Tobii UX Explore use case

A UX study with two e-commerce giants

In our increasingly eco-conscious world, consumers not only seek out stylish fashion but also demand transparency in the sustainability of their purchases.

This study example provides an in-depth analysis of how users navigate the path to sustainable fashion choices on two leading e-commerce platforms, Zalando and ASOS.

The mission and method

Our mission was to unravel the differences in customers' experiences when hunting for recycled clothing on Zalando's and ASOS' platforms. How do these experiences compare? What elements ease or obstruct this digital navigation?

We rose to the challenge by conducting a detailed qualitative A/B test, examining the paths users take to locate a specific item - a hoodie made from recycled materials. Our test involved 40 participants, evenly split into two groups of 20. Sampling was conducted remotely with Tobii UX Explore, utilizing both a convenience sample and recruits from an online panel provider. This research was carried out in August 2021.

Tobii UX Explore use case

Delving into the data

Our analysis included both quantitative and qualitative data to derive meaningful insights. We began with basic quantitative metrics, which provided a broad overview of users' behavior, interaction patterns, and potential areas for more profound analysis.

These metrics revealed Zalando held the upper hand in user-friendliness: users reported that the sustainable hoodie was easier to find on Zalando's platform, with an average rating of 3.6/5 compared to ASOS' 2.9/5. Zalando also had fewer screen taps, shorter fixation times, less time to complete the task, and fewer recorded fixations, indicating a smoother, faster user experience.

The 'why' behind the numbers

Qualitative analysis helped peel back the layers of the 'why' behind these numerical differences. Screen recordings with gaze overlay and thinking-aloud methods provided invaluable insights into user behavior.

On Zalando's website, participants completed their purchase faster, thanks to the sustainability tags attached to images. These tags provided a quick, simultaneous check for preferred clothes and sustainability factors. Seven participants spent considerable time reading product descriptions concerning sustainability, showing interest in the materials and features of sustainable products.

On the contrary, ASOS' website relied heavily on filter functions. Users often found themselves at a dead-end if they chose the 'wrong' filtering path, leading to an increased level of frustration.

Unpacking the results

The results speak for themselves
Zalando's website proved more user-friendly for eco-conscious fashion shoppers. Participants appreciated the sustainability tags, as these enabled them to combine style selection and sustainability checks seamlessly.

The study highlights the need for e-commerce platforms to provide a smooth and transparent path to sustainable purchases. An engaging and intuitive user experience can make all the difference in the increasingly vital sphere of sustainable fashion shopping.

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