every retailer

The client was Experiences and the goal was to empower every small retailer in the world to be able to succeed at making experiential commerce the hero of their business. The task for Helpful Human was to make this a reality by creating an enterprise-grade web app for the merchant customers of the largest cloud-based eCommerce platform in the world, Shopify.

The initial deliverable is a Shopify app that can be added to any merchant’s store in just a few clicks. The underlying platform needed to be engineered in a way that would make future integrations, expansions, and innovation easier. This is not a side hustle for Experiences, it’s the beginning of a go-to platform for the experience economy and it needed to have strong legs to stand on.

Reverse engineering happy memories

Creating a system that allows any Shopify merchant to be selling experiences in a few clicks without a complicated setup or hand-holding required a thoughtful approach. Additional requirements included making sure that the experience felt seamless and on-brand for the merchant and their customers. This means that the customer record, between Shopify and the Experiences platform, needed to be unified so the merchant can both own and track the lifetime value of their customers.

Admin UI

Experiences FTW

Since the Experiences app launched, thousands of small businesses from over a dozen countries have curated hundreds of thousands of transactions through the Experiences app. Millions of dollars of revenue have been generated while increasing the value of the merchant’s relationship with their customers.

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