Product Management & Design

Case Study: Made to Order Furniture

Made to Order Furniture

Role: UX Manager

How could the business support a growing made-to-order business with a product page designed to showcase dresses based upon a simple sku model? The UX team set forth on a journey to understand both the made to order home business and the home customer(s) to devise a strategy for supporting this new business line.

Women's lifestyle brand Anthropologie is rapidly expanding its home product line. Where five years ago the brand offered mostly apparel and some small home furnishings such as candles, mugs, rugs, and pillows — today the home business features everything from furniture, to drapery, to custom couches. It was this concept of custom furniture that brought the home team and UX team together. 


Part 01: Discovery

The team began by defining a WHO, WHAT, WHY, DEFINE mantra to guide our inquiry process:

★ WHO: Understand the user + stakeholder
★ WHAT: Define the goals, tasks, and business needs underpinning the project
★ WHY: Make sure we’re solving the right problems and building the best solutions
★ DEFINE: Requirements and solution boundaries

With this focus in mind,  we directed our research and investigation efforts around 3 main streams of information: 1) Competitive Research 2) User Research and 3) Internal Analytics. The goal of focusing our investigation around these 3 channels of information was to come out of the phase with a clear understanding of the home eCommerce landscape, our home customer's needs, a clear understanding of the business' needs as well as the variety of shopping paths we would need to support. 

★ WHO:  Focus Groups | Contextual Inquiry | Interviews

Basic Demographics:  
- Average age 3.5 years higher than average customer
- Shops nearly 10/year
Relationship to the Brand:  
I’ve come to Anthropologie because I’ve been shopping the apparel for years and have seen more and more furniture in catalogs lately.
Shopping Behavior: 
- I’m not well versed in the assortment, but really like the way rooms are styled.
- I will want to compare to other retailers before I make a decision. 
- I will leave the site and return an average of 5 times before purchasing.
Time to Purchase:
42 days

Basic Demographics:  
- Works remotely in the call center or in retail store locations
- 90% retail; 10% call center
Relationship to the Brand:  
I need to convince customers that Anthropologie is going to be as prolific and seamless in made to order furniture sales from purchase through delivery as the brand is known to be in apparel sales. 
Shopping Behavior: 
- I typically use the website or the app to help sell customers custom furniture.
- I need to understand inventory and delivery timelines at the beginning of my sales process. 
Time Spent with Shopper:
< 1 hour (25%)
1-2 hours (65%)
> 2 hours (10%)

Basic Demographics:  
- Generate 10% of overall home business
- Largely located in New York City
Relationship to the Brand:  
I need complete confidence that my timelines and expectations can be met by both Anthropologie and the delivery teams they utilize. 
Shopping Behavior: 
- I typically utilize the app to show customers the pieces I envision for their space. 
- I often liaison with customer service or in-store support to place my orders. 
First Time Anthro Purchasers:
< 95%

★ WHAT:  Support our identified customer personas through the following purchases phases:

Learn: Provide relevant product information at appropriate touch points to support customer's inquiry process.
Shop: Guide customer along her shopping path to the product page, allowing her to customize furniture and compare her options and choices easily and pleasurably. 
Buy: Ensure a seamless, trustworthy funnel through both cart and checkout.
Follow-Up: Communicate order information and assembly / delivery progress after purchase appropriately. 

★ WHY:  We are not currently positioned to provide the best-in-class experience that our customers demand from us. 

(D) Define:

Part 02. UX and Solution Design

New MTO Content_Furniture_v2.jpg