Schuh UX case study

How Schuh increased SmartPhone conversions

With a mission of providing their customers with a “unique and exciting retail environment” schuh had invested heavily in their online presence. Like all leading retailers they recognised that retail is now omni-channel and that to increase sales the shopping experience must be as intuitive and seamless on a smartphone or tablet as it is in store.

To deliver on their ambitions schuh faced several challenges:

- how to become more pro-active in problem identification on digital channels, rather than wait for customer services to report issues

- how to understand users’ expectations of the schuh shopping experience specifically on smartphone and identify points of friction impacting conversions

- how to ensure the Store Stock Checker experience was as intuitive as possible.

Research Conducted – Testing the smartphone experience

schuh ran two rounds of smartphone testing on their live site with WhatUsersDo. In each round mobile phone screens and participants’ voices were recorded into videos so that user behaviour could be observed.

The first round was designed to understand users’ prejudices and attitudes towards shopping on a smartphone with undirected user tasks to observe natural behaviour. The second round was focussed on identifying conversion issues (particularly around Store Stock Checker) with more directed tasks designed by the WhatUsersDo UX Team to reveal conversion killers such as:

- performance of search

- usability of navigation

- site speed issues

- reasons for basket abandonment

- intuitiveness of Store Stock Checker

In both rounds users were asked to use only their 3G connections to simulate the real world experience of shopping on a smartphone without a wifi connection. And, since these were smartphone tests, users were also asked to find their nearest store.

The User Experience videos were fully analysed within days by WhatUsersDo’s team of UX Analysts to answer the research objectives.

The Results - Insights improving the bottom line

Insights from the two rounds of testing revealed to schuh where they needed to make enhancements to the smartphone experience in order to increase sales, including:

- reducing confusion over product reviews during the online purchase journey

- ensuring category and search results sorting was clearly signposted and met users’ needs

- improving the “user flow” within the Store Stock Checker journey.

As well as revealing tactical changes for conversion improvement, insight from the tests also allowed schuh to:

- become more pro-active in issue identification

- to understand smartphone users’ expectations and attitudes towards shopping.

What schuh thought

“A quick, easy & cost-effective way to get immediate, quality feedback on problems your customers are facing today. On the back of the feedback we received regarding the difficulties faced in stock reservation, we made the reservation services more obvious which resulted in an increase in conversions.” Stuart Findlay, Online Development Manager, schuh

Our Thoughts - Put users at the centre of your omni-channel strategy

Optimising for omni-channel can sound daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. In both this project and through their on-going commitment to user research, schuh have proven that with the right insight (from actual users) it’s possible to achieve both tactical improvements and gain an edge over competitors.

The tactical improvements come, as they did in this project, from identifying conversion opportunities that reduce friction for users and increase sales. In fact, like many leading retailers, schuh are now extending their research to pre-live sites and prototypes in order to optimise at launch.

The competitive edge comes from improving their team’s understanding of user behaviour across any channel to inform the overall experience design. Meaning they are equipped to build digital experiences that are as (or even more) “unique and exciting” as the bricks and mortar ones.

About schuh

schuh have been in existence since 1981 opening its first shoe shop in Edinburgh, Scotland. They caused a sensation by bringing “colour” and “variety” to the footwear fashion scene. Their simple philosophy that remains today – “To provide individual high fashion footwear, sold in a unique and exciting retail environment”.