maruja.jpeg

The Case of the Fallen Conversion Rates

Maruja Jewelry Case Study

Overview

Maruja Jewelry (www.marujajewelry.com) is an online store for everyday wear jewelry. Maruja Jewelry personalizes its product based on customer needs. Since opening in October 2020, the website has averaged 400 online sessions per month. However, from June 2021 to August 2021, online traffic dropped by 50% and conversion rates decreased by 30%.

Role and Responsibilities

UX Designer

Collaborated in a remote setting with a team of 4 UX Designers and Researchers from across the states. As UX Designer, we assisted UX Researchers in collecting the qualitative data through user research, competitive analysis, and usability tests. Using this data we ideated ways to improve the design of the websites through wireframes, prototypes, and A/B testing.

Tools

Figma, Miro, Google Forms

Problem Space

Maruja Jewelry's conversion rates decreased and the CEO, was concerned this was due to an accessibility issue.  A consistent trend showed that customers spent a few minutes on the landing page and didn't investigate further into the website.

We hypothesized that the website's conversion rates had fallen due to a lack of accessibility or usability. 

Our goal was to conduct user research to understand the user experience, their pain points, and unearth any accessibility or usability issues and redesign the website based on this research to improve conversion rates

Stakeholder Interview

Initially the team of user researchers looked into the website’s analytics for quantitative data to understand the shopping patterns of users. 

As a team we decided to interview our stakeholder, Celia. Once we understood the stakeholder needs we were able to understand the overall goal of the stakeholder and how we may help her.

What are your goals in this project?

"We wanted to increase conversion rates and traffic."

What would you like it to be?

"For this store to gain more exposure for the market. "

Who are your key competitors and how do you compare?

"Their prices are higher than mine and their packaging is generic. They include more personalized products and hold more giveaways."

User Survey

With the stakeholder interview and the results from the analytics, we then created a survey to understand the user’s experiences when using the website.

Exposing several user pain points. We had learned that much of the pain points lied in marketing and site imagery, however, a few usability issues were brought up.

We wanted to conduct qualitative and quantitative data for the website.

 

User's commented on how might we improve the website:

  • "I would change the background of the products. The current background makes the product look fake."

  • "I think the website would greatly benefit from pictures of the pieces worn. Personally, I like seeing clothing/accessories I buy online in use so I can see it in action."

  • "I want the option to like or save for later."

  • "I would probably add a ‘Contact us’ option on every page, so people can email you with questions."

What users liked about the website:

  • Easy Navigation and Layout

  • View and Product Organization

  • Best Seller List

  • Quick Load Time

  • Easy Access to Products

  • Aesthetics and Color Scheme

  • User friendly

Quantitative Data

User Interview and Usability Testing

After analyzing the survey data, we then conducted an interview along with usability testing. This helped us understand the mindset of customers and helped us assess what problems they encounter on the website.

Are you more likely to buy the product if you see someone wearing the jewelry?

"Yes, especially when you do online shopping, it’s hard to tell the exact size and how those would look on their face shape and body shape, etc., so I would prefer buying the jewelry if it looks good on the models and see if it would be a good match for my own style."

How important are the descriptions to you?

“Descriptions are important so I can know the quality of what it is.

Pain Points

To empathize with the user we wanted to analyze our customer pain points. This gave us a better idea on understanding why conversion rates may have slipped and gave clear direction to ideate ways to improve the website.

"It is hard to buy products without a proper and detailed description"

"It's hard to see the real product without the model"

"There are too many featured items on the main page that you have to scroll so much to get to other information"

"I wish there is a wish list or save for later button so I don't have to search again when I buy next time"

Usability Results

  • Sufficient Navigation

  • Neutral Product Imagery and Descriptions

  • Neutral Checkout Response

  • Neutral Product Filter

Image by Daihana Monares

Competitive Analysis

We wanted to compare Maruja Jewelry with competitors in the market, so we conducted a competitive analysis. Comparing each company’s website, prices, brand identity, and product description. 

 

Through our competitive analysis we found that Maruja Jewelry and Mejuri were both similar in brand identity, however, Maruja Jewelry stood out for its unique jewelry and affordable prices.

In comparison with competitors, Maruja was found to lack in product description and that selections needed to be updated within the drop-down menu.

Competitive Analysis

Tiffany & Co.

$$$$

Brand identity: Elegant Timeless Fine and High End Jewelry 

Easy Navigation

Clean Visual Design

Clear Product Descriptions

Mejuri

$$

Brand identity: Fine Jewelry for Everyday, for our damn selves

Easy Navigation

Clean Visual Design

Strong Product Description

Etsy 

$-$$$

Brand identity: Eclectic Market for Small Businesses and Side Hustles

Moderately Navigation

Overwhelming Design

Product Descriptions Vary

Personas

We created personas based on the user surveys and interviews to empathize with our users. We focused on intermediate to novice users in order to understand pain points and needs from these two perspectives.

