Uncovering the $300 Million UX Mistake: The Power of Thoughtful Design

Back in 2009, an American e-commerce platform found itself in hot water after suffering a massive $300 million loss. Despite having a top-notch team of developers, designers, and marketers, the company couldn’t figure out what had gone wrong. They had a feeling that something went wrong, but they couldn’t figure out what exactly it was.

Enter Jared Spool, a well-known American UX researcher. He was hired to get to the bottom of the issue and wasted no time getting started. After conducting his research, Jared made a surprising discovery:

a tiny mistake on the website’s registration form had cost the company $300 million! It just goes to show how even the smallest mistakes can have a huge impact on a business’s bottom line!

He explained that when a customer adds a product to his or her cart and proceeds to the checkout page, the website asks the customer to sign-up or sign in.

However, most customers may not remember if they have registered on the website before or provided an email and password.

Having to repeatedly sign in or sign up can frustrate users and cause them to abandon their cart on the website (which we call Abandoned Cart in the language of e-commerce). Due to numerous Abandoned Carts, the company suffers significant losses.

Let’s take a look at how Jared Pool managed to turn things around for the company and bring in profits after a loss of $300 million. Sounds interesting, right?

To solve this problem, his team decided to make a tiny tweak to the website’s design. They introduced a feature called “Guest Checkout”, which lets customers buy products without having to sign up or sign in. And guess what? It’s still considered one of the best practices in the e-commerce industry!

An example of Crate&Barrel’s approach

As a result of this small change, the rate of product purchases from the website increased by 45% for customers. They earned an extra $15 million in revenue in the first month alone. By the end of the year, the company’s revenue had increased by an additional $30 million.

This story shows how user-centred design can be powerful and how making thoughtful design choices can greatly impact a business.

Note: It was my first article. Let me know if you find any mistakes and feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box. 😀




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