Client: Top-ten American Retailer
Job: Figure out how to sell ‘services’ online (services include gift cards, home-inspections, carpet-installs, roofing-installs, painting services, etc.)
Result: 500% improvement in sales. Solution adopted worldwide on most eCommerce platforms.
Our first step was to create a competitive matrix of not only retailers in the ‘home’ vertical but also in eCommerce generally. We soon discovered that no-one had figured out how to sell ‘services’ online in conjunction with brick and mortar retail. In-store services for our client accounted for up to 17% of in-store sales, but sat below the 1% mark online – and this was after 20 years of eCommerce!
So we went to work using our human centered design protocol. The specialization of HCD called ‘UX’ would come later – we first needed to understand WHY people were missing services from their favorite retailers. We studied people browsing ecommerce platforms. We watched people buy clothing, craft-supplies, home goods and auto-parts. We noticed their reactions to the ubiquitous tab in the navigations schemas that said ‘services.’ Most had never explored that navigation button, not understanding that ‘services’ meant anything that wasn’t a physical product.
We then watched people as they shopped our client’s brick and mortar establishments. We watched them conduct DIY projects, buy gifts, call the store and even took note of their mood while shopping. We did this around the country in four strategic locations to properly represent this retailer’s market. And not only did we come to the conclusion that placement within a website would sell more services online, but that there was also a stigma to being out of the store when shopping for, say, a roofing quote. People felt they needed to speak with an expert in the space, in person.
We tried several solutions in limited trials and settled on removing the ‘services’ tab altogether. Instead we listed all services below-the-fold, in the footer. Before our work this spot had been reserved for things like ‘Investor Information,’ ‘Find a Store,’ and ‘Careers.’
The solution was rolled out by geography, with the regional markets we’d studied getting the solution first. After a few months it was rolled out internationally and with amazing results. Our client saw a jump in service sales from less than one-percent of online sales to almost five percent. This may seem like a small win until you realize that last year this retailer sold over five billion dollars via eCommerce. ROI on this project is in the 1000X territory; and our solution was adopted web-wide within a year, including across Asia and the Middle East (where languages are displayed quite differently than English).