Reserved, a Polish brand, is the biggest clothing manufacturer in Central and Eastern Europe. The brand follows the latest fashion trends for women, men, and kids, offering premium quality at reasonable prices.
During Black Friday, I wanted to place an order on reserved.com, however, it was overloaded and I couldn’t finalize the order. I checked App Store to download an official app to place the order on my smartphone but the application wasn’t found. I was really surprise that such a big brand don’t offer consumers an alternative way to place orders via smartphones.
I started my research by checking the ‘About us’ page on reserved.com to deeply understand a brand philosophy and sales target. The brand is focused on offering responsible and sustainable clothes collections made of high quality fabric for women, men and kids. The brand have many physical stores in Poland, Israel, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Czech Republic, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. A clothes’ design are minimalist, universal and timeless. The faces of Reserved’s advertisement campaign were the most popular supermodels in the world such as: Kendal Jenner, Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss, Małgosia Biel or Lizzy Jagger.
I checked the latest consumers’ preferences data and according to Eurostat, the highest group of people (78% of total market) who bought and ordered goods or services in 2019 were Z generation (16-24 age). The Z generation spends over 7 hours per day browsing internet and social media on smartphone.
The Eurostat statistic has showed me that the Reserved mobile application should be mostly dedicated to a young-adult group of people. One of the biggest differences between a website and a mobile application is that applications are much quicker than mobile sites. When a consumer downloads the application, all the necessary content is introduced via the mobile phone screen. Even if users browse an e-commerce application without an internet connection — through offline apps or database sync apps, for instance — they are still able to see all the products and add them to their favorites to purchase later on.
Understand consumer needs
To better understand consumer needs and expectations of doing online shopping, I interviewed 8 people who are familiar with such services. The results were quite surprising:
To sum up, for the interviewed people, it was important to be able to do shopping online using a smartphone device, receive a package within a few business days and save time. However, during sales season, it happens that website servers get overloaded and finalizing the order can take more time. This gets the consumers frustrated.
As seen previously, this problem has at least two viewpoints: the consumer’s and the company’s, so it was important to define their separate perspectives. For the purpose of this case study, I have chosen to focus mainly on company, since there are not many options available to improve their side of the situation. So here is what I will try to solve:
How can I help the brand to increase sales of their products, customer loyalty, have better relations with consumers and improve marketing communicationwith clients?
In order to better define user expectations, I synthesized all findings into an ideal user called Amanda. Amanda is the representation of the Z generation who spends most of her free time being online and also helps me understand other aspects of my possible users, such as goals, motivations, etc. All these different nuances inform me of how to make better decisions and add valuable information to define core features, flow steps or visual details.
Taking into consideration the brand philosophy, sales target and consumer expectations, I collected insights and attributes to organize my work and defining correlations between them to be able to design a comprehensive mobile application.
My board was inspired by classic and modern colors at the same time, such as: white, black, gray colors. Taking into consideration the app’s purpose, the color palette shouldn’t be distracting or tire the user’s eyes. The used font ought be simple and clearly readable.
Observing competitive fashion e-commerce mobile applications (Zara, Bershka, Zalando), I have decided to also pick aesthetic classic black and grey color tones, which look good on any type of device’s mobile screen (such as LCD, OLED, etc.)
Based on the mood board and research, I drew my first sketches. I wanted to design the app with the upper menu option to switch the app to focus on either women, men, kids, or current sales. The lower menu bar allows one to search items, add an item as a favorite, check the cart, and manage one’s profile.
Paper-drawn sketches helped to visualise the whole structure of the app and creating architecture information map was really useful to organize a user navigation’s journeys.
Based on the information gathered, sketches, and architecture information, I designed medium fidelity wireframes that show the general concept idea.
The Reserved app concept was an interesting project to work on. From research to prototyping, I learnt to identify consumers expectations, focus on the most important problems and get inspiration from the real life issue to propose the best solution for the company to increase e-commerce sales and positive feeling of doing shopping on smartphone devices.
During the whole designing process, I was asking myself:
What would consumers do to place an order without temporary internet connection?
How to finalize placing orders easier and smoother?
How to improve the brand and consumer relations each other?
Asking the above questions to myself was very helpful to create thoughtful mobile design.
For the next steps, I would like to provide tracking package features for applications to better inform consumers about the delivery, improve returning procedures without it being necessary to print out return labels.