The Unique in Uniqlo
Despite the media’s warning that brick-and-mortar stores would suffer from the growth in e-commerce, Uniqlo has managed to open 35 stores island-wide and a 5-storey megastore in Orchard Central. However, having a strong retail presence with solid foot fall does not guarantee a continued success in the next few years if the web and mobile shopping experience is neglected.
More Singaporeans are getting comfortable making online purchases and the PwC Total Retail Survey (2016) shows 60% of Singaporeans polled having made an online purchase at least once a month. Unsurprisingly, the survey also showed that Singaporeans were not just using their mobile devices to purchase online, but also to get pricing and product information.
To complement brick and mortar stores, Uniqlo has a website which allowed shoppers to do 2 main things.
- Check an apparel’s availability in a physical store
- purchase online
But whether that was as pleasurable a shopping experience online than it is offline was something we wanted to find out.
We conducted a series of user interviews amongst people who have visited the Uniqlo site in the last month.
We found that Uniqlo was a well-liked brand but that did not mean that our users enjoyed shopping on the website.
Ultimately, the problem we had to solve was to inspire users while they browse and give them as much information they need to lead to a purchase, both online and offline.
You can never mimic a real-life shopping experience on a 5 inch mobile screen or a 15’ laptop screen but you can make use of different content formats to enrich it.
Instead of relying on professionally taken model photos to show the product online, we introduced the use of videos and #UniqMe.
The video would show how the garment moves. While #UniqMe was an ambitious form of content strategy, tapping on user-generated content to show the different ways people on the street would wear a particular apparel.
The beauty of it lies on the third most right screen. If a user liked a particular style, she could double tap on the #UniqMe image, favourite the clothing apparel and purchase it either online or offline in future.
Trying it out
We created paper wireframes to explore new ways to arrange information as well as how we could add video and #uniqme content to a responsive website. I used this to shorten the design time on Axure as Prototyping wasn’t my forte and I took ages creating the interactions.
I tested the flow for #UniqMe and changed the the ‘get this’ button. The icon was now a heart and instead of leading to the product page like it had initially done, it led to the favourites page of the user’s profile.
What i could have done better for this project was to focus on the user flow first instead of the wireframes. It would’ve prevented a lot of time wasted on building screens i didn’t need to, like the product listing page. Given that the scenario for this project was that of a pseudo pitch, I should have planned my time more carefully and been more strategic in choosing the screens to build.