Delivering a Seamless Luxury E-Commerce Experience

This unique project offers an exceptional online experience that rivals brick and mortar stores. With KHRONOS, immerse yourself in a world of unparalleled sophistication and elegance that transcends time and space.

Ideation | Interviews | User Stories | Affinity Mapping | Sketching | Informational Architectures | Workflows | Wire-framing | Visual Design | Usability Testing | competitive analysis

The challenge

Driving Sales Conversion
KHRONOS is an online retailer specializing in watches. To provide customers with a better shopping experience and increase sales, the company is looking to improve the browsing and checkout process on their website.
My Role
In my role as a solo UX designer for this project, I took charge of validating two hypotheses and producing all major deliverables within a one month time frame. To create an immersive and delightful user experience, I conducted extensive research on the luxury marketing industry to gain insights into how to bring that experience online. By incorporating these insights into my work, I was able to design a product that not only fulfilled the project's requirements but also exceeded users' expectations.
With my redesign, my primary goal is to elevate the usability of KHRONOS's product pages and streamline the checkout process. This strategic approach will not only boost the platform's conversion rate but also drive revenue growth. In our efforts to provide exceptional customer service, our expert brand ambassadors are available round the clock to offer style assistance and answer any questions users may have. Additionally, we've ensured that the guest checkout process is both effortless and elegant, guaranteeing a seamless and hassle-free shopping experience.
Link to Final Prototype in Figma
Current Data
50% of users open on average 7 item pages and then abandon the site without moving any items into the cart.
Data from KHRONOS Project Manager
This not only translates into missed sales opportunities but also diminishes overall customer satisfaction.

hypothesis 1

70% of users who place an item in the cart do not purchase.
Data from KHRONOS Project Manager
The project manager hypothesizes that this predicament stems from the inherent difficulty users encounter when trying to accurately evaluate and compare the relative features of our products. Tragically, this obstacle contributes to a substantial loss of sales opportunities and damages brand image.

hypothesis 2

At present, users are required to create an account in order to successfully finalize their purchase, a process that has proven to be a significant deterrent. Our data reveals a concerning trend where users abandon their carts specifically at the registration page. Recognizing this issue, the project manager firmly believes that implementing a guest checkout option will serve as a promising solution to address this challenge and alleviate user frustrations.
Project Plan
Link to Project Plan

research insights

To identify opportunities for enhancing the online watch buying experience and address any critical user pain points, I developed a comprehensive research plan. Through a rigorous and systematic approach, I gathered valuable insights that informed the design process and enabled me to create a product that effectively meets the needs of KHRONOS's target audience.
Luxury Watch Research Plan
Luxury Sector Key Insights

1. What is essential for creating an optimum watch-buying experience?

60% of consumers have abandoned purchase because they cannot see enough of the product
Norstat research Study
  • Product visualization is key for a customer to make an informed purchase decision
  • Imbedding interactive 3D views into online stores can cause a 30% increase in conversion rate, fewer returns and fewer customer inquiries. - NNG
  • Transparency in pricing
  • Avoid disrupting and annoying customers
  • Provide high-quality product recommendations and styling suggestions
  • Conversational Commerce
Louis Vuitton Chat bot and live stylist available via Facebooks and on their website

2. Factors influencing in-stores versus online purchase

  • The pandemic created a shift from in-store to online with e-commerce sales increasing by 72% in 2020
  • Younger more tech savvy consumers are driving sales with the average age of luxury shopper fell from 48 to 34
  • Millennials and Gen Z affluent consumers will make up 70% of the luxury market by 2025 and 130% of its growth

A younger more tech savvy buyer

Bain & Company Luxe Digital
In a comparison of in-store versus online shopping of luxury goods its easy to see that online is severly lagging.
In-store Experience
Online Luxury Shopping Experience
Highly personalized
Little to no personalization
Excellent product recommendations and upselling strategies
Poor or no product recommendations
High-end, exclusive and enjoyable experience
Unprofessional and frustrating experience
All product questions answered completely
Many questions left unanswered
Valued and recognized repeat customers
No VIP treatment
Consistent and thorough attention to every detail
Errors, typos and incomplete product information

3. What causes users to abandon shopping carts?

49% of respondents cited high extra costs as their primary reason for cart abandonment.
2021 study Reasons for Abandonment by the Baymard Instutite

