Designing for more brand appeal and increasing both CVR & AOV - website redesign for LAKE
Founded back in 2014 on the belief that comfort should be celebrated through incredible sleepwear, LAKE designs and manufactures the softest pajamas imaginable in classic styles using the highest quality fabrics. The company has been recognized widely over the years by Vogue, Forbes, Harper’s Bazaar, and many more.
LAKE came to Vaan for help in overhauling its website to reflect the recent growth and success of the brand, and specifically to correct two critical areas:
- The website did not provide a complete brand experience or communicate LAKE’s key selling propositions: fabric quality and availability of styles.
- LAKE’s mobile conversion rate was lower than industry benchmarks and disproportionate to its conversion rate on desktop and tablet devices. LAKE hoped to improve upon this metric as well as boost AOV. The website’s simplicity was its strength, and the redesign needed to enhance the existing experience within LAKE’s brand guidelines.
After a heuristic analysis, Vaan also identified that:
- Product Collections were poorly merchandised.
- LAKE’s pajamas are often bought as gifts. Yet gift options, sets, and wrapping were not prominent on the site.
Vaan dug deeper to gather data to inform the redesign. After reviewing their quantitative data in Google Analytics and Shopify Plus, Vaan enlisted the services of qualitative research partner WEVO to help benchmark the existing experience.
WEVO combines smart humans, machine learning, and natural language processing to help companies understand what their target customers feel about the proposed journeys, using a survey-based testing solution. WEVO can test any digital asset before it goes live, or send users through a live site experience to uncover the thoughts and emotions consumers have about them. WEVO results are data-driven, benchmarked against alike industries, and incorporate qualitative insights from panels of 120+ respondents gathered through custom audience criteria.
“This was an important test for us. Measuring performance metrics like CVR and RPU is simple but measuring storytelling is much harder. While we always feel confident that our redesigns do a better job demonstrating the brand values and key selling propositions we wanted to try and measure this. WEVO is an incredible partner and we worked with them to run two independent tests for LAKE: one pre-redesign to set the baseline and one post-redesign to see the change. The results were tremendously exciting and supported the quantitative improvements post-launch.” - Xavier Armand, Co-Founder, Vaan
The experiment - A before and after homepage analysis by WEVO to set benchmarks, validate, and support Vaan’s redesign strategy.
Challenge #1: Increasing brand appeal to drive conversions
We learned from user testing that our e-commerce experience wasn't effectively presenting our unique value propositions of softness, comfort, and quality, and we knew we had to do a better job of introducing users to LAKE. Vaan designed a thoughtfully considered experience that uses our branded content to put our unique value propositions front and center. We're thrilled to see the increase in conversion rate on mobile, and the results are a testament to what happens when you utilize user data to make informed design decisions" - Mary Finnegan, Head of E-Commerce at LAKE
Setting the goal
WEVO measures five qualitative sentiments: Appeal, Clarity, Credibility, Experience, and Relevance. In the pre-redesign test, Appeal got an alarmingly low score of 13, which was well below the apparel industry benchmark of 19. Appeal is defined as “how successful the webpage is at communicating product benefits and key value to users.” And users were clear in why their scores here were so low:
"Not presenting enough information when first reaching the page. No explanation of the company and/or brand...just photos and no details.'
"Most everything else...It's too minimalist and not enough info...It doesn't grab my attention. And I don't like the colors of the category pics...all too pastel."
"Absolutely no information given. Why would I want to look any further?"
This validated the need for a redesign and uncovered a great focal point given that LAKE’s pajamas are implicitly appealing - they are luxury products made from high-quality fabrics, shown off with excellent product and lifestyle photography.
What Vaan did to achieve:
To better introduce LAKE and highlight its key value propositions, Vaan implemented a few key features to further help drive conversion across the board.
- First, Vaan added a “Best Sellers” section right underneath the hero image on the homepage to immediately help guide new customers to trusted products. We also created curated merchandising opportunities on the homepage to call attention to any new or featured collections that arise throughout the year.
- Given fabrics are so important to the brand and its customers (especially when it comes to sustainability), we also added a “Shop by Fabric” section on the homepage and the ability to filter/view by fabric type on PDP to make it as simple as possible for customers to find what they are looking for.
- Gifting is also quite meaningful to LAKE, as many of their customers give pajamas to loved ones throughout the year. Vaan implemented gift and gift box messaging on the homepage, product detail page, and shopping cart page. We designed and built the fully-featured shopping cart page, which includes slots for upsells and cross-sells for other products in the catalog.
- Lastly, LAKE’s lifestyle photography was carefully placed throughout to weave the brand’s story throughout the buying experience.
- Post-launch LAKE saw a significant increase in conversion rate across the board. They are now seeing a 12.77% increase in mobile conversion (and a 25.27% increase on desktop).
- LAKE’s WEVO appeal score grew to 21 (a 61% increase)!
Respondents' reactions post redesign:
I like the designs of the sleepwear, they are not the usual sleepwear. They are quite elegant with good quality material. The diversity of the products in it and the interface of the site is beautiful
We were really happy with this result and could demonstrate to LAKE that the new redesign had a positive impact on the brand.
Challenge #2: Improving merchandising and functionality to boost AOV
“One of our complaints about our old Shopify theme was that it didn't meet the demands of our growing gifting business. Vaan solved this by maximizing the use of our branded content on our PDPs and by including the option to add a gift box directly from the PDP. Gift-givers can now find all of the information they need to make a gift selection plus opt to put their item in one of our dreamy gift boxes all on the same page. It's one-stop gifting, and the increase in AOV speaks for itself." - Mary Finnegan, Head of E-Commerce
Setting the goal
Vaan’s heuristic analysis identified that gifting is a popular use case and a great way to increase AOV through gift wrapping and merchandising matching sets. Using WEVO, we learned respondents felt that the site did not meet their top expectations around getting a good price (63% unmet) and finding something my style (41% unmet). There were specific quotes from respondents on the lack of variety due to very few pictures, and no mention of price whatsoever. Vaan surmised that only showcasing 3-4 products on the homepage, not mentioning men's/child product lines, and never mentioning price hurt AOV.
What Vaan did to enhance:
- Improvement in image selection on each product to further show a customer what they would be receiving
- Additional modules of upsells and cross-sells:
- Added two “You may also like…” sections on PDP - one near the image gallery and one further down the page
- Featured promo tiles on PLP to cross-sell and promote gifting and concierge services
- Gift box cross-sells on the PDP
- Post-launch we are now seeing a +2.6% increase in AOV on mobile. On desktop, an increase in AOV of +1.68%.
- Specifically relating to AOV, the expectations around getting a good price (32% unmet, a 31% improvement) and finding something my style (17% unmet, a 24% improvement)
WEVO noted these are massive improvements, and not often do they see such change occur on the same site from test to test. WEVO explains:
In addition to including 10+ product pictures in the Women's product line through engaging pictures, users can clearly see the Men's and Children's product lines as well. We know this because of the number of likes in the sentiment map and specific feedback provided (They have something for everyone).
Based on qualitative and quantitative metrics, Vaan was able to meaningfully improve the digital brand experience for LAKE. The WEVO tests proved to be a valuable asset to guide the focus of the redesign and set very useful benchmarks for our work.
“The new LAKE homepage test is a prime example of the value and importance of leading experience improvements with insights. By understanding the expectations, strengths, and weaknesses of the pre-existing home page experience, the Vaan Group was able to build the new homepage experience centered around what customers need most.” - Jenni Bruckman, VP of Customer Success & Strategic Partnerships at WEVO
Vaan looks forward to continued partnership with LAKE!