Emmaboda Möbler′s web shop has been around for three years now and it has proven to be a very successful project. 2014 the turnover was 3.5 Million, an increase by 75% since 2013.

According to DIBS annual report ”E-handel i Sverige 2014”, e-commerce has increased by 7% from 2013 to 2014 (the same rate as the year before that). Home decoration (including furniture) constitutes 9% of all purchases.

When launching a completely new web shop it obviously helps if you already have a well-known brand. Emmaboda Möbler has been selling design furniture for over 100 years, but their strongest target group is rich seniors, a group not overrepresented on the web. Another concern was if people were ready to buy expensive products online. It is not uncommon that the best couches cost over 50 000 SEK.

Despite these concerns, Emmaboda Möbler decided to give it a shot. Now looking back, Emmaboda Möbler’s regular customers did not start to do their shopping on the web abandoning the physical shop, instead a new set of customers made their way to the web shop. This meant that the income from the web shop became a bonus of sorts to the normal sales made in the physical shop.

The web shop was set up on one of the first cloud platforms called Heroku. One of the advantages with Heroku is that you can scale the performance seamlessly. For example you might foresee the traffic increasing during a sale, then you just login, slide a control and at once the site is twice as fast. When the sale is over you switch back to normal mode, paying only what is necessary.

Technology is one thing, but even though a site can be terrific in many ways, it does not matter if no one finds it. A strategy involving price comparing sites proved to be very efficient from day one, attracting new users to the site. Still today 21% of all traffic comes from this setup. Yearly AdWords campaigns also boosted the traffic and have proved to grow the number of organic visitors in the long run.

Although the number of visitors is interesting you also need to keep track of the conversion rate. The conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who actually makes a purchase. If you sell more costly products, as in Emmaboda Möbler’s case, the conversion rate is understandably lower than it would be for a shop that sell cheaper products.

2014
Turnover: 3.5 Million
Visitors: 78 000
Conversion: 1.5%

2013
Turnover: 2 Million
Visitors: 55 000
Conversion: 1.2%

From 2013 to 2014 the visitors increased by 42% and the turnover increased by 75%. If the conversion rate had stayed at 2013’s level: 1.2%, the turnover would have only been increased by 40% which translates into 2.8 Million instead of 3.5 Million.

So what created this crucial increase of conversion? It is hard to say for sure, but a big change during the end of 2013 was the release of a responsive version of the site. We saw that traffic from mobiles and tablets was close to 40% and increasing. This was a lot compared to other sites so ayond recommended Emmaboda Möbler to go responsive. Looking back, it does not feel very far-fetched that users that got tired of zooming and squinting now actually went through with their purchases because of the site being responsive and adapted to their device of choice.

E-commerce, Interaction Design, Marketing, Mobile,
Different aspects of UX and challenges faced by UX Designers.

From Business to Buttons is an event organized by Inuse targeted to the User Experience (UX) community.

“Designing how we design” was the title of a keynote given by Kim Goodwin explaining how important it is to get to know a company culture to be able to argue for better design and UX improvements.

It takes a while to get to know the values in a certain company. Sometimes these values are not the same values as the UX designers would consider the most important. A few values that UX designers often praise would probably be usability, beauty of a design, accessibility, efficiency etc. whilst a company management perhaps would answer gaining more money on a certain product range, expanding to another market etc would be even more important. When this situation rise, it is important to know these goals to be able to pitch the UX values that supports them.

 

Chris Risdon from Adaptive Path presented a nice overview of Service Design in what he called “Orchestrating touch points”. To deliver a great user experience, he argues,  you have to take into account the whole process of buying or using a product or service. It does not really matter if you have a great website if the other parts of your service/product are not working well.

A customer journey map is a set of touch points – a set of interactions that the user must go through to use a service or buy a product. When shopping for clothes the touchpoints could be searching for a product, store checkout, printing a return label. Note that some of these touchpoints could be done either online or at a store, these are different channels, not different touchpoints.

A touch point should at least be one of these:

  • Appropriate – in their context and culture
  • Relevant – meeting needs and being functional
  • Meaningful – being important and having a purpose
  • Endearing – being subtle, playful, delight
  • Connected – available and seamless

Otherwise they are redundant for the customer journey.