4. How can we improve the user experience of checkout?

5. How does Product Comparison help drive purchase?

"59% of online consumers make more informed purchase decisions now than prior years"
Google/Ipsos, Consumers in the Micro-Moment, Wave 2, U.S., n=1,005, based on internet users, May 2015.
  • Companies like Apple, Fitbit and Keurig commonly use comparison tables to aid sales
  • According to the NN group Product comparison is one of the most critical activities user preform on the web
  • Comparison grids are not common in the luxury good sector
Apple watch model comparison table
Luxury Ecommerce Watch Market Presentation
Competitive Analysis
Exploring the browsing and checkout flows of Rolex, Mr. Porter and Cartier helped identity the following opportunities/ learnings in the e-commerce watch space.
Additional research was completed on AP, Patek Philippe, Van Cleef & Arpels, Louis Vuitton Watches, Apple Watches, Hermes Watches, Chronos24 and Watchbox
Competitive Analysis Figma Files
Apple watch model comparison table

watch collector interVIEws

Getting into the Mindset of a Luxury Watch Buyer
In my initial attempts to recruit interview candidates, I employed a survey screener and reached out to target clients on discussion forums catering to watch enthusiasts. Regrettably, I encountered significant resistance from individuals who were understandably hesitant to disclose their personal spending habits to a stranger. Consequently, I pivoted my approach and opted to recruit proxy subject matter experts through interviews. It is worth noting that these interviews were primarily conducted on websites dedicated to watch sales, introducing a certain level of inherent bias that must be taken into account.
Key Insights
“I think they represent, at their core, time. It’s a time-keeping asset.” 
-Shahendra Ohneswere
“Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, the astronauts who went to the moon, they didn’t wear vintage watches. They didn’t drive old cars, They wore and drove the best of their time."
-Gauthier Borsarello
“For me, it goes beyond the rarity and value; it’s the story behind it. When I am looking to collect a certain watch, I spend a lot of time researching the timepiece and the story behind it, how it was designed and manufactured, and the caliber of the piece."
-Alex Assouline
"Watches are commensurate with his identity – organized, meticulous, bold – with each representing a cherished and beloved narrative unique to him. “Makes me feel confident and good, symbolizes accomplishments”
-Vincent Gaudioso
 "You have different watches for different purposes and different moods, and different things you do."  

-Jeff Kingston


"Every watch that I have means something to me"
Persona - Taylor Devenue
Introducing Taylor, a connoisseur of luxury timepieces and a true aficionado in the world of haute horlogerie. With an eye for exquisite craftsmanship and timeless elegance, Taylor seeks watches that are not just timekeeping devices but also pieces of wearable art. As a high-end watch buyer, he values exclusivity, rarity, and impeccable attention to detail. His collection reflects his refined taste and appreciation for heritage brands that embody tradition and innovation. He is meticulous in his research, exploring horological forums, attending watch exhibitions, and consulting with experts to stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends.

Taylor understands that a luxury watch is an investment, and he seeks timepieces that not only enhance his personal style but also hold their value over time. As a pivotal persona in my study, Taylors discerning insights and discerning requirements will provide invaluable guidance for delivering exceptional experiences to the discerning high-end watch buyer.
Affinity Mapping
I have categorized my affinity diagram into four distinct themes, each offering valuable insights in the realm of luxury watches and the overall luxury shopping experience.

These categories are as follows:
  1. Reasons for Purchasing Luxury Watches: This theme explores the motivations and factors that drive individuals to invest in luxury watches. By examining various customer perspectives and preferences, we gain a deeper understanding of the underlying motivations behind their purchasing decisions.
  2. Critical Elements for Driving Conversion: Within this theme, we delve into the essential elements that influence the conversion of potential customers into actual buyers. By identifying key factors such as product features, marketing strategies, and customer engagement, we can uncover effective methods for driving sales and enhancing conversion rates.
  3. Luxury Digital Industry Trends: This theme focuses on the rapidly evolving landscape of the luxury digital industry. By analyzing emerging trends, technological advancements, and shifts in consumer behavior, we gain insights into the digital strategies and approaches that can successfully elevate the luxury watch market.
  4. Key Attributes to a Luxe Shopping Experience: The final theme centers around the elements that contribute to an exceptional luxury shopping experience. From personalized service and exclusive offerings to immersive environments and impeccable attention to detail, we explore the key attributes that create a memorable and enticing shopping journey for luxury watch enthusiasts.
design goal

How Might We

translate a traditionally brick-and-mortar purchase of luxury watches to a successful online one 
Sub Goals
  • Translating a brick and mortar experience to an online one
  • Designing a luxury e-commerce website
  • Designing a frictionless checkout
  • Creating a way for users to compare models
Customer Journey
To gain firsthand insights into the immersive and captivating world of in-store luxury watch buying experiences, I embarked on a visit to the renowned Jaeger-LeCoultre Boutique in Zürich, Switzerland.

