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Inspire by Crucial Trading

inspire-logo@2x.png
for Crucial Trading
by KIJO

Crucial Trading are a worldwide luxurious floor covering supplier and manufacturer.

1.

The Problem

Purchasing online is convenient and fast, however purchasing a permanent bespoke piece for your house is a risk. Texture, feeling, colour, reflection, these things can usually only be determined in person. As creatives and technology experts, how do we bridge the gap between the brick and mortar shopping experience and the online retail experience?

We set about defining the core problems we needed to solve and dug deep into the core business requirements of Crucial trading. We found the business had 3 core problems which we needed to solve:
Sample orders conversions and conversion rate of customers ordering samples could be higher based on visitor numbers.
Low rug orders from the 3D builder was again low compared to the amount of traffic on the website.
Uninspiring customer journey – customers were having issues experiencing products and making informed purchasing decisions.
Visualising online purchases in your home is difficult – especially when the item is made to order. Inspire by Crucial Trading combines web technology, 3D design with Augmented Reality – allowing you to create a beautiful bespoke rug in 3D and then place it onto any floor.
Jordan Thompson
Creative Director
2.

Why are these problems important?

Sample orders conversions

Swatch sample orders allow for the customers to get more of a hands on experience with the products. Often, especially with home furnishings nothing compares to a physical tactile experience. Customers who have received samples of a product are more likely to convert and end up purchasing the product. Therefore if through our efforts we are able to increase the quantity of samples ordered and new customers ordering samples we should see a direct correlation with an increase in sales volume.

Low rug orders

The primary importance of rug orders is a simple one. Rug orders have a direct correlation to orders and sales volume. Rugs are an extremely popular product range for Crucial Trading, it is sometimes the first touchpoint a customer will have with the unique materials Crucial offers. The second importance of rug orders is that with a rug order there is an option before completing to order samples of the materials. Samples for rugs are the same materials as the main product range so this ties in nicely with our first KPI of sample orders

Uninspiring customer experience

Customers struggling to experience products before making a purchasing decision is a big problem, when you make a large purchase it’s easy to get put off when purchasing online, most resort to going and buying something in person. If online retailers can build out experiences that are unique, inspiring and immersive they have a much better chance of converting online customers without them ever having to cross back to the analog experience.

Sample orders conversions

Swatch sample orders allow for the customers to get more of a hands on experience with the products. Often, especially with home furnishings nothing compares to a physical tactile experience. Customers who have received samples of a product are more likely to convert and end up purchasing the product. Therefore if through our efforts we are able to increase the quantity of samples ordered and new customers ordering samples we should see a direct correlation with an increase in sales volume.

Low rug orders

The primary importance of rug orders is a simple one. Rug orders have a direct correlation to orders and sales volume. Rugs are an extremely popular product range for Crucial Trading, it is sometimes the first touchpoint a customer will have with the unique materials Crucial offers. The second importance of rug orders is that with a rug order there is an option before completing to order samples of the materials. Samples for rugs are the same materials as the main product range so this ties in nicely with our first KPI of sample orders

Uninspiring customer experience

Customers struggling to experience products before making a purchasing decision is a big problem, when you make a large purchase it’s easy to get put off when purchasing online, most resort to going and buying something in person. If online retailers can build out experiences that are unique, inspiring and immersive they have a much better chance of converting online customers without them ever having to cross back to the analog experience.
3.

How did we identify the problems?

Client Interviews

We identified the problem over a series of interviews and meetings with the client, allowing us to focus in on the core issues and decide where to best put our time and expertise. As we interviewed them we also learned why these things were important to the company.
We started by asking the client to write down the 10 most important things to them at that time. This included talking to other stakeholders within the company. We eventually settled upon a list of 10 things – the next challenge would be to prioritise these as having the greatest positive effect. We finally narrowed this down to 3 core KPIs – allowing our team to have laser like focus on the issues. Sometimes too many KPIs or metrics can make it difficult to focus and deliver results.

User Metrics & Testing

Understanding the needs of our client was one part of the challenge. The next step would be for us to narrow down the issues of the people who use the products on a daily basis. First off we looked at analytics and user numbers. We specifically focused on the popularity of the pages and website content – not just what was popular but also was unpopular.
Data is one important part of the equation and there is no substitute for seeing real users interact with a product. Using a combination of heat mapping and screen recording we watched 100’s of sessions who users were interacting with the existing rug builder and website. This provided a unique insight into the pain points for customers.
4.

Research & Discovery

We completed a thorough research and discovery stage before starting work on the project. We deep dived into various aspects of the current performance to use this as our baseline to work from.

How was the website performing?

