League Park Vintage is a trusted resource for quality vintage baseball hats and apparel. They are well known within the industry for their knowledge about the sport's history and the best quality products related to historical sports players and teams.
However, they have a revenue problem.
They need to improve conversion from browse to checkout completion to ensure they don't become a thing of the past.
Lead and solo designer - discovery, user research, design, writing, prototyping, testing
1. Find solutions to improve the conversion from browse to completion of checkout to increase the revenue of the product’s web-mobile experience.
2. Create a checkout process for guest checkout and email capture.
Why League Park Vintage?
With the combination of material, design, color, and craftsmanship League Park Vintage is a 'unique' sporting good experience. Donning classic uniforms from teams of the past enables customers to express their personal history in creative ways. If you enjoy looking different from the crowd, then League Park Vintage is made for you.
League Park Vintage customers are happy. Customers who purchase handmade, vintage apparel are thrilled with the product's quality, durability, and wearable history. So why aren't more people buying? With a few happy customers in mind, I set out to find out what other competitors were doing right.
I wanted to understand better:
- Why are League Park Vintage users abandoning the site without moving any items to their cart?
- What product features entice and explain the necessary information for purchase?
- Why do users abandon their carts at the registration page?
- How do we capture users' email effectively throughout the site and upon checkout?
Secondary Research, Competitive Research, and Heuristic Analysis
93% of users prefer a digital shopping experience equal to or better than the in-store experiences. (source) I started the project's research process by deep diving into industry best practices for conversion, design, and user experience.
Next up, it was time to understand what more direct competitors were doing correctly. So I did a comparative analysis of five significant competitors in the sports apparel and vintage e-commerce space.
This analysis focused specifically on their checkout process and available product information.
After the competitive analysis, I used the same five competitors and performed a heuristic analysis on their websites. By and large, there were no major heuristic issues, but it was valuable to see the way successful companies worked through potential usability issues.
ANALYZE & DEFINE
After extensive secondary research and competitive and heuristic analysis, I reviewed and sorted my insights.
First, I used Affinity Mapping (grouping ideas based on similarities) to identify best practices for e-commerce usability and conversion.
Next, I created two main types of users based on the codified affinity map information. First, the Empathy Mapping process allowed me to understand potential users' underlying motivations, feelings, and thoughts.
Utilizing the primary persona defined by the Empathy Mapping process, I deepened my understanding of my user base by creating personalized user personas.
How Might We Questions
Now, it's time to generate creative solutions while staying focused on which problems to solve with HMW questions...
How might we incentivize the checkout and browsing process for users?
How might we ensure that the users do not abandon their carts before purchasing?
How might we create a registration page that captures user information without intruding on their purchasing experience?
How might we communicate product features more effectively to complete conversion?
How might we structure the site differently to increase engagement with cart features and purchase experience?
User Insights and Pain Points
- 24 - 38 years old
- User base is 72% men
- High-income earners
- They enjoy sports and value the history of sports. They will spend a lot of money on authentic, vintage products, so they are very picky and do their research regarding authenticity.
"I don't want to have to make an account" - Users want options. They want to decide whether to check out as a guest, make an account, or make an account on their second or third visit.
"There's not enough information about my product" - Online purchases run the gamut regarding quality. Since League Park Vintage offers the highest quality vintage sports products, users need to understand precisely what's offered.
"I want my purchase to be easy and secure"- I set out to create a seamless, simple, and secure purchase experience.
With a 50% site abandonment rate, understanding the User Flow of the item search and payment process was imperative to creating successful design solutions.
A little sketchy
It was time to sketch.
With user and conversion pain points in hand, I sketched out the solutions I believed users would find most effective based on my research.
I wanted to create a seamless shopping and checkout experience, an opportunity where they could wear the history of their favorite players and teams without being bogged down by modern-day usability issues.
Wireframes, Prototypes, and User Tests
Next, I jumped into Figma and created my wireframes based on the sketched interfaces. After completing the wireframes, I prototyped the designs and tested them with five users fitting the brand's target audience.
User Testing Findings
Issue #1: Users unanimously suggested that user reviews allowed for photos and videos in addition to text.
Issue #2: In email capture for guest checkout, copy changes are needed to explain why email capture is necessary to the user. (i.e., shipping updates, etc.)
Issue #3: Redundancies in the flow of multiple payments and payment options.
Design System & Style Guide
As the prototypes evolved, it was time to give the wireframes a little flavor. I created a brand platform, design system, and style guides to bring the community to life. With a heavy reliance on black and white vintage photography, League Park Vintage brings its products to life by using all-color product photos. The visual contrast lets the user connect to sports history, while bringing the past into the present.
- A trusted resource for quality vintage baseball apparel, League Park Vintage is always knowledgeable about the history of sports and the best quality products related to historical baseball and football players and teams.
- High Quality
High Fidelity Mockups, Prototypes, and User Tests
Once the brand aesthetic and wireframes were complete, it was time to make a high-fidelity prototype for user testing. Utilizing a healthy dose of negative space, black and white photography, and contemporary product photos, I created what, based on my research, was precisely the type of visual aesthetic that will bring the past to life for the users.
User Testing Round 2
User testing round two found no critical usability errors. Instead, most of the feedback focused on design aesthetics; the only adjustments were minor UI changes.
User testing with the new UI design went exceptionally well. Users liked adding product reviews, product descriptions, and guest checkout features. Checkout flow is "what I would expect" from many testers. Design and product changes will increase conversions and bring customers back for additional purchases.
Some UI elements to be aware of are the potential for product images to “get lost” in the black and white photos. In future iterations, attention to contrast is imperative for both CTAs and product photography.
The website redesign successfully found solutions to improve conversion from browsing to completion of checkout. I also created a user flow that allowed for guest checkout and email collection without creating an intrusive experience for the user. Additionally, there is still the option for users to create an account for themselves and log in and out accordingly.