With the objective of better understanding the differences between the in-person and online luxury watch buying  experience, I made the following observations.

Stepping through its doors, I was enveloped in an atmosphere of sophistication, where every detail was thoughtfully curated to elevate the senses. By engaging with the knowledgeable staff and observing their interactions with discerning clientele, I had the opportunity to witness firsthand the seamless fusion of expertise, passion, and personalized service that defines the Boutique experience. The attentive guidance provided by the staff, coupled with their deep understanding of the brand's heritage and timepiece collection, created an environment that catered to the individual preferences and desires of each customer.

Through this  visit, I was able to gain invaluable insights into the meticulously crafted world of luxury watch buying and these insights will serve as a foundation for deeper analysis, enabling a comprehensive understanding of the elements that contribute to an exceptional in-store luxury watch buying experience.
informational architecture
User Flows
I charted three pivotal user flows, each playing a vital role in enhancing the overall user experience. These user flows include browsing, comparison, and guest checkout, offering users a seamless and intuitive journey throughout their interaction with the platform.
low fidelity design
Using Figma, I designed wireframes that specifically focus on the shopping and checkout flows. Beginning from the homepage, users can browse through various collections and easily navigate to individual product pages. The checkout flow I envisioned follows the standard layout of luxury e-commerce sites. However, I have incorporated two unique features that are commonly found in such platforms - gift wrapping and personalized note options. These elements add a touch of luxury and sophistication to the overall shopping experience.
Low Fidelity Testing Feedback
Overall, the feedback on the wireframes was very positive. Below is a the link to the testing plan,  a summary of the feedback I received, along with my recommendations:
User Testing Plan
Based on this feedback, I recommend addressing the issues with scrolling and carefully considering the hierarchy of information on the product pages. I also suggest refining the language used for comparing collections and potentially simplifying the checkout flow to address concerns around excessive buttons. Overall, the feedback indicates that the wireframes are well-received, and with a few refinements, the final product is likely to be very successful.
high-fidelity design
Prepare to embark on an extraordinary journey with Khronos, where the boundaries between online and in-person shopping blur, and the world of luxury is brought to life at your fingertips.

With meticulous attention to detail, Khronos seamlessly integrates cutting-edge technologies (AR try on concept not developed yet), captivating visuals, and intuitive interfaces to replicate the refined ambiance of an upscale boutique such a on demand sales support rich product imagery.
Mood Board
The UI design of this project seamlessly blends the luxurious gem-like tones inspired by the world of jewelry with the precision and technicality of watchmaking. To complement this sophisticated aesthetic, I have carefully chosen fonts that exude both elegance and functionality, namely Avenir and Coromant Garmond. In addition, the photography and tone of the design are intentionally dark and formal, further enhancing the overall sense of refinement and sophistication.
user testing round 1
Testing Assumptions
I conducted two rounds of user testing in both a local coffee shop and over Zoom meetings, which yielded valuable feedback on the following issues:
User Testing Script
  1. Users preferred to compare individual items rather than collections, indicating a need to reevaluate the product comparison feature.
  2. There was a noticeable disconnect between the browsing and checkout experience, with users noting that the design of the checkout flow was bright and light, which did not align with the overall style and feel of the browsing flow. This highlights the need for a more cohesive design approach throughout the entire user journey.
  3. Users did not understand how the comparison feature worked, so I had to design a way to explain this concept to them without being too disruptive to the browsing flow.
The Refinement
comparing collections vs. individual items
Interestingly, during the low-fidelity phase, the issue of the collection comparisons feature did not arise, but it became clear in the high-fidelity prototype testing that users found it confusing and were more interested in comparing individual watches. While this presented a challenge, as there are not many examples of luxury products utilizing a comparison feature, I drew inspiration from the Apple Watch website. Apple's approach involves limiting user control by only allowing comparison of their three models. I incorporated this approach into my redesign and focused on enhancing the user experience of comparing individual watches, which was found to be more valuable to users.

