Fetti is a rebranding and spinoff of LivingSocial's retail marketplace.
The existing experience is limited in capability by the deals and voucher marketplace. Fetti separates LivingSocial's retail marketplace to provide a better shopping experiece for its customers.
The Design Team
UX Research, Design, Testing: Darrell Chan
Visual Design: Darrell Chan, Alon Avissar
Most of the redesign was a visual refresh for its first iteration. But, there was a need to create a new search and browse experience that differentiated from the existing deals experience.
I wanted to target the right shopping habits and browsing behaviors of our demographic.
I started by looking at successful browse patterns of other e-commerce sites. Large sites like Amazon.com use robust search engines that can find any product in their inventory. Meanwhile, smaller boutique stores like Cole Haan leverage a more focused browse experience.
My hypothesis was that inventory size shaped the search and browse behaviors of users on the site.
Testing the Hypothesis
To design the best experience, I confirmed my assumptions on shopping behavior and conducted research through interviews with users well-experienced in online shopping.
Interviewees looked at three e-commerce sites: Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Canopy.co. Each of these sites represented a retail experience that varied in inventory size. I asked them to find a "Pixar lamp" and set them free to find the item how ever they wanted to.
What I found was that as the inventory shrunk, shoppers started using more generic terms to find what they were looking for. On Amazon.com, "Pixar Lamp" was used universally as the search term. However, on Walmart.com and Canopy.co, search terms for the same lamp yielded "desk lamp" and "lamp", respectively. I repeated the same exercise with other products with similar results and trends.
Another key observation was that there was a shift in the amount of search usage when inventory shrunk. On Amazon.com, nobody had even attempted using the browse navigation. However, on Canopy.co, where the inventory was very small, there were many shoppers that went straight to the browse navigation and didn't even attempt to search.
What I learned from the research helped guide the design of both the search and browse behaviors. I made some early sketches and through a few iterations, ended with a design that provided both focus and guidance to the consumer.
A takeover search provides a clean aesthetic to complement a suggestive search that gives options based on what the consumer is looking for. If the search term is too generic, it will provide suggestions toward a finer set of categories. If the search term is too specific, it will provide a category in which the search term is related to.
In this way, the consumer is always directed to a result that is ideally related to the search term they were using, whether it be too generic or specific.