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  • Writer's pictureTingbin Tang

Redefine Users’ Discovering Experience During Mobile Shopping – Coupang App Redesign defines “discovery” as to “see, get knowledge of, learn of, find, or find out; gain sight or knowledge of something previously unseen or unknown”. As an e-commerce platform grow bigger and bigger, such discovery issue will get more and more serious.

As I mentioned in another of my articles, users have different ways to “discover” a merchandise on a site, via browse, index, search, consult or show a sample. Browse is a casual way randomly seeing product listings; index go through categories and then sub-categories to find a product by layers; key-word searching provides a list of potential answers based on the keyword typed in; voice consult simple ask for an answer which just like how people inquire about a product over the counter to a shop assistant; image search bring people the offline experience when we actually showing the seller something and tell him/her that we want the same product.

Before started this project, after analyzed how people discover products online, I also researched some other e-commerce sites and how they are doing, then tested current Coupany app version, analyzed some issues and problems. Given below are some images of current Coupang app. I think it has some issues.

1. Keyword searching bar, categories and browsing are all at homepage, which may cause some inconveniences.

Put three ways of discovery together in one page on a mobile app, may not be a good way. It may become over crowded, hence scarifies user experience to enjoy quick keyword search, or relaxing browsing, or categorized indexing. Besides, categories here are mainly to organize merchandises, instead of allowing customers to indexing deeper layers to find a merchandise, which make the homepage even more crowded and complicated.

2. Current homepage has no customized displaying to satisfy different needs.

The homepage has no any machine learning and customization, so it is exactly the same for any customers, no matter he/she is a new customer or returned customer; no matter if he/she has sign in or not.

Through machine learning and customization, the platform can identify different lead segments such as high-value customers; hence provide much more effective sales by displaying/pushing contextual and personalized information to leads based on their interests, preferences, and more.

3. Indexing page can be improved and categories need to be carefully defined.

The Indexing page is the second main tab on current Coupang app, where customers can view the categories and then click to step by step to find the merchandise. I also have some concerns on this page: First, I am not sure why we are using a floating page here? Suppose every page on the tab menu should be the same hierarchy, and normally based on the same logic of operation. But when I clicked the index page icon, this becomes a floating page, and I have to click the cross to go back, which was confusing.

Another problem I find out was that: after selecting a category and go to next step, the next page becomes under homepage tab menu. The logic of task flow has a serious problem. The third question I had was: do they really have plenty of users are using this way to locate a product? That it has been put at such a prominent position. Based on my experience, indexing is an old-fashioned way, and it is not easy to quickly find a product, and it is not precisely as well; moreover, different people may have different thoughts on how a merchandise should be categorized.

4. Filters and Sorting can also be redesigned to be easy and smart.

Filter is used for customers to specify their finding results, to narrow down, and finally find the right one they are looking for; sorting is used to help customers view the listings in a preferred order based on their own situations, e.g. price from high to low or from low to high; sales volume from high to low or low to high; released time from recent to past or other way around, and so on. Filters and ways of sorting can be combine to get even more accurate. Some ways of sorting can also be combined, e.g. to find the newest on shelf merchandise while list from lowest price to high. For current Coupang app, the filters and sorting logic still quite confusing, and it does not allow users to combine two or more sorting at one time.

By carefully considering how to help customers to discover people, I redesigned Coupang’s shopping app, to enhance users’ engagement by empowering users control – casually browsing, logically indexing, relevant keyword searching, personalized voice consulting, or precisely image searching; help the company to understand users’ different behavior, learn users’ intention and preference, and come up with related features.

a. Add search icon and chat icon to the tab menu.

In my design, I separate different ways of discovery, so each type of user can enjoy different way of exploring. Instead of putting everything on the homepage, I put keyword search on the tab menu, since that is a very frequent used feature for most online shoppers.

Besides, I also put chat icon on the tab menu, since I also believes that communication is very important for online shoppers to communicate with vendors, platform, stakeholders and so on.

b. Personalized homepage to enhance user engagement and build customer loyalty.

Every time I go to a local shop, the clerk there will recognize me and call my name, show me around with recommendations. Since the clerk really “know” me, she will give me suggestions based on my preferences. I guess that is one of the most important reason why so many people really like the warmhearted hometown experience. For an e-commerce site, it should be the same.

With my design, at the first site of the home screen, will be a personalized dressing recommendations, from clothing to pans to shoes, sunglasses, watches, belts and so on. When customers keep swiping down, it also has “you may like”; “Recent viewed”; popular movie star same styles; deals of today; click to re-order; Seasonal promotions; etc.