It is important to note that Apple has only three watches to compare, so their comparison feature always shows all three models. However, this presents a challenge for incorporating a similar feature into the KHRONOS site, as there are numerous watches available for comparison.
explaining the comparison feature
After making the change to compare individual watches, a new issue emerged: how to explain this function to users who were familiar with adding items to their favorites or creating wishlists. To address this, I decided to build upon existing user behavior by layering the option to compare items that were already in the wishlist.To guide users, I added an explanation when they landed on the product description pages and utilized color-changing hearts when the wishlist was full, which helped steer the user in the right direction. Additionally, I added a button called "compare watches" that appeared under the wishlist button. During testing, this approach was well-received, as it was easy to understand and users were already familiar with this UI pattern.By leveraging existing user behavior and adding clear explanations and visual cues, I was able to seamlessly introduce the new function of comparing individual watches and ensure that users understood how to use it. This highlights the importance of considering the user's existing knowledge and behavior patterns when introducing new functionality to a design.
1. Addition of a banner before product detail page to explain how the wishlist and adding watches functionality works
2. Once the watches have been added to the wishlist, a new button called compare selection appears. Users can select this button to be navigated to the comparison page.
3. Users are then brought directly to the "compare watches page" where they can explore the features of the watches side by side and make a purchase decision.
A more cohesive ux - between browsing and checkout flows
I initially designed the checkout flow like a standard luxury company's checkout flow, with a white background. However, during user testing, it was interesting to note that most users found this checkout experience to be different from the uber-luxe browsing flow. I asked myself,
"Can you bring the luxe feeling from the browsing flow to the checkout experience as well?"
Anonymous user from user testing
This led me to test several different types of images and styles for the background until I finally settled on an elegant dark image that matched the design aesthetic of the rest of the site while still maintaining the look and feel of a checkout page. To further enhance the checkout flow, I also added some transparency to the inactive fields.

Users responded very positively to this new look and feel, and some even expressed a desire for more sites to have this sense of continuity in design from end to end. By designing a more cohesive UX, I was able to create a seamless and elevated user experience that felt luxurious from start to finish. The positive feedback from users reinforces the importance of considering every aspect of the user journey and ensuring that each element is consistent with the overall design aesthetic.
Original Checkout Flow design with a standard white background
Revised Checkout Flow with dark theme background for more cohesive design experience.
the wrap up
Metrics for Success

Addressing Cart Abandonment

My efforts to address cart abandonment have yielded impressive results. By adding engaging content, detailed product information, and a compare feature, I helped users choose the right watch for them.

Implementing a Guest Checkout Flow

Implementing a guest checkout flow was a game-changer, with 100% of users finding the process much easier.

Delivering a Luxury experience online

I successfully delivered a luxury shopping experience online, with all users feeling that the digital platform exuded opulence and sophistication.

Driving Conversion

The ultimate goal of driving conversions was achieved, with 100% of users expressing that they had all the necessary product details to make a purchase, assuming they had the financial means to do so.
Learnings & Opportunities for Further Exploration
I learned that it's sometimes difficult for users to fully grasp a feature until it's built out and tested. Although I tried to capture all my learnings from the low fidelity testing of the comparison feature, it was clear that more work was needed during the high fidelity testing phase. In the future, I plan to consider building out multiple versions and conducting A/B testing to determine the best path forward when faced with uncertainty about a particular feature.

I'm eager to continue exploring the comparing watch feature and believe that additional user testing will provide valuable insights to refine and optimize the feature. If I had more time, I would love to explore adding an AR try out feature to the watches. I built a place hold for this in the website but designing and testing a flow to make this work would be very intersting.

By continually improving the feature's usability and intuitiveness, we can enhance the overall user experience and make comparing individual watches seamless and enjoyable for users.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed working on this project and designing a luxury concept. The challenge of bringing luxury online was fascinating, and I'm excited to see how this space evolves in the years to come.
Research & Image Sources
* Please be advised that this watch brand is purely fictitious and has been conceptualized solely for the purpose of a student capstone project. All images and assets utilized in this project have been borrowed from the Van Cleef & Arpels company.