Adore Beauty - Best Site Design & Optimisation

Project History – Describe why the site was launched, when it was launched, who its target audience is, and what the site's strategic vision is (max. 250 words).

Adore Beauty launched 15 years ago; this most recent iteration of our site launched at the end of March 2015. Adore Beauty’s mission is to help our customers find the best products to suit their beauty concerns, from the largest range of premium beauty products in Australia.

The decision was made to redesign our 2011 site based on customer feedback.  We conducted extensive surveys and research with our customer base to determine which aspects of the site they found frustrating, and also which features they particularly liked.  This informed the UX and design of the new site.

Target audience:


  • 88% female, age 25-45
  • Busy women seeking convenience
  • “Beauty junkies” who like to discover new products



Technologies Used – List the supporting technologies used to implement this strategy and describe why these were chosen (max. 250 words).


  • E-commerce platform: Magento Enterprise
    • Flexible system that can cope with many SKUs (we have over 12K), and integrates readily with other systems
  • Site acceleration: Squixa
    • Site speed is extremely important for maximising conversion; Squixa has been able to reduce our page load times by ~2 seconds
  • Site search: SLI Systems
    • Selected for its Learning Search capabilities – with 5500 products, it’s paramount that customers can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily
  • Paypal Express
    • Fast checkout that minimises customer data entry, especially on mobiles
  • Wordpress blog functionality
    • Content features heavily across the new site design; Wordpress was integrated with Magento to provide a magazine-style content experience.  Adaptive layout provides a quality experience on all devices.
  • Olark – Live Chat
  • Testing:  Optimizely
    • Used to A/B test the new site in live beta prior to launch
    • Also used for testing different options for key navigation elements, e.g the Shop By Brands menu



Site Usability – Outline the key usability features of your site that sets it apart as a leading example of online retail (max. 250 words).


  • Inline Quick Look – allows users to quickly check product details from category/result pages, without interrupting the browsing experience (especially on a tablet) – you don’t have to open or close a popover, you can just keep scrolling
  • Infinite scroll – no need to click to navigate to the next page of results
  • Ajax add-to-bag – allows customer to continue shopping without interruption
  • Show Me The Best menu – enables navigation via combination of category, product attribute, and review rating.  e.g. “Show Me The Best > Anti Ageing Moisturisers”  presents the highest rated products in the Moisturisers category with an Anti-Ageing attribute.
  • Adaptive layout gives maximum usability on mobile devices.  The mobile template focuses on search and category navigation, while never compromising on product information.  Meanwhile the desktop site was specifically designed to work just as well on a tablet, with attention paid to spacing and touch areas.



• Site Design – Describe the elements of your site design that illustrate it as an online retail leader, and provide links to sample for the judges’ benefit (max. 250 words).



  • Aspirational, yet approachable
  • Simple enough so as not to clash with the identity of any of our brands – yet distinctive enough that the Adore Beauty brand is instantly recognisable
  • Clean yet feminine colour palette, black and white with muted colour accents





Custom landing pages – designed to convert traffic driven from a particular source – e.g. for a new customer prospecting campaign: //

Adore Beauty Live (on the homepage- scroll down // is a virtual peek inside someone’s bathroom cabinet – displays what others are buying in real time


Site Optimisation – Describe the conversion optimisation features on the site, including the checkout process (max. 250 words).

We engaged heavily with customers at every stage of this redesign, starting with a major survey to inform the UX. Key optimisations we made following this survey included:

  • USPs presented as part of the top nav – many customers were not aware of them
  • Infinite scroll for categories with large numbers of products
  • Site speed – accelerated with Squixa
  • Enclosed checkout (removal of distracting navigation)
  • Paypal Express checkout – in particular this improved mobile conversion
  • Promoting free shipping in as many places on the site as possible (e.g.
  • Current promotions featured on the top of every page
  • Google Trusted Store badge added to improve trust signals
  • Logos added to shopping bag and footer to increase trust

Finally, we used Optimizely to put the new site into live beta, with approx. 20% of traffic being redirected to the new site, and measuring both conversation rate and revenue of new vs old designs.  This enabled us both to validate the conversion rate of the new designs in comparison to the old, and also enabled us to find and resolve any functional bugs prior to launch.

Results of this optimisation have been very strong so far and continue to improve.  Even while driving large volumes of new customers, we have increased conversion rates in May (vs last year) by 19% for desktop/tablet and 13% overall.