Decreasing the number of returns

Project Overview

The assignment was to optimize the digital experiences by offering exciting functionalities. The scope was and the target group was consumers between the ages of 16- and 22 years old living in the UK. The number of returns has increased in the last years and the client wanted to decrease these returns. By doing this they could greatly increase their profitability but also increase customer satisfaction.


The Adidas brand has a long history and deep-rooted connection with sport. Its broad and diverse portfolio in both the Sports Performance and Sport Inspired categories ranges from major global sports to regional grassroots events and local sneaker culture. This has enabled Adidas to transcend cultures and become one of the most recognized, credible, and iconic brands both on and off the field of play.


Why are items returned by the target group?

To dive into the topic of why these returns are happening I conducted observation and interviews with individuals from the target group, as well as quantitative research through a survey. For the observation I observed the users using the Adidas application while using the think-aloud protocol. The users were asked to put together a workout outfit and proceed to the checkout section of the application. While doing this, I would be able to understand where they were having issues and how this might affect the numbers of returns happening. In addition to this the users were interviewed about their experience with online shopping with Adidas, and other brands, in addition to their experience with returning items.

In addition to this, I did an analysis of the different online stores selling Adidas items. What are the consumers experience here? Are there any reviews on Adidas items in particular? And why do they return items?


So how might we summarise this user?


Why are items returned by the target group?

Before finding the direction and coming up with solutions for the website, I created a Customer Journey Map. I divided the customer journey into the different stages the user goes through when shopping online and listed where and when the stages were taking place. This way I had a better overview of the process of online shopping and could easier determine what part of the customer journey was most beneficial to focus on.


After reviewing my insights, it was clear that the Consider stage of the Customer Journey Map was the most relevant for me when starting on the Ideating phase of the Design Thinking Process. The problem that connected my insights was the presentation of the items. Therefore, my main challenge was: How might we present the products at in a clearer way?


How can we help the user with finding the right size?

These are the 3 initial concepts presented to the client. Each of them focus on aiding the users in finding the right sizes when shopping through the Adidas application.  



What could this solution look like?

After getting feedback from the client on the 3 concepts, the choice was to move forward with concept number 2. Now it was time for iterating. And the next stages of the project consisted of numerous sketches, feedback sessions, storyboards, and iterations.  

The final concept consists of two main features, the 'try it on' - function and 'the fitting room'. The aim of these functions were to enable the users to try on the clothes and see how they would fit on their body (‘try it on’), and to try the items in their cart and see how they would look like when paired together (‘the fitting room’). With functions like these, it would be easier for the users to order the right sizes and items. And consequently, the number of returns might decrease.

The ‘try it on’ function is placed where the user choses items. The button leading to this function would be placed next to the ‘size’ button. When the user selects ‘try it on’ they will get an illustration of how the item would look like on their body. In addition to a filter that shows the user where the item fits looser and tighter. Additionally, the user will get a recommended size and the opportunity to change sizes. To be able to use this function the user would have to insert their measurements and connect it to their account.

To access the ‘fitting room’, the user would have to go to their shopping bag. Under their selected items the user can enter the ‘fitting room’ where they can try on the items on a custom frame determined by the user’s measurements. On this page the user can switch between different items and see what they look like on their frame but also how different items would look when paired together.


Where should these features be added in the application?


What could this design look like in a real life scenario?


Does this aid the user in finding the right size?

After implementing the design into a prototype of the application, it was tested with participants from the target group. And iterations were done based on how the features were received by the participants.

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