The company "Naturale" (real name undisclosed to protect privacy) specializes in selling all natural wellness products both online and in physical stores. I was hired as a contractor to revamp a portion of its website to add personalization and improve its self-serve experience.
Role: UX Research, UX/UI Design, IA & Wireframing, Prototyping
Tools: Pen & Paper, Stickies, Adobe XD
Timeline: 5 Days
OUTDATED & LACK OF PERSONALIZATION
Due to COVID-19, online personalized experience is now more important than ever as more customers flock online to shop, limiting in-store experiences. A large portion of Naturale's customers do not have an online account - they shop via guest checkouts. Naturale wants to make its logged-in experience more personable, however it cannot collect enough useful information from these guest checkouts and outdated my account features.
To tackle this challenge, I familiarized myself with their mobile website by testing its checkout and my account features (mobile traffic accounted for over 60%). I have shopped at Naturale previously and found it very easy to checkout as a guest and there was no incentive for me to sign in as it took longer. The account features were very basic as it only featured simple profile, address book, payment methods, and order history.
The My Account function is drastically undervalued on most e-commerce websites. Through my research, the performance of My Account can lead to repeat and long lasting customers (Baymard,2020). Account features that are critical to users' ability to manage their own account:
Delivery date/status, track order
Manage credit card / payment method
Review order history
Return an item
Manage wish list / saved items
A survey revealed that 81% of consumers want brand to get to know them and understand when to approach them (Accenture, 2017), and 33% of customers abandon relationships with the business due to their lack of personalization (Accenture, 2018). Personalized homepage promotions proved to be very successful as it influenced on average 85% of consumers to buy while personalized shopping cart recommendations influenced 92% of shoppers online (Kibo, 2017)
AREA OF OPPORTUNITY
Loyalty programs help build a bond between shoppers and businesses. A study shows that shoppers are more motivated to add more to their cart to earn rewards with an 36% increase in their average order (Loyalty Lion, 2020). Loyalty programs will help establish a community by offering rewards, discounts and insider access to events. I feel that Naturale can greatly benefit from such implementation.
After compiling all my research findings, I discovered 4 key insights.
Customers highly value seamless log-in experience. They are rather busy and prefer to get their shopping done quickly
Customers want to feel special and like personalized recommendations. They prefer brands to understand them and when to approach them.
An improved my account experience will bring more personalized content and efficiency across the website.
Customers value exclusive member only deals. They love discounts and getting rewarded the more they buy.
How might we improve My Account and build a personalized experience in order to convert guest checkouts into members and promote customer retention?
After analyzing my research, I created a proto-persona that allows me to empathize with Sara and help achieve her goals and satisfy her needs. Next, I drew out her purchasing journey with her actions, emotions, and thoughts in mind - which helped uncover opportunities to better her shopping experience.
In order to align my design with Naturale's business goals, I designed the task flow to be as smooth and efficient as possible in order to convert guest checkouts into logged-in members. The number of steps and pages were reduced to allow better flow - satisfying Sara's needs.
4. Interface Design
Originally, the "My Bag" screen had a large checkout button placed at the top and followed by large product cards that took up a lot of the screen real estate. Sara had to scroll down to find her special offer and order summary. I reorganized the screen so that Sara is able to view their bag, special offer, and order summary without scrolling too much.
To motivate Sara to sign up, I proposed a one time offer of 10% off purchase just for newly signed up users. I placed a "Continue with Google" button as a quick sign-in option. I added some micro interactions to provide more clarity for users during the process. Also, I provided other users an option to sign-in to earn points/rewards if they are already a member. Sara signs up to receive her 10% off and likes how easy and smooth process is.
Important: the original mobile website is not shown to protect the brand's privacy.
The original checkout flow consisted of 5 steps: email, shipping, delivery, payment, review. Sara didn't like how there were so many steps and screens to go through. To solve this issue, I reorganized the process into 3 steps: shipping, payment, and review. Email is separated as part of the sign-in portion. Shipping and delivery are combined into one screen.
UPDATED MY ACCOUNT
The original My Account page was a simple drop down menu with the following options: profile, address book, payment methods, order history, and endless essentials. My proposal is a comprehensive and personalized dashboard - with options reorganized into order history (view, track orders, returns), buy again, and account settings (payment, addresses, contact info, password).
Sara's name is placed up top with option to add a profile photo. To satisfy the Sara's needs, I proposed to implement a wellness member rewards system and community portal. She is also intrigued by being able to find her wishlist saves and special offers in her account.
The original logged-in page appeared no different than non logged-in page. Sara wants to feel welcomed and appreciated for being a member. I proposed to add a top section dedicated to greeting Sara and informing her total number of wellness points. I added sections "New For You" and "Recommended For You" to keep Sara up to date with all the new and current products that are catered to her interests.
5. Key Learnings
This design challenge has emphasized how important personalization and self-serve are to e-commerce websites, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The days of not knowing your customers are long gone. Personalization is now an essential part of e-commerce.
As we move away from brick-and-mortars, customers are flocking online - demanding more self-serve features and member perks. E-commerce companies must learn about their customer through their online characteristics, behaviours, and data - collected through member log-ins. Research shows that customers are more likely to return if they experienced a positive self-serve experience.
For "Naturale", most of its customers shop via guest checkouts due to a lack of member perks and personalization. As much as consumers prefer to shop quickly, they are motivated to sign-up as members if given the right type of incentive such as a 10% discount. Personalized product recommendations and member appreciation will increase customer retention for the long-run.
6. Future Opportunities
There are lots of opportunities for a growing company like "Naturale". If given another opportunity, I would like to further expand its personalization by building its reward system and community portal. This would increase brand loyalty and encourage member participation in its wellness culture.
I would introduce fun and personalized quizzes for members to find out what products are suitable for them - another strategy to learn more about their customers. Lastly and more ambitiously, a new meditation app would be an great extension from its e-commerce business - integrated with its existing podcast channel. I believe it would be a big hit in the market amongst wellness conscious shoppers.