REDESIGN OF Groupon'S
Merchant Center

 

As Groupon has evolved beyond just providing deals, Merchant Center has not kept pace. We needed to become less deal-centric and be more inclusive of the different ways Merchants can work with us.

As we strive to improve on the current Merchant Center experience, we want to solve some of the most common pain points of our current system:

  1. The navigation and structure — this was originally created around a single product, the deal, and has been difficult to scale to include newer products.

  2. The static dashboard — it takes up amble real estate without adding an equivalent level of value.

Furthermore, we are focused on increasing Merchant's engagement with Merchant Center as we have identified that to be one of the leading factors in our retention of Merchant's to the Groupon platform. Improving the attrition numbers of our merchant partners is one of the biggest areas we can impact the business. The goal for the Merchant Center redesign and the accompanying engagement efforts are to increase the visit rates of active merchants to 2/week from the current 2/month number. This is an important metric as our research shows that engaged merchants who understand their ROI are more likely to continue their Groupon relationship.

THE GOAL

 
 

Current Merchant Center dashboard

       Redesigned Merchant Center dashboard

 

The AUDIENCE

 

 

Merchant Center is a universally used platform for Groupon merchants. The platform crosses multiple products—campaign, delivery & takeout, and booking/reservations—for both North American and International users.

The redesign will also have an impact internally for Groupon. Therefore, our audience includes the Merchant Development team who serves as a frontline resource for Merchants. 

 
 

CONSTRAINTS

Our priority for the first release is feature parity with the existing Merchant Center. Therefore, the redesign will be implemented in segments. 

Time and resources has been one of the biggest challenges associated with the redesign. We are dependent on other product teams who feed us product-specific metrics.

 
 

Design
Process

Creating navigation and an organization that better aligned with Groupon current business was the first step. The redesign began in November of 2015 when I completed a card sort activity with Merchant Center's internal product partners. The card sort helped explore and shape the system's architecture. I chose the card sort activity because it was a low fidelity way to get lots of stakeholders involved and participation from multiple corners of the organization resulting in more buy-in for the project as a whole. 

Three possible architectures were defined by the card sort solutions.

 
 
 
 

After completing some initial explorations around the three identified navigation structures we settled on option three which demonstrated the most drastic change. This allowed us to rethink every aspect of the Merchant experience rather than simply reorganizing the existing content into new pages.

The chosen direction allowed the content to not be silo-ed by product. Shared content across product type lives together and are grouped around common tasks:

  • Performance metrics
  • Customer interaction
  • Management activities
  • Profile or account setup

One of the biggest changes to Merchant Center is the creation of a dynamic landing page that surfaces only information valuable to users. The previous iteration of Merchant Center had a static dashboard that looked the same regardless of merchant type or activity. The new landing page established rough rules for content but ultimately strived to be flexible and dynamic.

The landing page needed to support a variety of use cases that cover every point of the Merchant lifecycle.

This following demonstrates how I mapped out the different layouts depending on Merchant type.

 
 
 

Shared sections included 'Active Data' that could surface campaign, service, or product specific metrics. The only other uniform section cross merchant type are metrics related to their customer engagement.

Landing page space is reserved for time sensitive actions. For instance, campaign prep tasks, messaging that they are nearing their sales cap, or anything needing immediate action. 

 
 
 

The landing page for a Merchant running a campaign

 

The landing page for a Merchant participating in Delivery & Takeout

 

Status

The redesign project is currently underway. We are aiming to begin the transition to the updated Merchant redesign at the beginning of Q4.