Helping sellers promote their shops

Release: March 2018 (iOS & Android)
My Role: Sole designer on the Sellers team
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We wanted to find the secret sauce to becoming successful on Depop & how we could make these things feel natural for new sellers.

 

Coupled with the PM on my team, I hosted an informal discovery session with some of the top sellers on Depop. We found out that to increase sales, they would screenshot their shop and share it, typically to their Instagram story. In doing this, they’d leverage the following of Depop hashtags to help them draw in sales from outside the Depop ecosystem.

They felt that sharing their shop to social media brought in more traffic to their page.

In theory, it makes perfect sense, Imagine you’ve just opened a shop, or have just added new stock. If you want people to buy your items, you need to let people know..

‘Hey! I’m over here and I’ve got stuff for sale that you might like’.

It’s why ads exist right?

EARLY VALIDATION

We decided to test this theory by asking specific sellers to screenshot their shops and share it to their Instagram story at particular points over a period of time. The data revealed that sellers who manually shared their shop to their Instagram story had an increase in username searches and follows which ultimately converted to increased sales.

Additionally, we also followed #depop on Instagram for a period of time to gauge how common this was. It was super common.

PROCESS

Our why

We hypothesised that by making it easier for low and mid volume sellers to adopt top seller habits like sharing, the gap between them would be bridged. Making it easier to become a top seller.

By enabling sellers to creatively reach new audiences outside of Depop. It would bring in more, committed buyers. We also knew that increasing the number of buyers that search for a shop directly, would increase a seller’s following on Depop, which would ultimately help their brand sell and grow more.

How many items?

One of the early questions I asked, was ‘how many items do people want to share?’. It was important to create something that our sellers would find useful in the minimum way possible.

This meant designing a single grid layout that would provide the most value.

I created a rough prototype with 4 different layouts and put it in front of sellers during a community event. I loaded it with example images to make it seem more relatable.

Our expectation was that sellers would prefer the 9 image grid because that was what most people were uploading to social media – an image of 9 items from their shop.

To our surprise, 87% preferred the 4 image grid the most. They were concerned that the 9 image grid made their items look too small.

Going with the 4 image grid had an additional benefit – We could lower the barrier to entry, meaning once you’ve listed only 4 items the feature would be enabled and you could share your shop earlier on in your seller journey.

It needs to feel Depop

As with any feature we design, it needs to feel on-brand. I explored different concepts that enabled our sellers to have fun with the Depop branding. I intentionally left white space around the image, so that once exported it would leave space for sellers to customise, this was key because part of being Depop, is individuality and being able to be yourself. Additionally, by following #Depop on Instagram, I could see how our users would write messages in creative ways. It was crucial that we still gave them room to do this.

What do buyers need to see?

After selecting the items, we would generate an image for the sellers to share on social media. It would include their username and their profile picture so that when people search for them they’d be able to easily recognise them. Though when we build upon this, it would be great to have trust and status signals like a seller’s current rating or how many items they’ve sold.

It was important that the entry point was really clear and felt contextual to the user. After exploring various options we decided to be bold and go with a colour that had never been used before on the Depop app. 
We placed it on the user’s shop profile, in a place that they couldn’t ignore – giving prominence to and promoting a share behaviour especially for new sellers.

We’d also prompt users to share their shop at key points – like when they list their 10th item or when sales are lower than usual.

We’d constantly put prototypes in front of sellers and see how they’d envision it fitting into their lifestyle. Some sellers would want to pick their best selling items to share. Others would tell us they’d share items that they were desperate to shift or were currently on sale.

One commonality was that even though it was an MVP it would give sellers a lot more freedom when sharing to social media.

Our MVP only had one grid layout. But if successful, we plan for future versions to be smarter and adapt to the number of items a user would like to show as well as allow sellers to express their individuality even more through the Depop brand.

What we created

All of the above sculpted the shop sharing experience on Depop. Here’s our MVP.

RESULTS

How’s it doing?

Compared to the week prior to them sharing, sales volume doubled for the sellers that used the Share Shop feature.

We also saw an increase in the number of signups attributed to the people that shared their shop.

Though the initial usage was impressive, it slowly fell. We’ve worked out that this is because sellers don’t have insights showing the impact of sharing their shop. So the next step is building a feedback loop showing that sharing has driven extra traffic to their shop, through shop views, username searches and additional sales made.

BONUS FOOTAGE

Users always surprise you and find unexpected ways to use your feature. The DIY poster below was found in a toilet at Middlesex University.