Risdon had identified a set of archetypical touchpoints that are often recurrent shown in the image below.

slide-145-638

For example Repair/Recovery could be a password recovery on a website or a product return in a store. When you link these touchpoints together you can define a customer journey map.

ayond’s version of Customer Journey Mapping
When we are asked to evaluate an existing service or product, we use the technique customer journey mapping pretty much as explained above, but with a twist. We identify the touchpoints and map them out as usual, but when identifying problem areas and the best working touchpoints we filter out the feedback by target group.

By doing this we can visually show a client what touchpoints are problematic for a certain target group, and if you put all target groups together you get a combined view. This is powerful either if you want to improve your service for a certain high prioritized target group or if you want to improve touchpoints that most of the target groups are experiencing problems with.

 

Most interesting number mentioned during the event
Amazon releases new code to their platform in average every 11,6 second.

Most interesting tools talked about
Lookback – Record user testing sessions on mobile
Tweaky – Create user tests

 

E-commerce, Interaction Design, Trends,
Some may think this is crazy, but we think it′s a fun step to combine social media with physical stores.

When visitors to the company’s Facebook page click on the like button for a particular item of clothing, it will be displayed in real time on the garment hanger in the store. In this way, the store employees quickly find out which designs are popular. Doubtful customers get confirmation if it is a “yes” or “no purchase” buy for others who looked at the garment. Likewise, in future, you may be able to post comments about a particular article of clothing.

See also the film that describes the fashion retailer C & A in Brazil working with Fashion Likes

 

E-commerce, Emerging technologies, Innovation, Interaction Design, Marketing, Mobile, Social Media, Trends,
We will see much more of different embedded services e.g. in different types of widgets. These will perform specific functions - not just “banner like” links - but more advanced services, that can be included in web, mobile or social context.

Widget mania
With this technology you can out-source part of your web/mobile/social pages to other companies.
Case example: Kundo is a digital community for companies and their customers. Their platform helps customers utilize the commitment and knowledge of the customer’s customers for streamlining customer service and to gather important opinions and suggestions from users.

Wisdom of the crowd
If you haven’t started yet, now is the time to use and embrace customers’ and users’ view on you services. Open up your systems and do not fear criticism. Start using combinations of social media and IRL and use “gamifications” techniques to attract users to participate in sharing and commenting.
Case example: the Silicon Valley pizza restaurant where customer’s twitter comments on the food and the restaurant is shown on a big screen in the restaurant.

The new intranet
One question that needs to be answered during 2012 is; “What things does staff want on their mobile devices?” The “Intranet in your pocket” trend will be enhanced by an increasing number Windows mobile smart phones enabling the access to corporate/enterprise systems that today are Microsoft-based. New types of functions in Intranets will appear that will be based on knowledge management and sharing through chat and interactive use like Facebook “liking” and commenting.
Case example: companies that used a secret Facebook group as intranet to share both cooperate information/documents and enable chat/gossip between employees.

Cloud gets real, sack the IT-department
Technology choices get more and more uninteresting, cloud based services put focus on service deliverance rather than technology. Why keep an internal IT-department – perhaps you should instead employ a data scientist?
The over-sized, centralized IT department of 2001 is a relic that will never come back. IT departments need to prepare for the decentralized IT reality of the future in which companies are going to have smaller IT departments and focus their IT resources on software, the cloud and mobile devices.
Case example: Brian Hardee, CIO at Oxford Industries, reduced his already small IT department from 35 to 14 persons to be able to direct IT development in new directions.

Social Commerce
The e-commerce will move into social media. Recommendations from friends are considered to more than twice as reliable as anonymous recommendations. E-commerce is both about marketing and helping customers in finding and liking your products as well as about actual web-shops in Facebook.
The venture capitalists’ interest in companies within the eco-system for e-commerce and social commerce clearly shows that the money guys see big opportunities here.
Case: Lacoste’s very successful Christmas shop on Facebook

E-commerce, Emerging technologies, Innovation, Mobile, Social Media, Trends,