November 2015


POPSUGAR Must Have is a monthly lifestyle subscription box, curated by Editor in Chief Lisa Sugar, containing full-sized products from a variety of categories like fitness, living, food and more. Several times throughout the year limited-time Special Edition boxes are also available for purchase -- separately from the monthly subscription. The contents of both the Monthly and Special Edition boxes are a surprise  and based on varying themes.  As of March 2015, the business was set to expand to include a series of Gift Collection boxes where the contents were disclosed to the customer before purchase in the hopes they would, as the name suggests, gift them. (Or, really, just buy lots and lots of them for whoever!)

The structure of the current site did not support selling multiple SKU’s at one time OR shipping to multiple addresses.  In a perfect world users would be buying Monthly boxes, Special Edition AND Gift Collection -- all day, every day. The only way to make that possible was to do a complete overhaul of the site with special attention on creating a simple and effective checkout flow for multiple purchases -- for desktop AND mobile.

  -- whiteboard mania


The team was comprised of myself, the Director of Operations, Director of Product, and five developers (mix of front-end, back-end, and data) newly dedicated to Must Have. Timing for the project was built out in a phased approach, giving us a little over five months to go live with phase one. The other fun part about the timing was that the launch could only happen in between Must Have billing cycles. That meant a 4-5 day window, and if we missed it we had to wait another month. 

While the dev team figured out what framework the site was going to be built on, I worked with the Director of Product on user flow and site structure. We spent a lot of time in the beginning in conference rooms whiteboarding and thinking through different scenarios. How can me make sure everything we do is driving purchase? How can we reorganize the user's account information to cut down on customer service inquiries? 

Once we had a basic gist  we moved to low fidelity wireframes and basic inVision prototyping to test the flow of the deeper experiences -- like checkout -- which proved to be a bigger beast than we originally anticipated. 


  -- checkout user flow (existing-not signed in, existing-signed in, new user)

Checkout and account information started to take shape so it was time to look at the product pages. From past user feedback we know that the concept of Must Have as a subscription service can be confusing. You layer in Special Edition boxes and the new Gift Collection and the complexity rises. As a result a lot of education is needed. If our users don't understand what we're selling - why would they buy it?

Pages were built in a modular fashion so that marketing could add and subtract messaging or provide additional education whenever necessary -- and then balance that with large photography slots that can easily be swapped and refreshed throughout the year.

Post launch we've seen really great indicators that the site UX is working. There's been great conversion on both mobile and desktop and user feedback is positive (and our users love to give feedback). We're continuing on to phase two and have update the plan to include another additional SKU. Woo!

The launch of the site has been huge.