Personas

Intermediate

Image by Michael Dam

Lupe, 39, Insurance Agent

She loves finding quality jewelry at affordable prices since she is also buying jewelry for her teenage daughter. She also loves buying jewelry based on aesthetics. Her frustration is when there is no real model on the website because she doesn't know how it will look when worn in real life.

Novice

Image by Elizeu Dias

Robert, 27, Personal Trainer

He usually doesn't buy jewelry unless it is a gift for the special people in his life. His goal is to buy jewelry for the people he dates. When buying online he needs to have clear descriptions and images about the product.

Ideation

POV, How Might We, and Brainstorming

Once research was gathered and analyzed we began to ideate ways to improve the website's design and usability.

Understanding the user pain points was integral to understanding the problem. The website did have some heuristic issues but a trend emerged from the data. It was the website's design and imagery. 

Point of View

To identify the customer’s pain points we used a strategy called, POV. We listed customer pain points on a Miro whiteboard in order to understand the Maruja's customers.

 

What affected their experience when attempting to shop at Maruja.com

How Might We?

After collaborating on Point of View, we also conducted "How Might We?" statements.

 

Putting the paint points in the form of a question in order to answer them. A similar concept to the answering system of Jeopardy, looking at what and conceptualizing further into solving these issues.

Brainstorming

Using the "How might we" questions and Point of Views, we took to brainstorming solutions to these issues.

Card Sorting

As a team we also wanted to conduct card sorting to confirm that the information of the site is user-centered.

From this exercise we were unable to find any clear issue with the site’s architecture. The team of UX Researchers decided to conduct Tree Testing to investigate further to find why the customer’s stuck to the front page.

Tree Test

After the Card Sorting, our UX Researchers evaluated the site structure, organization, and terminology. Based on prior research, we learned most of our customers only stay on the front page, during our interviews and first usability testing, we found that users had a hard time finding items using the browsing filter.

So our researchers asked the users to find rings, necklaces, and other products. Unfortunately, only 75% were successful in completing the task, which indicated that the organization of the site needs to be redesigned as well.

Creation

Designing from the User Perspective.

Once research was gathered and analyzed we began to ideate ways to improve the website's design and usability.

Understanding the user pain points was integral to understanding the problem. The website did have some heuristic issues but a trend emerged from the data. It was the website's design and imagery. 

Task Flows

The results of the tree testing lead us to create a task flow, we did this to better understand the jewelry shopping process for customers. We worked on creating a golden path for customers looking to purchase statement earrings.

Wireframes and Hi-fi Mockups for Testing

We created wireframes based on the data from the card sorting and tree testing. Our lead researcher wanted to create high fidelity mockups based on our wireframes to run Usability and A&B tests.

A/B Testing

Using High-Fidelity Mockups, we conducted A/B testing. We wanted to focus on the design of the website.

In previous research, users concluded that the color of the website was too light and the main page features were excessive. So, we wanted to test different designs to further understand our users.

For the first test, we asked the user which color scheme they would prefer.

50% indicated that they would like to see the darker color.

"The bold color catches my eyes."

​Solutions
  • Detailed Descriptions

  • Product Imagery on Model

  • Feature Fewer Products

  • Darker Color Scheme

  • Update Filter Categories

Before and After

Below are some features we updated during the redesign.

Usability Testing

The insights that we received based on the A/B testing led to a redesign of the website. We wanted to conduct another usability test prior to going live. 

The user evaluated the design and walked through a few tasks. 

 

Through this second usability test, we found that:

  • The color scheme improved and easy to read.

  • The filter system was well organized.

  • The content on the main page was sufficient and no longer overwhelming. 

  • The design of the website greatly improved. The user stated, “I love the website aesthetics!”

Lessons Learned

User research is important in improving any product. What was interesting was how users had more input on the design aesthetic and product imagery over the usability of the website when conducting interviews and usability testing.

Even more interesting was how tree testing showcased highlighted usability issues.

For our CEO, our findings were more challenging as budget reduced the amount of improvements and the color scheme in the company branding was put into question.

Results and Possibilities

After updating the website, conversion rates went up to 5% and traffic in the website went up by 10%.

Though that is not the progress we had hoped for we agreed that marketing should also be the company's priority.

What's next is that we still need to updating product images with models and better descriptions on each jewelry especially the new releases and implementing the save for later button.  Unfortunately, it is currently a paid app that needs to be included in the budget.