Improving an e-Commerce Experience

The EY Intuitive team conducted a research and strategy initiative for Summers Laboratories, an innovative pharmaceutical company that focuses on the treatment of skin conditions. Our goal was to define strategic opportunities for Summers Labs to better connect with its customers to build interest, trust and loyalty. The designs we recommended needed to be usable across device types and allow customers to find information and complete transactions more efficiently.

Key components:
Design Strategy,
Interaction design,
Responsive design,
User Research
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How can we engage and educate customers without sacrificing efficiency?

Summers Labs offers its customers a wide range of premium products for a variety of skin conditions and wanted to accommodate all of its diverse product brands in a single responsive framework on its site. Customers needed to be able to explore Summers’ full product offering in a single experience, engage with the site at any content level, efficiently complete the checkout process and have a consistent user experience when browsing across product types.

Defining the Strategy

We facilitated interviews with Summers Labs’ stakeholders, customers and physicians to learn about their current interactions with Summers’ digital properties. We used the insight from this research to think of ways that the digital experience could support Summers’ customer base more efficiently and consistently. We also analyzed competitors’ sites to see how they handled e-commerce experiences and determine if there were any industry best practices we could leverage.

Following the research, we defined strategic opportunities that would engage customers, educate them on product offerings and usage, and promote an efficient purchasing experience. We kept our overall framework flexible for Summers’ wide variety of products. An assessment of the company’s technology helped us define both short-term and long-term technical improvements to the site.

Our Work

We focused on developing a strategy for four aspects of Summers Labs’ site in order to improve the customer experience:

1. Engagement

To make the browsing experience more valuable for users, there must be relevant content on the site. We focused on identifying the products customers were browsing and purchasing to provide opportunities for them to learn more about their skin condition by engaging with interactive site elements. For example, we recommended that an interactive slider be introduced on the Diaper Rash page where the customer could slide a scale to indicate the severity of a baby’s diaper rash, and in return read information on how to treat the specific rash.

We also gathered reviews and customer experiences through social media. Summers Labs has a significant social-media presence, so it was important for us to find a place for this valuable content. We recommended integration of customer reviews, Facebook posts and tweets into the SumLab.com site to encourage dialogue and build trust among Summers’ customers. Summers can help educate its customers by displaying relevant content about their skin conditions, or by simply providing important information about the product they are using. When implementing these interactive components, we recommended that Summers make use of its brand words—soothing, nurturing, caring, beautiful and effective—as a guide for the rest of the site’s copy, as well as warm, “people-focused” photography.

2. Efficiency

We relied on best practices to generate ideas that would expedite the checkout process through progress indication, feedback and data acceleration. We compartmentalized data entry into logical groups, in the order our research indicated that users expected to provide the information (shipping address, payment details, order review). We also suggested that Summers take advantage of opportunities to enhance the customer relationship through encouraging account creation. Finally, we recommended supporting the checkout process with cross-sell suggestions and product education.

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Mobile checkout process with progress indication, feedback and data-entry acceleration.

3. Hierarchy

Our recommendations included consolidating SumLab.com and its product microsites into a single site in order to provide a consistent experience across brands, promote engagement from any page of the site and simplify site maintenance. Instead of navigating to a product microsite to purchase or learn more about a product, users could find product and condition-related information directly on the consumer-focused Summers Labs site. This page hierarchy also allowed for varied points of entry into the site from outside sources.

4. Flexibility

We recommended that the proposed website framework make use of a flexible environment for both the product and conditions templates. This would help standardization to occur not only throughout the template structure, but also across photography, content categories and all textual content. This structure would promote a consistent user experience across product types and allow users to navigate more efficiently, encouraging them to engage from any page on the site.

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A product and a condition template from this flexible e-commerce environment.

Moving Forward

The proposed redesign received a positive response from the client and gave them a clear vision for the next steps in consolidating their current digital properties into one unified experience. Developing an efficient checkout flow, providing customers with content that is related to their profiles and creating new content are all part of the roadmap that will form this singular experience. We are excited to help Summers Labs’ tell its story via social media and customer reviews, as well as assist the company in implementing our recommended content strategy to promote education and efficient user experiences among their loyal customers. This initiative brought more direction to Summers Labs’ efforts to build out a responsive site as their customer base continues to grow.