I also simplified the layout, font sizes and tones, the interactions to provide a better browsing experience, so users will feel clean, hence enhance the feeling of quality and remove the anxiety. Besides enhancing the image quality, this new design has given user a better emphasize on the images, instead of distracting them away with too many other noises.

c. Re-arranged indexing page; simplify the task flow while added interactions

How to categorize merchandises will need more careful considerations. In my design, I have also re-arranged the layout and task flow of the indexing page, to make it simpler, cleaner, quicker to navigate. The first page of the indexing page is grid view, with bigger icons, users will be easier to find or remember the entrance of their favorite category. The subcategory page is a list view with an interaction like a folded paper opening up, added a little fun and bring the users closer. (Below is a monochrome wireframe of the indexing page, just showing the structure.)

d. Provide a personalized and enhanced searching experience.

Searching as a frequent/important feature has been put as a separated menu on the tab bar. Searching itself can also be very personalized. Besides providing relevant keyword suggestions when people start to type in, underneath the search bar, it can also provide histories of search and what is trending. By default, it is showing “What is trending”, which means that many people are also searching for. These hot searched items indicate the fashion. With more big data support and machine learning to target at different segmented users, the items listing below “What is trending” can also be different for each individual. Histories of search provides a personalized quick access to the items he/she showed interest recently.

When users type in keywords to search, the more keywords he/she puts in, the more precisely result the system can provide. To encourage users to put in more than just one word, I out an example below the search bar, which will subconsciously influence the user and encourage them to behavior the same. So underneath the search bar, I have put “E.g. sports shoes for a 4-year-old girl” there.

e. Added a message page on the tab to enhance communications

Better communication can improve customer satisfaction, can remove customers’ anxiety, so I have added a message page on the tab, which provides the communication between user and the customer service, users and the rocket delivery notifications/package tracking, and communications with the sellers, and so on.

One frustration users often have is that it is so difficult to find the customer support number on a site, which, actually was intended designed to be like that by many site owners to reduce their customer support pressure. However, I really do not think that is the right way. Customer support is an important part for customer satisfaction, it removes misunderstanding, collects feedback, and comfort complaints. With a obvious message tab, it allow users to quickly communicate with customer service for quick questions. Frequent asked questions can be handled by chatbot, more specific questions will be answered by a human representative.

Now when customers want to track a shipment, he/she does not have to copy and paste a complicate tracking number into a search bar to search and then find the status, just simply “ask” the shipment chatbot. Ask and answer is a common offline experience which almost everyone get used to it and comfortable with, this smart shipment chatbot will also increase customer satisfaction.

Of course any notifications, promotions can also appear on this page in the form of a chat message from different representatives, human or bot. Customers can also communication directly with seller for inquiries, which will also help a lot for a deal to be made.

f. Learn users’ preferences through their selections of filters and sorting

One each product category page or search result page, there will be filters and sorting options. When users have made selections, they actually have also told the system about their preferences. These preferences should be remembered and applied to the same categories. My design allow the system to learn users’ preferences, and remember their preferences, then it provides a best fit recommendations.

The filters and sorting have also been redesigned, not just visually appealing but also easier to make a selection.

g. Enhance visual presentation to encourage sales

Product page is an important page; great visuals will definitely increase sales. Current Coupang product page is a very long page, that users have to keep scrolling down to look at the product specification, shipping info, seller info, reviews, and so on. With my design, first, the product image quality has been enhanced; more image space has been provided. Also, the way users browsing the images has been redesigned to be fun and interactive.

Underneath the product image, there are some carousel icons for users to quickly access product specifications, warrantee info, shipping info, seller info, reviews, etc. So users do not have to keep scrolling down and then back and forth.

h. Provide a seller app with statistics to help them manage sells

The better we help the seller to make sales, the more incentives they will have to contribute to the platform, the more successful the platform will be as well. I also designed a seller app, so that sellers can track their analytics, manage their items and sales. At the summary page, seller can view monthly / weekly / yearly sales statistics, proportions of sales by categories; view their trend charts; sales by geographies; visitor activities, and so on. The better the sellers understand their own sells data and their customers, the better they can decide their sales strategy, manage their inventory, and so on.

i. Empower seller with coupons and other tools

Sellers should be able to decide their own promotion, marketing and advertisement strategies, and the system should empower them to do so by providing such tools. For example, sellers should be able to create coupons and then push to their own store or a specific merchandise. Seller may also be able to do social media marketing here, create a content and then sync to all possible connected social media audiences.

j. Explore video sells in the future

Sometimes video may have more advantages than simple image or just text, that is why more and more people also start to make sells via YouTube or TikTok and other video channels. Influencers also have great power to generate sales. So in the near future, these can also be dive deep to explore further.

Coupang want to be the Amazon of South Korea, and they want all Korean people feel that how can they live without Coupang. So besides keep expanding their inventory, grow more sellers, develop Rocket deliveries, to enhance app experience, make it intuitive and smart, make users easier to discover, and happier to discover will also be important, hopefully that my app design have contributed some in this direction.

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