When I joined the Belk.com, the website had a variety of platform and design limitations negatively impacting on the customer experience. As such, I designed several workarounds, modifications, and other recommendations. Many of these changes are still in use on Belk.com today.
Increased page flexibility to support merchandising while simultaneously streamlining page design and development.
Additional Brand experience possibilities within the Belk product assortment.
Increased product discovery for Belk customers and site merchants alike.
Site Grid System
Before eCommerce, Belk sold a large amount of its merchandise via catalog. The same process for creating page layouts for print catalog carried over to Belk.com. This process was incredible inefficient for website production. These inefficiencies created a high level of stress for Page designers and Merchants alike who were both responsible for 3-5 page updates each week.
Taking note of these problems, I recommended discarding these processes an implementing a grid. I met with my Merchant, Visual Design, and Front-end Development partners to review how grid system page scaffolding supported various competitors; including how grid systems eliminate inefficiencies and speed production on Belk.com. Based on 960.gs, Belk.com grid system supports page visual layout and it’s underlying front-end codebase.
Assortment Banner Design Pattern
Brand shops have always had a major presence on Belk.com. However, these brand experiences were lost once the customer browsed away from the shop.
The assortment banner module was created to extend the brand shop experience into the Belk product assortment. Brands utilized these modules for various purposes like funneling customers to their products and as multimedia viewers.
Product Finder Design Pattern
During this time, Belk.com experienced difficult to circumvent taxonomy issues due to platform limitations. As a result, merchants were challenged to display the right product assortments for customers in categories like cookware and dresses.
In response, I extended the existing assortment banner pattern for use as a product finder. In these use cases, the module was used to funnel the customer to the right products given a set of merchant determined criteria.
The module resulted in increased product discovery wherever it was utilized.
Guest Checkout Flow
Belk.com was experiencing checkout difficulties in multiple locations. 1. A pre-checkout form that confused Belk guests and return customers alike and 2. Lagging site registrations limited digital marketing opportunities for merchants.
I addressed pre-checkout confusion by separating the form into two clear customer pathways. One pathway for guests and a second for return customers. While, Guests entered their email address only, Return customers entered their login and password information to proceed. At the conclusion of checkout, guests had the option to create a password for later use.
When implemented, these changes resulted in increased site registrations and significantly reduced top of checkout funnel confusion.