Zalando is Europe's leading fashion e-commerce platform and is active in 15 countries. As part of Zalando's platform strategy Zalon was created. Zalon is a new Zalando venture which is a platform connecting customers and stylist to provide personal styling advice. Zalon was publicly launched in May 2015 in Germany and has since expanded to Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
When a stylist is sending outfits to a customer, a style card is included in the package which shows the different outfits and the stylist explains their decisions / how to wear the outfits.
Before this project many orders, ca. 70%, were sent without Style Cards. This had several effects, most importantly the customer did not know what items belonged together in an outfit and they did not receive any explanation from the stylist. Customers that did receive a style card had a higher Net Promoter Score (NPS) and generally kept more items from their order.
The goal of this project was to include a style card with every order, leading to an increase in customer satisfaction and sales.
Role & Deliverables
- Role: UX designer
- Deliverables: Analysis, Sketches, Wireframes, HTML prototype.
- Teammates: Martin Menzel (Front-End Developer)
An initial analysis showed two main sides to the problem:
- Many stylists were creating not style cards, or style cards with errors.
- Transfer of the style cards to the warehouse was a manual and cumbersome process and often failed.
My task was to focus on the style card creation side of the problem, another team tackled improving the operational process after the style cards were created.
I started by looking at the process of order creation for stylists. The style card creation was one of the most time-consuming and least motivating tasks, which led to stylists not doing it, or doing it incorrectly.
A stylist would first assemble one or two outfits for the customer using the Zalon stylist tool and the Zalando website. Style cards were created by copying the order ID, customer name, and Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) of articles to a Google sheet. The position of the SKUs in the sheet determined how they were shown in the generated style card. Mistakes (like wrong SKU, too long text) would only be found hours later, after a manually process triggered by the Zalon operations team.
Areas of improvement
I found the following areas to improve for this task / process:
- Style card creation is not connected to the earlier steps: it was easy to forget it.
- A lot of manual effort to add the articles of the order to the card: copy pasting codes from system A to system B.
- No clear preview of the outcome of the work: stylist had a hard time visualising the results.
- No error handling / feedback for stylists: if anything was wrong it was nearly impossible to realise this in time and correct it.
For the composition of the style card I came up with several options, ranging from very simple, not very user friendly, solutions (for e.g. a page with many dropdowns with the SKUs) to what I saw as the ideal solution: a drag and drop interface where the stylist could take images of the articles and drag them into the correct position. The drag and drop solution would allow them to directly visualise the outcome.
Drag & Drop Concept
During an early feedback session with the developers and the product team the opinion was swaying towards the very minimal solution. Which, while making things better for the stylist, was still very much a 'bookkeeping-like' task and felt barely like an improvement.
Drag & Drop Prototype Video
I tested the prototype with several people around the office and everyone was enthusiastic. One of our front end developers saw the potential and was excited by it, he said he could develop a basic version of this in one day. We were given a chance to explore this and one and a half days later we had a basic version implemented which we could integrate in our tool.
The new style card creation was received extremely well by our stylists. Throughout the year we received feedback from them that they were very happy with this new tooling, and that it made it so much more fun to style. In addition to this great boost in stylist satisfaction (very important for Zalon being a platform), the percentage of orders with a style card went from ca. 30% to 98%. As mentioned above having a style card was also an NPS boost for customers.
Personally I really enjoyed the outcomes of this feature as it was a first step of our stylist tooling going beyond being purely functional and being something people liked using. It also helped set the mindset within the team that sometimes it can be worth it to go beyond the absolute minimal solution as the reward / return can also be much greater.