Leveraging data and user research to enhance product discoverability and restructure global navigation.

The background

Research that we conducted for the RSPB Shop suggested that customers were finding it hard to discover products to purchase when those products were not part of their normal buying regime. RSPB Shop then asked us to do focused research to restructure the global navigation to better fit with customers’ mental models of the categorisation of products.

The ambition

We wanted to identify a structure for the global navigation that would make it easier for customers to find products they were looking for, and to serendipitously discover new products that they were interested in but may not have realised the RSPB Shop sells them. The underlying driver was that this would result in increased sales.

The approach

Technical complexity meant that it wasn’t feasible to run navigation experiments on the live site, and so Tree Testing and Card Sorting were used to establish an improved navigation structure which RSPB Shop could then implement with confidence.

For each stage of the research we recruited paid participants through a panel to get a broad cross-section of the target audience.

We ran an initial Tree Test on an online platform which tested how easily people could find a range of products given the current navigation structure. This established a baseline score.

We then ran a card sorting exercise to identify how customers would organise products into groups from which we derived a draft navigation structure. There was a lot of collaboration with the RSPB Shop to review this and to incorporate products that couldn’t be included in the card sort.

A further Tree Test was then run using the new navigation structure to see whether products were more discoverable.

The end result

The second Tree Test yielded a 33% improvement in score over the first test. This gave RSPB Shop sufficient confidence to implement the new schema.

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