How one retailer increased conversion rate by 2x using data-driven design.

How one retailer increased conversion rate by 2x using data-driven design.

Even one of the largest and most successful retailers in the country has room for improvement through data. At least that’s what one retailer discovered when Cognetik performed a User Experience Analysis of their mobile app.

The analysis

We measured both top-of-the-funnel and bottom-of-the-funnel activities. What we found was the app wasn’t exactly performing the way the retailer had hoped.

Most users visited the app for research and inspiration for in-store purchases not to purchase online
mobile users averaged 11.5 visits each, which is 30% higher than any other device
mobile users spent an average of 7.3 minutes per session, which is 25% more than on any other device
66% of users exited the weekly ad section after only the 2nd screen
80% of the home screen real estate only accounted for 20% of user interactions
38% of app users were experiencing crashes
84% of users exited the app between the cart and checkout
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The problem

Even with these challenges, the mobile app users converted a better percentage of visits into purchases than the retailer’s mobile website. The conclusion was simple. The app was converting purchases, but it was losing too many customers along the way. That’s where we needed to concentrate.

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The solution

We recommended redesigning the app to enhance the customer’s shopping experience by giving them the option to shop the way they want. Data showed users of the app shopped differently than the other mobile and app experiences, so we recommended the following shopping paths:

Weekly Ad — a shopable, interactive ad for those looking for this week’s sales items
The Storefront — easy-to-find categories, occasions and storytelling to help the users find the product they’re looking for
Inspiration — a never-ending collection of inspirational images users could browse and even upload on their own
Explore — a content hub that allowed users to engage in content and tap on featured products within the content to add to their shopping cart
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The Weekly Ad

Every week like clockwork the retailer publishes a weekly circular, but we suggested the app become much more than just a PDF of a circular. By adding eCommerce capability to the weekly ad, customers could shop as they browse.

The Storefront

The retailer has always had a variety of categories to help search for their products, but with 80% of the real estate only providing 20% of the interactions, they were in need of a redesign. Based on our recommendations, they created stories, allowing the user to browse by occasions or seasonality, introduced social media feeds that showed popular products from places like Pinterest and allowed the user to select favorite categories to customize their Storefront page. All while being one click away from adding any product to their cart.


We learned through our analysis that many shoppers used the mobile app simply for inspiration. They would research, but make a purchase in-store where they could see and feel the product to get a better sense for it. So, we recommended creating a section that allowed users to gain inspiration by searching through Instagram and Pinterest. Users were even urged to post their own photos to help inspire others.


The last shopping path we recommended was based on the fact that again customers were using the app to get inspired, so we recommended creating a content hub that allowed shoppers to consume articles and videos relevant to them. As they read an article on the eight best coffeemakers, or watched a video on the decorating with neutrals, they could with one click add products to their cart, instantly converting those just looking for guidance into shoppers.


The last piece of the puzzle was to streamline the checkout process, as our analysis discovered 84% of users dropped out between the cart and checkout. So how could we make sure we converted many if not all of them? We recommended a new check out process with:

Two-tap convenience
Easy-to-view summary
A pick up in store option
Saved payment

The new checkout process gave an easy-to-view summary of the products in their cart as well as showing items saved for later, so customers could easily add them if they’d like. It also took into account many people visited the app for inspiration and would like to see the item in person before buying, by creating a “Pick up in-store” option. This allowed the user to browse store inventory and essentially reserve an item for purchase without fully committing to it.

The new checkout process was also streamlined. Putting three easy steps on one page reduced the likelihood that customers would drop off between steps. By saving their address and credit card information, users would only have to confirm information rather than re-keying it every time. Lastly, a detailed summary would be displayed with all pertinent purchases and personal information on one screen.

The results

Projected results based on the changes showed an increase in $32 million in revenue by driving more visitors to the app and by giving them exactly what they were looking for—a place for inspiration, research and inventory. A place that enhanced the shopping experience rather than make customers withdraw from it. Cognetik’s analysis and recommendations not only generated incremental revenue but also won a Webby Award for its great user experience.

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About CognetikCognetik is a company of thinkers and builders and we are passionate about connecting people with their data.  Cognetik uncovers problem areas with your apps and websites, and delivers transformational insights that will improve user experience and generate greater revenue and profit for your business.

We have the right team, technology and experience to help you maximize your data's value.

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