Interaction, Product, UX, Accessibility
Expanding the Sales Floor
How Might We
Expand the limited physical retail floor to let customers browse more products and create a world-class shopping experience?
The Sales Floor experience is essential to the success of Wayfair, encompassing everything a customer sees, hears, and interacts with while browsing products within the physical space. Our stores will be an entry point for new guests who are not yet loyal, and an additional touchpoint for existing guests who want a deeper relationship with our brands.
At launch, the Sales Floor will incorporate immersive in-store tech-enabled screens that support a seamless omnichannel shopping experience by:
Assisting customers with browsing products and narrowing selection.
Providing design inspiration and personalized recommendations.
Serving as an associate tool to help customers in the decision-making process.
Helping the tech team understand this new interactive format related to several cross-functional areas, including existing design shopping systems.
The Team: Dorai F. (Design Manager), Evan C. (Product Manager), Micaela L (UX Researcher), Jonathan S. (Software Engineer), Balazs I (Software Engineer).
My Role: Design Lead responsible for defining and delivering the foundational experience for tech-enabled interactive screens in all physical stores.
By equipping the space with tech-enabled interactive screens featuring an Endless Aisle MVP + curated department categories while providing Store Associates with tools for better customer engagement.
Of home purchases are happening within physical stores.
Of the home market captured by Wayfair ($14B out of $800B).
More likely to highly rate overall experience when the store has latest technology.
Customers who engage with us typically make a purchase withing 90 days.
When customers are shown larger images when making a decision.
When showing larger images on super browse.
What is happening in the space and how do we want to support the shopping journey in each zone?
What can we anticipate will be the most important to the customer their journey and how do we support a lasting first impression?
What features can we ship across platforms at launchwith current resources?
As a new customer, I want to know I'm making the right purchase by browsing all options, customizations, shipping, and what customers are saying.
As a returning customer, I want to know what is new, be inspired, and see how certain products look together.
As a store associate, I want to educate customers on how to choose the right rug for their space, create a shopping list, or help them find alternative options.
Our goal is to:
Understand customer perceptions on the value of the concepts and touch point
Do the problems we are trying to solve resonate with customers? Is it helpful in this digital screen format?
Understand user attitudes towards interacting with screens
What do they expect from a screen like this? What makes them comfortable/uncomfortable about interacting with a screen in general?
Identify missing information, opportunities, or unclear pieces of the experience
What do customers expect to be able to do with the information? What do they wish or want to do with this? What actions would make these experiences valuable?
Customer Victoria testing the Educational concept.
■ Direct Quotes ■ Digital Screen Insights
Shoppers have the problem that they don't feel confident in making home furnishings purchasing decisions unless they have visual and tactile assurance. Our solution should serve them in a way that makes them feel guided and confident, so they can find the "just right" item.
During the interviews, participants assumed that the interactive screens in the store would be used primarily for advertising purposes.
Participants understood screens as a tool to complement shopping experiences.
Participants expressed a desire for personalized recommendations and assistance in finding the right product for their needs.
Participants found user-generated reviews and photos to be particularly helpful in making purchasing decisions.
The QR code is universally recognized as a way to purchase or save items viewed on screen.
Participants assumed that the products displayed on the screens would be available for purchase in the physical store, but were also interested in seeing online-only items on the screens.
Although participants appreciated the ability to view a wider range of products through the endless aisle concept, many were not aware that the products shown on the screens were curated based on their popularity ratings.
While some participants found the educational content to be informative and helpful, others felt that it was not relevant to their needs and did not enhance their shopping experience.
Create compelling and clear signals to build awareness + drive adoption.
Position key images and pieces of information in the user’s line of sight (Vertical Scrolling).
Clearly communicate fulfillment and in-store availability.
Leverage key value propositions to build trust around online-only products.
Add filters to allow customers to more easily find what they are looking for.
Build capabilities that allow customers to see items displayed together.
Include environmental images to demonstrate size and scale.
Browse the full catalog, but tailored by department.
Search for specific products.
Build trust and serve as a jumping-off point to Design Services.
Inspire customers with large/rich imagery while removing the challenges of viewing products on iPads and computer screens.
A flexible and adaptable design system that can translate to vertical and horizontal browsing experiences.