The website as a whole wasn’t performing optimally. We discovered some clear areas for improvement:
Numerous navigational issues that were slowing customers down and making important information difficult to find.
The collections pages in the homepage slider were very unpopular and receiving very little traffic. Despite being the first thing you would see when visiting the website customers were not interested in the message and were not taking action.

Was the User Journey clear?

The website as a whole wasn’t performing optimally. We discovered some clear areas for improvement:The user journey was not clear and in its current state was not optimised for success. We found that the homepage was failing to funnel users into the channels that would lead to conversions. We could see many UX improvements and opportunities to take advantage of.
We identified the following user experience issues:
Too many clicks to access the materials which is the main product – it took 4 clicks in total to get to a product.
Once on the material pages it wasn’t clear what the primary action or goal was. This led to confusion on the part of customers. The call to actions were not tailored towards the primary goals of the website.
The homepage sections did not align with the primary goals of the website. In terms of order, priority was given to actions that wouldn’t have the most influence.

Where was the website losing traffic?

When looking at the analytics data we could see there were quite a few drop-off points however we concentrated on the main culprits which were responsible for 80% of all drop-offs.
The homepage – this had a high bounce rate of around 75% which we attributed to issues with the user journey and the unpopular slider content.
The rug builder had a start page that appeared before accessing the actual builder. This unnecessary barrier was a strong factor in increased bounce rate and was harming the number of rug orders.
The contact us page was popular – we felt this was strange as this page was not a primary action and based on our testing this was a sign of a poor customer journey.
5.

Strategy

With our problem clearly defined and our KPIs decided we began work on putting together our strategy to tackle the project. We created a strategy that consisted of 4 core areas. Each area would be more detailed and contain lots of sub-tasks but we have found from experience it works better to group a strategy into areas and relate these to the project KPIs.

Navigation & User Journey

To get to the material detail pages was taking 4 clicks from the homepage. We planned to redesign the entire navigation to allow direct access to the material pages.
We would also create a new mega menu which had access to the all the material categories straight from the main navigation.
Previous Flow
New Flow

Homepage Layout & Design

First of all we wanted to look at the visual design of the homepage. We felt that parts of the design had moved away from the brand direction and original visual direction of the website. Especially the header slider – which was linking out to product collections which we found were unpopular with potential customers. Like many designers we find wireframes very useful – so we went ahead and wireframed a few different homepage headers. Finally we settled on a design which would focus on the materials – the core product. We continued on the path of auditing the actual written and visual content on the homepage.
Looking specifically at whether this content aligned with the goals of the website and our KPIs. Lastly we looked at the hierarchy of the sections on the homepage. The current order was giving a higher priority to areas of the website that were not aligned with the goals. This was facilitating a confusing customer journey and was a significant factor in causing drop-offs. The plan would be to create a more tightly focused design which would funnel users into the correct places – assisting both the users to get the information they needed and help the client achieve their business goals.
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Rug Builder Technology Stack & User Interface

Particular importance was placed on the layout and user interface of the 3D rug builder. The reason for this is that during our discovery stage we could see that users were often using the builder in different ways from session to session. They struggled to understand the clear path they was supposed to take and what their next action was to complete the process. We wanted to create an experience which was immediately familiar, with little to no on-boarding process required. We looked in detail at the current flow of actions the user had to take – we then mapped out some new improved flows.
We tested these internally and with real users to find the flow which required the least learning for our users and the highest conversion rates.
Aside from the user interface we looked at how the builder integrated with the website. The answer was not very well – it felt like a separate entity, disconnected from the website. It didn’t have the websites header, navigation or footer. We also had a splash page which displayed before accessing the builder. We decided to remove this entirely and trial wrapping the builder in the websites new navigation and footer elements.
Previous Rug Build Flow
New Rug Build Flow

Inspiring Customer Experience

How do you inspire and delight potential customers? But not just delight for the sake of it – how do you assist them in making educated purchasing decisions? This was one of our key challenges and probably the biggest of them all. We had to think long and hard about what type of solution would satisfy these requirements but would also be accessible to the average consumer.
We wanted to create a product that would allow a customer to experience the products first hand without having to order samples or going to a retailer. While important parts of the customer journey we felt like we could utilise new technology to create a new avenue altogether.
Virtual reality was looked at as an initial solution. With headsets of all types entering the marketplace – from the high end Oculus right through to the cost effective (Google cardboard). After running some initial tests using this technology we decided that it wasn’t practical for ordinary people – no matter how cheap a Google Cardboard headset was. It just didn’t seem likely that the average consumer would consider using it.
Augmented reality while relatively new technology is officially supported by both Apples iOS ARKit and Google’s Android ARCore. As the two biggest manufacturers of smartphones in the world this means that pretty much everyone can access this technology. Not only that we felt like this technology made the most sense as users would be able to see their existing room and decor.
6.

