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Models Own

Responsive ecommerce website design and digital strategy for a cosmetics brand looking to expand.

  • Services
    UI/UX, Information Architecture, Strategy
  • Date
  • Client
    Models Own / SoBrands

A loved high street brand. Models Own is famous for its vivid range of nail polishes. In 2016 the brand is expanding with a highly anticipated makeup collection and increasing its physical footprint.

Major product launch. Models Own launched new lines across multiple categories. We joined the team to create a new digital destination for the brand — delivering research, digital strategy, and design.


How to target the right audience

The young Models Own demographic is captivated with social media and social content. Our aim was to make the website feel like an extension of those social platforms, rather than an impersonal online store. This is achieved by using a conversational tone and colloquial language (“looks great!”) that wouldn’t be out of place on WhatsApp. We also deliberately mixed product focused, editorial, and social media content on the home and product pages. The site feels more dynamic and engaging, and becomes a destination for the latest beauty and fashion content.

Using triggers

To increase basket spend and encourage users to spend more time browsing the site, we introduced a series of emotional triggers. An example is highlighting products that have been added to basket on the category page: this positive reinforcement motivates users to add more to their basket before completing their order.

Using triggers
mo-banner2-a © Models Own
responsive design

Shopping for the mobile generation

Today, more people search on mobile devices than computers. Millennials in particular use their mobile phone as a primary device — from communication, to shopping and banking. Because people are five times more likely to leave a mobile site that isn’t mobile-friendly, we paid particular attention to the shopping experience on mobile. This includes large CTAs and thoughtful hierarchies that give the most important information first. Our modular layout strategy means content simply collapses into a single column for mobile. No loss of functionality, and all the convenience of shopping on the go.

Breaking the pattern

Looking through an endless range of nail varnish could become monotonous. To catch users' attention we introduced pull out products within the typical category page grid. Taking up 2/3 of the page, these featured products are a great way to push new items, seasonal colours, or just clear old stock.

Breaking the pattern

Effortless shopping experience

Through a series of competitor research audits, we were able to see the problems users face when buying makeup products online. This lead to a greater understanding of how best we could reduce the friction in the user experience — from landing on the site, right through to checkout. From answering typical customer questions directly on each product page, through to helpful tooltips at checkout and thoughtful empty states, the new site has a strong focus on creating the best user experience, and ultimately reducing frustration and abandonment.

Powerful filtering

Not being able to find what you want causes frustration, and ultimately abandonment. We designed a series of dynamic filters that respond to the type of product category being viewed. They encourage users to drill down across a series of variables for complex product types until they find the perfect product. This system also helps users discover things they didn't know were available, leading to increased brand awareness.

Powerful filtering
Increasing basket spend

Although Models Own is priced at a slightly higher level than competitors, a typical nail varnish is still only £6.00. Implementing positive reinforcement when users add to their basket goes a long way to help encouraging them to buy more. But we also introduced the concept of sets: custom curated ranges of complimentary products. Our humanistic trait is to want to complete what we've started, so using this type of language has become very persuasive.

Increasing basket spend
mo-banner1-a © Models Own
brand development

Creating a branded experience

The Models Own price-point is higher than other makeup brands also targeting millennials and young adults. This lead to an interesting positioning, and meant we had to create a sophisticated branded experience — a run of the mill online store wouldn’t do the job. The new site recreates the excitement you get sampling makeup in a bricks and mortar store — though new masterclass video content, magazine articles, and integrated social media.

mixing content

A major part of our holistic digital strategy for Models Own is our modular approach of mixing product with social, editorial, video, and quick-tip tiles. The layouts combine all this rich content in a very natural way — just like the experience you get walking through a quality bricks and mortar store. Sophisticated tagging allows us to target the bottom of each product page with relevant content — making each category a dynamic hub.

mixing content
User generated content

Sharing looks you’ve created is a growing trend on Instagram, and is a great way for brands to extend social reach. By creating an interactive gallery where users can directly upload photos helps further that loyal fanbase. Seeing content that other users have created is a proven way to create an honest and transparent environment. In the same way as integrating reviews prominently on each product page, this dramatically helps reduce anxiety and increase sales. On this page users can see what products have been used, and add buy them with a single click.

User generated content
mo-banner3-a © Models Own
creating an interactive experience

Interactive experiences makes the user’s time on the site more memorable. Even if they don’t buy anything, the very act of engaging with the website means they’re now more aware of the brand. Part of our digital strategy is to deliver a series of these interactive experiences — polls, competitions, multiple choice quizzes — in order to increase user engagement and reinforce brand recognition at every moment. They also create great social media sharable content, too.

customers love it
How we worked with the team

We use Slack for seamless dialogue with clients and developers

Marvel lets us prototype and refine, with contextual presentation

We use Adobe CC for designing and animating assets

Teamwork is a tool for project management with the various teams

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