The Dressing Room are a multi-award-winning independent fashion retailer based in St. Albans, Hertfordshire.
Established in 2005 by Deryane Tadd, they have always aimed to provide their customers with a 5-star, personalised shopping experience. This year, The Guardian listed them as one of the 20 best independent boutiques in Britain and Ireland.
When they approached us, the brief was clear - how can we deliver that same level of experience to their online customers? And, can we do so in a way that drives a higher conversion rate, thus, an increase in online sales?
Along with the increase in competition from other retailers, the eCommerce landscape was also going through a dramatic change at this period in time. Customer behaviour was shifting to mobile and so the brief had a particular focus on providing a strong user experience on smaller-screened devices.
We delivered The Dressing Room with a stunning new website, following mobile-first methods of design and development to ensure optimal user experience, higher engagement, better search engine rankings, and greater chances of converting and retaining their growing mobile audience.
To eliminate potential overselling we integrated our platform with The Dressing Room’s EPOS provider: Touch Retail.
Each time an item was sold in-store, Touch Retail would update Venditan Commerce and vice versa meaning that the two systems are always in sync.
Venditan Commerce provided our platform with a streamlined order fulfilment process.
They were able to get online orders out of the door as quickly as possible, with automatic order updates sent to the customer throughout the process, helping to bring the online experience up to the standards of their store.
Many customers engage with both the online and offline aspects of The Dressing Room, so a consistent experience ensures a seamless transition between the two. This consistency helps to reinforce and strengthen their brand identity.
When customers have a consistent experience across different channels it builds trust and familiarity with the brand, making it easier for them to recognise and connect with the business.
They encounter a recognisable aesthetic, inventory, and service level. This enhances customer satisfaction and reduces any friction in their journey, increasing the likelihood of an online purchase.
Inconsistent experiences can harm a brand's reputation and it was clear when The Dressing Room approached us that more could be done to bring their championed in-store experience online.
Ultimately, by improving the online experience that they were able to provide through their website, and establishing a seamless connection between the two retail touchpoints, The Dressing Room were well-positioned to deliver a vastly improved customer experience.
So they could provide an optimal user experience and ensure their content is easily accessible on smaller screens, The Dressing Room were particular about the prioritisation of mobile design and functionality when approaching the new website.
We delivered a fully mobile-responsive website, meaning that the elements dynamically adjust and adapt to various screen sizes and devices. It ensured that the website's layout, content, and functionality were optimised for optimal viewing and usability.
Reviewing and consolidating the mobile menu of the website helped to simplify and enhance the mobile experience by reducing clutter and improving navigational efficiency.
The project coincided with significant changes to Google’s ranking algorithm, most notably, when they switched to mobile-first indexing. This change saw Google’s search results begin to favour mobile-friendly websites, adapting their results to the growing trend of users accessing the internet primarily through mobile devices, ensuring better search results for mobile users.
Users expect quick access to information, and faster loading times contribute to overall customer satisfaction and engagement. With UX playing such a critical role in the brief for the project, it was critical that we considered this aspect of the website experience.
There are a number of measures that we take to ensure that we are supplying the fastest possible experience throughout our different applications.
Hosting The Dressing Room’s website on Google's Kubernetes Engine allows us to leverage scalability and load balancing. Kubernetes automatically scales applications up or down to match the load. This ensures that our websites can handle increased traffic without sacrificing performance. With built-in load balancing mechanisms, incoming network traffic is distributed across multiple containers to avoid overloading any single instance. That way, The Dressing Room website responds quickly to user requests and prevents any single container from becoming a bottleneck when experiencing peak, often influencer-driven spikes in traffic.
A lot of consideration was given to the user journey, pondering how users should be encouraged to navigate through the website and find the products that they are interested in, then add them to their basket and use the checkout.
User journey optimisation follows the typical, chronological flow that you would expect of an eCommerce website user:
- Menu system
- PLP - category pages
- PDP - product pages
- The add-to-basket process
- The checkout process
Additional login and checkout options, such as login with Facebook and checkout with Amazon & Apple Pay, sped up the buying process as it reduced the amount of information a customer needed to enter.
You may wish to consider our eCommerce UX service if you are interested in having the user journey of your website evaluated by an expert.
The Dressing Room’s in-store experience was so successful because customers were able to tap into the knowledge and expertise of the staff on the shop floor. The challenge was to bring that consultative experience over to the new website without overloading the user with too much text-heavy information.
The addition of Stylist Notes on each product allows The Dressing Room to communicate short, snappy excerpts of guidance to the user, while Complete The Look ensures that products can be paired together for the user to consider as an outfit.
An intuitive content management system with easy-to-use, pre-built but customisable templates allows The Dressing Room to provide website visitors with up-to-date style advice and outfit ideas showcasing their latest collections. This content can be found in their Inspiration Hub, seen adjacent as owner, Deryane provides picks of the month.
A live chat feature creates a more personalised experience and means that website visitors can now receive instant responses to their queries, preventing missed sales opportunities.
It allows for real-time interaction with customers, enabling instant assistance, answering queries, and providing personalised recommendations based on their preferences, body type, and occasion, helping them to make informed purchasing decisions.
This also provides an opportunity for The Dressing Room to address concerns, handle objections, and guide customers through their purchasing process, just as a member of staff would do at their store in St. Albans. Clothing sizes and fits can be challenging to determine online but with live chat installed, customers can gain clarity and move forward with confidence.
The migration to Venditan Commerce has allowed The Dressing Room to keep their online customers updated every step of the way.
Automatic updates covering order confirmation, fulfilment and delivery are all handled by the platform, and triggered by specific actions being taken in the admin area.
Keeping customers informed throughout the order journey not only improves their overall experience but also contributes to customer loyalty, repeat purchases, and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.
Effective communication regarding any delays, backorders, or issues with the order demonstrates the transparency and professionalism associated with a brand of The Dressing Room’s standing, mitigating frustration and dissatisfaction.
Director & Owner, The Dressing Room