Solutions

With the theory covered and our strategy in place it was time to execute our plan and delivery results. This stage is of course exciting as you begin to see innovative products comes to life.

Navigation

The main navigation has been completely rebuilt. We decided to retain the slide out menu as we felt its design was unique and still aligned with the brands visual direction. and functionality, However this would be used for additional actions only and not the entire navigation as it was previously. The main navigation now highlights the core goals of the website. The materials and rug builder are now the highest priority navigation items – immediately accessible on all pages of the website.
The materials has a new drop down mega menu which provides access to the all the top level materials and the sub-categories within them. Hovering over each category also reveals a high resolution zoomed-in photo of the actual material. This quick view feature allows users to visually see the materials without having to fully visit the materials page. From any page on the website users can now access to the entire materials catalog in 1 click.
This allows you to access the new megamenu, created to access the products with less clicks.
This quick link will take you to the 3D rug builder. Previously this was hidden in a burger menu.
This icon allows the user to access the full screen auto complete search function.
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Homepage

Crucial has some stunning photography assets so it made sense to us to showcase this but aligning it with the core materials. We build a brand new homepage header which showcases a different material on each new page load and allow users to see different photography by hovering over the materials icons.
Further down the homepage we continued on the theme of combining the materials and photography. So we created some brand new visual cards which linked out to the top level material types.
We wanted to highlight the 3D builders in the best possible way – so we created some autoplaying video sections. When you scroll to that section of the homepage the video plays and cycles through the different combinations possible.

3D Rug Builder

We opted to create a UI consisting of a contextual materials selector, detail preview window and selections sidebar which combine to make creating varied rugs fun & easy. A 3D model of the rug, showered in realistic lighting and layered with actual samples of the raw materials, not renders, provides maximum realism.
From a technology standpoint the builder has been built from the ground up with speed in mind. We paid particular attention to how fast the builder loads with it now loading over 5x faster than it did before. We achieved this through an optimised codebase using React.JS, optimised assets and also a new caching process which stores all the data for each material for quicker retrieval.
This panel allows you to see a zoomed in detail shot of the rug designed this is pinned to the corner of the rug regardless of the angle you’ve chosen.
This new material selector gives you a preview of the material on hover, including a randomise button for those who just can’t decide
The new selections side bar allows you to see what you’ve selected and remove individual materials or edit the size and border quickly.

Augmented Reality App

We opted to use Augmented Reality inside a native application – making it easy to place the rug on any floor and envision inside any physical room. Using ARKit on iOS the app allows you to scan for flat surfaces such as the floor of your house. Once a surface is found you can access all the rugs in your Crucial Trading account, resize the rug and then when your happy lock it in place. Move around your home and the rug stays locked in position – as it was there for real. A quick sharing option allows you to share your new creation with friends and family.

Inspire is unique in that it allows you to create a completely bespoke rug and then place it onto any floor within minutes. This is in contrast to other offerings whereby you are only able to choose from a fixed pre-set product range.

The key innovations of Inspire are the synergy between the 3D rug builder and the AR app, real materials for maximum realism, the endless amount of possible combinations and finally the ability to place these combinations using AR into a room.  

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7.

Results

It’s all good and well making things that look good but ultimately our role in a project is to deliver effective solutions to problems and results for our clients. We are very happy with what we achieved on this project and the numbers below speak for themselves.
Rug Orders
988%
Increase in rug orders
Total Orders
7.8%
Increase in total sample orders
Total Samples
9.3%
Increase In samples per order
Total Sample Value
10.3%
Increase in value of sample orders
We have really enjoyed working with KIJO over recent years, working together we have managed to push the boundaries of what home furnishing companies can achieve.
Emma Hopkins
Marketing Manager
Comparison of 5 months performance running from October 17 to February 18 and October 18 to February 19
8.

Build The Future

The KIJO team is delighted with the results we achieved on this project however a good agencies work is never complete. We continuously analyse and review our work to understand how we can get better.
Our tagline is Build the Future and we always have one eye on the future when working on a project. Here is a taste of some future solutions we are planning to implement for Crucial Trading.

Android Support

The Inspire AR app is currently iOS only so we plan to develop a version that supports Android via ARCore. We plan to increase the installed user base of the app using app install advertisements.

Rug Builder Widget

The 3D Rug Builder is a useful tool and there are plans to have this act as a widget on third party websites such as retailer partners – increasing the reach and exposure for the products.

Organic Search

Finally we feel that organic search is a big growth area for Crucial Trading – using our expertise in search engine optimisation we plan to increase the amount of traffic to the website by 50%.
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Like the look of these results?

Get in contact with John and let’s start talking about working with each other.