BLDWN

Increasing Revenue by a Customer Centric Update

Summary

While their website was generating notable revenue, BLDWN leadership knew we could improve. We could increase organic traffic quality and quantity. The user experience and customer service could be optimized across the buying journey. The team knew there was a sizable amount of money being left on the table. With the holiday season a couple of months away, it was crucial to be efficient and effective to capitalize on it.

About BLDWN

BLDWN is a modern American fashion brand for men and women. They are inspired by the stories of American design and the collective group of American artists and creative minds that have shaped global culture.

Services

  • Strategy
  • Competitive Research
  • UX, UI Design
  • Visual Design
  • Development
  • User Testing

Year

2015

The Goal

The goal was to affect several key performance indicators

  • Increase add to cart percentage and conversion rate
  • Reduce client service requests by having proactively addressing customer concerns
  • Improve SEO rankings

The client wanted to maximize their investment. That is why we chose to optimize organic traffic and the buying journey. It was our objective to get more products in customers’ hands while not only keeping customer support to a minimum but also reducing it. The founder believed that the product spoke for itself as long as we could get the right item in the customer’s hands.

Future initiatives would focus on growing paid traffic and reducing returns.

Plan of Action

For the project to be successful, it was crucial to have a clear plan of action. We had a short timeline. Multiple internal departments and two freelancers, including myself, would have to collaborate efficiently to hit our deadline. An initial alignment meeting and incremental status meetings with all parties were crucial to maintaining vision and the timeline. 

Research

We did extensive competitive research. Understand conventions and areas of opportunities were our focus.  Areas we identified for improvement were:

  • Decrease page load time
  • Providing clearer way-finding by adding bread crumbs to categories and product detail pages
  • Adding category page headings and copy to improve SEO rankings
  • Optimizing meta tags and alt tags to provide better accessibility and SEO rankings
  • Simplify the main navigation and focus exclusively on sales-related pages
  • Add customer service related copy to product detail pages
  • Add product care, model measurements and sizing information to product detail pages
  • Introduce cross-selling on product detail pages
  • Shorten the buying journey by introducing a mini cart in place of a cart page
  • Reduce mental load during the checkout process by creating a custom four-step checkout process and added a cart preview on page
  • Allow customers to save their card information to streamline their checkout process

Design Begins

My focus was on user experience and customer service design. Helping users find answers faster with fewer distractions, was my first step. Mobile was a significant percentage of traffic. Unfortunately, add to carts were substantially lower for mobile than other devices. Focusing on the mobile experience became a key focus for increasing the conversion rate as a whole.

The wireframing phase involved several rough sketches to iterate through options, illustrate the direction and get buy-in from all parties. Once approved by the art department, I translated the wireframes into high fidelity prototypes to get full alignment from the art department and marketing department as well as final approval from ownership. This part entailed a lot of back and forth between departments and myself but ultimately it allowed us to maintain efficiency through development and avoid any unwanted surprises.

Development was largely straight forward. I did active development on a local copy of the site while we iterated through rounds of approval on a staging version of the site. 

Removing Distractions

To increase add to carts and reduce cart abandonment, we optimized the main navigation. Only sales-related pages remained in the header. The main navigation included simpler top-level navigation and prioritized sub-navigation. We moved all brand and customer service related links to the footer. 

Better way-finding and Customer Service

On product category pages, we added headings and brief copy descriptions. For SEO, we added breadcrumb navigation to both product category and product detail pages too

On product detail pages, we focused on better customer service and intelligent cross-linking to other products promoting cross buying. To increase users  comfort and confidence purchasing, we added fit information. Model measurements, links to fit guides and whether the item ran generally small, true to size or large were front and center. We reworked the primary copy to be emotive. Material information and care instructions were included as well but separated to reduce cognitive load. To provide greater customer service and support buyer confidence, we included shipping, return and customer support contact information on all product detail pages too.

Finally, we added both a “Shop this look” and “Items you might like” sections at the bottom of the product detail pages to promote cross-selling and upselling.

Shortening the buying journey

Ideally, a user would be able to have a product shipped to them within three pages including the page they initially landed on. To reduce cart abandonment, we implemented a mini cart to get us to a 2-3 page buying journey. By reducing the extra step of a dedicated cart page, we substantially reduced the number of steps in the user’s checkout process. 

The Final Step

Everything went pretty smoothly until we got to the custom checkout process. At face value, it appeared straight forward but upon starting became way more complex. Getting this wrong could cost the company a lot in missed sales. There is a reason why Shopify is so proud of its checkout journey. 

We had to be aware of multiple device sizes and user logged-in status. We wanted to dynamically update a cart preview on the checkout page as the user entered information. At the same time, working within the constraints of the platform we were using. This was the highest stakes page of the site. If the experience is unreliable or straight up breaks, we would lose the user’s trust or they would simply leave. Trust and time are essential.

After several iterations and user testing, we arrived at a solution that accomplished everything we wanted. Interestingly, Shopify’s checkout page, as of writing this case study, closely resembled what we developed several years ago. 

There was a myriad of other changes made. We adjusted product category pages and product detail pages to include more initially copy for both users and SEO. We added fit information including model measurements and if an item ran small or large on product pages to help customers get a better idea of how an item would fit them. 

Resolution

In the end, we were able to affect several key performance indicators. That Holiday season was by far BLDWN’s best sales.

  • Substantial increase in add to carts
  • Strong increase in conversion rate especially on mobile
  • Page load time decreased by up to 3x
  • Significant decrease in cart abandonments
  • Increase in the average order amount

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