In early 2010 ASOS approached RedEye to investigate how key elements of the website user experience could be improved.
The RedEye UX team had run one to one usability tests for ASOS in the preceding two years, which had contributed to an already excellent user experience reflected in the well-publicised position of ASOS as one of the fastest growing online retailers.
On this occasion the brief was more wide ranging:
- Explore product selection and add to basket journeys
- Explore users use of, and attitudes towards, the product viewing options available
- Find out how the user experience compares with key competitor sites across different types of product
- Gauge reactions to a proposed new look and feel
- Gather user feedback on what would create greater engagement with the site
- Analyse differences in all the above between gender.
RedEye recommended its Competitor Benchmarking Groups methodology as the most effective and efficient way to meet the broad objectives of the brief.
The approach combines individual site usage, questionnaire completion and group discussion in one integrated session. It enables comparative analysis of actual interaction with a number of websites, and capture of individual attitudinal responses, whilst adding the benefits of dynamic group interaction to generate more creative user feedback.
For the investigation RedEye ran eight groups over two days. The groups were divided by gender and between Specific ASOS demographics.
Introductory discussion explored respondents’ favourite fashion retail sites and how viewing and buying online fitted in with shopping in-store.
The core of the sessions examined how the actual experience of finding, viewing and purchasing different types of items on ASOS compared with key online competitors.
The next part of the session looked at the potential of blogs, magazine style content and user generated content to increase customer engagement. Lastly participants were exposed to potential changes regarding the look and feel of the site. This explored how potential changes might impact customer perceptions of the site and brand.
The strength of this approach is the richness of the insights it generates. As RedEye is able to record and analyse actual interaction as well as individual and group feedback, detailed recommendations on specifics of site design (such as the timings of drop down menu behaviour in relation to user mouse action) are able to be made.
At the same time RedEye was able to make recommendations about the most effective ways to present viewing of products to suit the differing needs of male and female customers, in the context of different product types.
RedEye was also able to provide comparative ratings for the shopping experience on ASOS and reference websites for different product types, and make recommendations based on these.
The findings report produced from the investigation included recommendations regarding:
- Main category groupings for the website
- Style, positioning and behaviours of main navigation menus
- Product viewing functionality, imagery and video for men and women
- Product detail information
- Add to basket journey
- Proposed look and feel changes.
Most of the recommended changes have been integrated into the ASOS site as it now is. ASOS continues to be a phenomenally successful site defying retail trends. In 2011 fourth quarter performance saw overall retail sales rise 58 per cent to £324.8m.
RedEye continues to work with ASOS on a programme of regular UX research.