Allow us to adapt new features that we can’t yet support.
Endless Aisle V1
Personalized list creation.
Additional use cases such as education (new content).
Can Not Support
Recap of what we heard in our research
At Wayfair, we do not have personas but rather lean into customer archetypes. Our customers vary from good, better, to best. For this MVP product, I looked into scaling across brands and platforms, thinking about what our customers may need in the coming years.
Regardless of demographics consumers prioritize selection (i.e., the just-right thing) and value (i.e., good quality product & experience for the money). They are looking for a home retailer that offers prices that fit their budget, quality they can count on with every order, styles they like, free shipping, and an easy/convenient shopping experience.
Specialty users typically fit into the high household income ($100K - 125K+) bracket. These users do not limit themselves to one type of retailer, they shop at Specialty shops for more long term/ higher price point/ high touch items (e.g. couch, bed, accent chairs, rugs etc.) and go to Marketplace shops for decor type items that might be seasonal/ lower price point/ simply decorative (e.g. end tables, lighting etc.). However, they feel overwhelmed with marketplace experiences and prefer smaller curated catalogs. Specialty users are focused on the look and feel of their spaces when they shop.
Luxury users typically fit into the high household income ($150K - $200K+) bracket. They also typically have net worth > $1M. Luxury is a feeling of being treated well. These users have a very stringent quality threshold/ standards. They want to see their spaces and themselves reflected in product imagery. Aspirational imagery and experiences resonate with them. Luxury users are open to the idea of a luxury marketplaces as long as those brands have been curated for quality.
Luxury users are in some ways buying pieces of art and buy into the history and story of each piece.
Home Page Layout Explorations
30ft to 3ft
Screens are useful once the customer or associate is browsing for products but I wanted to understand what size images will be best at a distance to attract customers to the screens, and what size is comfortable to view up-close. A study for image size optimization was conducted at the Retail Lab in Boston.
Content & Layout Exploration
We provide users what they need, when they need it. The user is in control -- we enable them to act with confidence. We use technology to enhance the experience, instead of using technology to define the experience.
We design tools and experiences for both associates and customers to make them feel engaged and supported. We elevate the associate experience so they can elevate customer service. We use human-centered design to optimize a human- powered business.
We create patterns and consistency to build familiarity, confidence, and trust. We speak in a single voice and provide a unified user experience across the platform: tools, touchpoints and channels. Each store visit is part of the continuum of the user's experience, and their relationship with Wayfair, and our family of brands.
Everything we design should create a positive impression of our brand. Our designs should work as expected, or better. Interactions are intuitive and easy. Our experience should be frictionless, tailored, and fluid.
Early Impact Read
Customers that have engaged digitally
Purchases that are made from Endless Aisle
Customer satisfaction with in-store tech
Prototype & Learnings
I created a prototype to reference when talking with cross-functional partners as we investigated how to design and build this product and try the interactions on a touch screen. The team learned the following:
The Wayfair design system was not adaptable. We would have to start from scratch and fork the code.
Large images on browse can not be supported due to tagging.
The bottom of the screen is too low for the average person to use.
Accessibility can not be supported at launch without significant investment in engineering.
Interactive screens needed third party software to function but was not supporting our content.
The starting point categories support the surrounding products by giving customers more browsing options. In-store, customers can touch and feel the great quality of our assortment and browse through more options to find what they need. They can scan the QR code to purchase.
User Test Panel
Define Customer Uses V2
Note: The role ended in 01/23
Associates love the new endless aisle feature, and they are often using it as a tool to show customers other options. Here is a store associate scrolling through headboards that customers are shopping for. QR codes let associates create a list of customers' items.
Facilitate Associate Feedback Panel
Define Associate Uses V2
Note: The role ended in 01/23
Raise UI at the bottom of the screen closer to the center of the screen.
Make the menu button eye-catching.
Add a back button.
Standardize card size.
Lean into Free Shipping messaging.
Start with the Wayfair design system and increase the sizes of components.
Move 'swipe to browse' messaging on video that plays prior to activating the endless aisle.
Raise the location of the QR Code
Interactive screens can be a valuable touch point for customers in-store. We believe that they can serve as a place to inspire customers, educate customers, and help them find what they love faster.