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Condé Nast commerce research

A 13-week, multi-method investigation into how online magazine content fits into shopping journeys.

“This is the North star for how user research should be done in this organisation”

Gregg Bernstein, User Research Lead at Condé Nast

The Challenge

How do Condé Nast’s brands fit into the shopping journey?

Condé Nast is best known for its global publications, like Vogue, GQ and Wired, which are often used by shoppers as a source of information and inspiration. Their commerce design team approached us to help them better understand how online magazine content currently fits into people’s shopping journeys and identify opportunities to increase commerce revenue across their different brands.

Our Approach

Flexible sprints that combined mixed research methods

The Condé Nast commerce design team has a lot on their plate, so we needed to find a way to involve them in our research but in concise chunks. We worked in five sprints, each culminating in playback and regroup sessions for the core team. This allowed us to flex the plan as new findings or business priorities came up.

As with many of our projects, we started with open discovery interviews to surface key themes and opportunities. Then we used micro-surveys to scale these findings and help us narrow down to a small number of scenarios where we could use prototypes to prompt a deeper level of feedback from shoppers. Throughout the project we drip fed interview nuggets to build the insights hype across the organisation.

The Outcome

A custom framework and key opportunities to improve

“Not a week goes by that I don't reference or share your commerce research.”

Gregg Bernstein, User Research Lead at Condé Nast

The standard ecommerce journey framework doesn’t work well for content-driven shopping. It doesn’t take into account different kinds of product, content types, timelines and shopper mindsets. Through blending the qualitative and quantitative learnings from shoppers, we were able to build a custom framework that helps make sense of these different journeys. 

Our custom framework, built in Miro (bigger)

The project had immediate and longer-term impact on the organisation. Firstly it inspired the creation of improved “comparison” functionality in articles, being built this year. But it also led to a change in design strategy to support the variety of readers’ shopping journeys through customised storytelling experiences.

“This research gave us a more nuanced understanding of our reader needs and is already impacting our project roadmap and design strategy.”

Miyon Im, Senior Director of Design, Commerce at Condé Nast

In addition to the key opportunities we uncovered, our intuitively structured notes, summary documents, report and recordings have created a foundation for Condé’s teams to kick off follow-up research projects.

In numbers

5 sprints
8 stakeholder interviews
43 shopper interviews
2921 surveys
5 prototypes
9 journeys
1 custom framework
5 key opportunities

Are you interested in learning more about your customers' journeys? Off-the-shelf frameworks not doing it for you? Get in touch...

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