Introducing e-commerce functionality to decrease site bounce rate by 10%.
Choisi is an online fashion marketplace connecting fashion-conscious consumers to emerging independent designers from all over the world. The founder had also developed an AI feature that helps users find items best suited for their style based on online habits and decisions.
The founder came to us with two problems: 1) Decrease the site’s bounce rate from 60% to under 50% and 2) Create a personalized shopping experience on a site that can’t implement it’s AI software due to Squarespace limitations.
With no concrete timeframe for implementation of this AI feature, we decided it would be best to focus our redesign on what we had in front of us.
In 2.5 weeks, my team and I delivered a full site redesign centered on seamless e-commerce functionality, including several ways the site can act as a personal stylist. Bounce rate results TBD based on an expected Q2 launch date.
Invision Studio, Whimsical, Keynote
Research & Discovery
We first noticed that the site has no way to search, browse, filter or purchase products on the site itself, confirming the high bounce rate. Yet we didn’t want to jump in blind, so I worked with my team to understand the luxury fashion space and discover online shopping habits, particularly regarding high fashion, so we could confirm our initial assumption: giving the site the e-commerce it desperately needs.
SITE HEURISTICS in detail
Primary paint point: All products link to affiliate links, leading to significant, and frustrating, memorability and efficiency issues.
current user flow and journey
Turns out, users were equally as frustrated as we were. Usability tests showed us that no matter how they navigated the site, every product image on the site led users to a completely different external site experience.
Key journey map takeaway? One user told us, “Why would I even bother with Choisi if I just ended up on Etsy and could buy the product there?” Not good.
understanding the luxury fashion space
In looking at competitor sites, we found common themes and patterns that provided us with a framework for how to best design for a high fashion site.
Navigation: “Shop Insta” sections that resemble instagram feeds, fit guides, and ways to filter by things like new arrivals, limited edition items, collections, etc.
Site Layout: clean layouts, bold and big product detail images, lots of white space, intricate typography choices, and section headers guiding users to trends or collections
understanding potential users
With no e-commerce or AI software, the site had no real current users. So, we talked to a variety of shoppers instead. I made it a key to talk to young and older shoppers so we don’t focus too much on one age segment.
I ultimately learned that there’s no need for Choisi to re-invent the e-commerce wheel just because it’s high fashion. Female online shopping expectations are pretty innate across the board no matter their sense of style or budget. They want to shop with ease and in terms of luxury, quality trumps all.
Users also told us they want filter options to cater the online shopping experience to them, are inspired by what they see on social media, and if they’re going to purchase pricey items, they need to know they‘re getting the most bang for their buck via reviews, size guides and robust product details.
This was all great to understand their feature expectations. However, I knew that if our main goal is to lower the bounce rate, we should focus on basic e-commerce elements first before moving on to these additional features.
I also didn’t want us to assume every Choisi customer will be who we assume a typical luxury buyer is. Our interviews proved that to us. So in our personas, I had us cover both ends of the luxury buyer spectrum.
Elise is our “moment of wealth” millennial shopper who will once in a while purchase a high-end item as an investment piece.
On the other end we’ve got Celeste, our inspiration seeker/high spender who’s all about the latest trends and making a statement.
Design & Testing
We started with holding a design studio with the founder to involve her in the process and show her our design thinking.
During our design process, I emphasized my design motto with my team: Great Design Evokes Trust.
Our users told us that if they’re going to buy luxury, the site should exemplify that via high-end design. Therefore, we focused on a luxurious, editorial feel with large, lifestyle images, white space and intricate typography choices, all while keeping the company’s current branding in mind.
testing it out
Users all shop differently. Their feedback in usability and AB tests at all stages of fidelity helped us expand filter options and define a section hierarchy for the homepage.
Reviews and Ratings: Most users are accustomed to sites like Macy’s that use star ratings, but they also don’t feel that this rating system eludes “luxury.” This inspired me to change this section to short testimonials on the item or the designer so users can still feel confident in their purchases.
Fit and Shipping: Online shopping puts more emphasis on product fit, but designers on this site are from all over the world, so their sizes are all different. Therefore, the product pages needed a link to designer-specific size guides and even designer-specific shipping information so users are well-informed up front.
The Final Product
Our full site redesign included:
New homepage design with revised navigation and hierarchy
Product Listing Page with various filter options
Product Detail Page with large images, robust product details, favorites button and designer info
Full checkout flow, including a shopping bag, payment and shipping, and confirmation page
Three personalization features outlined below
REVISED SITE MAP AND USEr FLOW
I redesigned the site’s navigation to provide more robust browsing options to accommodate various types of shoppers. The reason for this is so users like Elise can shop for something specific and users like Celeste can easily emerging designers and trends.
In updating the user flow, I focused on showing that users can now complete their purchase with ease with no redirects or bouncing.
Finish the Look: On product detail pages, users can get suggestions on what goes with the item they’re looking at so they can build an entire look vs. just buying an individual piece.
Editor’s Picks: I re-labeled and redesigned the site’s current “Top 10 Lists” to “Editor’s Picks” to elude a sense of trust in users like Celeste that they are looking at items hand-picked by people who know what they’re talking about.
Shop This Look: From classic to sporty to evening to vintage, users can discover and purchase completed looks that accomodate different styles and trends.
Users were pleased with a clean, beautiful site that allowed them to shop with ease and guided them to more personalized, more effective purchasing decisions. But here’s the kicker:
Before, users could spend as little as 7 seconds on the site before bouncing to an affiliate link. In final usability tests, users spent between 3-5 minutes browsing the site and completing their purchase.
I’m confident this redesign will significantly lower the bounce rate past the 10% we aimed for.
Next Steps & Reflection
Continue to test with more users
Build out the Shop Insta page so users can buy outfits they discover via social media
Build out a way for users to create their own “editor’s picks” to share their style with others
Throughout the process, I actually encouraged my team to take some user feedback with a grain of salt, especially since we weren’t equipped to find as many true luxury buyers as we wanted. I realized we had to evaluate all feedback based on where it was coming from. If users were expecting a Nordstrom site, we had to decide if making that change was worth it based on our primary goals.
If I could do this project again, I would spend more time in the research and testing phases with more users aligned with Choisi’s demographic. This could help us better validate or tweak our design choices to ensure we’re best accommodating the users most likely to shop on this site.