eCommerce Customer Journey and Site Redesign

An eCommerce client approached me after seeing a big drop in online sales. They wanted to reassess their customers’ journey on their website with the aim of not only educating users about their products but also driving increased purchases as a direct outcome of the customers understanding the benefits of their products.

The results of this show how data-driven redesign based on quality user testing can greatly affect the bottom line. In this case, the user-centric redesign lead to a 94.93% increase in revenue with transactions up 80.95% and average order value increased by 7.73%.

Process

Problem

The eCommerce client saw a large drop in traffic and ranking for their main product, which in turn lead to a drop online sales.

The theory was that their customers lacked knowledge about the benefits and unique value of the products. The client believed that providing better product education on the website would lead to more sales, but wanted to present it in a compelling way that did not create barriers to purchasing.

Proposal

Research current customer comprehension of the products’ benefits, do a competitive analysis, and facilitate a series of workshops with stakeholders to improve the customer journey on the website based on user-centered data gathered during the process. Results would then be communicated to the design team with new designs to be user tested before rolling out.

Design Testing

As part of researching what did and did not work the current eCommerce site, I conducted a number of quick user tests on the website to give us more data to inform decisions in the redesign. 

One of these user tests was a gaze plot of the home page, which I also compared to competitors. This helped show how the competitors’ design and organization better drew attention to key product points.

home page gaze plot comparisson

User Testing

I wanted to get an idea of what customers already understood about the products, and where holes were in the site’s design to communicate the products’ benefits. So I conducted a series of impression tests on the current site.

The tests honed in on whether potential customers understood what the product was, what was compelling messaging, actions that customers would take on the site, and perspective of product benefits all broken down by  demographic groups.

Customer Journey Work sessions

Next was a series of work sessions facilitated with key client participants to re-examine the customers’ journey.

customer journey overview

This involved user research and tying in the potential customer’s interest to their product propositions and messaging.

checkout flow v1
(click to enlarge)

We then tied the customers’ key decision points with how information would be presented within the website and shopping experience. Communicating their products differentiators was an important piece of that journey.

I also documented the purchase process in an activity diagram, to help the client identify touchpoints and areas for improvement within their customer service process.

Design Pre-Test

Due to the user testing and research, it was decided to give the entire website a data-based design overhaul guided by my discoveries. As a part of our work sessions, we redesigned the home and product pages to better communicate the product’s benefits as wells the suite and collections offered.

Keeping with good UX practices, we decided to test the new design before rolling it out. Screenshots of the old and redesigned home page were presented to users (altering which was displayed first) and they were asked a series of questions about their impressions.

redesign option test - user impressions

I then concatenated the results, grouping their responses so that patterns and statistics could be derived from them.

User testing of the data-driven redesign showed a:

  • 70% increase in identifying the company’s main product correctly.
  • 25% increase in discovering elements on the home page beyond the hero image, such as the products grid.
  • 35% increase in clicking through to products.
  • 70% increase in identifying the products’ benefits.

Implementation

I worked with the design, development, and marketing teams to put the new screens and processes in place for the ecommerce site with a series of review sessions to ensure that the changes were driven by the user testing results.

Results

When comparing the analytics for the new design and information architectural changes to a comparable sales season for the new design’s roll out, the client’s site saw a:
  • 50% increase in revenue 
  • 32% increase in e-commerce transactions.
  • 12.2% increase in order values.

When comparing analytics of the problem seasonal drop that initiated the user testing to the same season the next year with the new design, the site’s statistics showed a strong turn around as well.

increased revenue and conversion rates after user testing and data-driven redesign