Improving customer experience to increase sales 

Printique's Amazon store front


Lead the design team’s process end-to-end from choosing a product to rendering. I also conducted research, developed standards and collaborated with other teams to improve processes.
Duplicated sales for more than a year in a row, increased the sales of new products, improved a process (making it faster), grew the design team and boosted productivity.
Monica Lopez - Designer
Karely Solis - Designer
Oscar Estrada - Designer
Giselle Rodriguez - Designer
Chris Cardenas - Designer
Ivonne Lozano - Design Lead
Printique (now Printcrate - previously Pulse Click Inc) is a manufacturer and online retailer of a wide variety of products, specializing in vinyl wall decals but also including baby bodysuits, t-shirts, canvases, posters and facemasks. Printique focuses on home decor with multiple e-commerce marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Walmart, and Shopify.

Working cross-functionally with the founder, production, customer service, marketing and listing, I was able to increase sales, improve processes, enhance rating and boost productivity. This is how I did it:
  • Conducting better research
  • Training my team
  • Establishing guidelines
  • Working and negotiating with other teams
1. Conducting better research
For a designer to start working on a product, it would be necessary to take it from the Pipeline column on Trello, but how do a product get to the pipeline?

Behind the product in the pipeline there is an extensive research, which I crafted, that enabled me to have a better idea of our customer, to create appealing products for said customer.
Trello board
The customer
The first thing I did was to get to know our customer. Since the company had been running for a couple of years and the main sales channel is Amazon, I asked to have access to the analytics so I could have the demographics of our customers.

I also requested access to the review section so I could get to know how our customer felt after receiving and interacting with the product. I created a persona based on my findings:
Emily persona
Competitive analysis
To discover what is working for other retailers that sell the same kind of products as us, I explored the landscape of competitors. I never focused on a few competitors, instead I explored a bunch on Amazon, eBay, Etsy and other marketplaces, as well as some that appeared to me on google search.

These were my key findings:
Price icon
Prices stay between a considerable range, making us competitive.
woman icon
Most of the competitors’ sites and/or storefronts on marketplaces are marketed for women.
Calendar icon
Seasonal theme products are common among competitors.
Categories icon
Some of the most popular categories are kitchen, living room, office and kids.
Balance icon
There is a good balance between graphic and typography designs.
Sizes icon
Sizes tend to stay between 12in - 24in, bigger sizes sell not so frequently.
It is important to stay up with trends, there are multiple ways to do this, these were the ones I used to use:
  • In our analytics look for the most sold products, and also evaluate the most sold categories and keywords.
  • In marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy, identify the products’ style and category that appeared in top sellers as well as the ones that appeared in the first page.
  • Stay up with pop culture, now what’s trending like music, artists, tv shows, series, etc.
  • Keep an eye on the calendar to know what season/holiday/historic moment is approaching.
Listen to the customer
As I mentioned before, I requested access to the review section on Amazon so that I could empathize with our customer and I also had access to the messaging section so that I could be aware if there was a problem with a product. 

I checked both sections regularly to identify what kept the customer happy and what frustrated, not only design wise but the overall customer experience (CX).
2. Training my team
When I was promoted to be Design Lead the team had four members (counting me) so I would be leading three of my coworkers. One of them had been in the company even before I was, and she was very good at her job, her designs were the second most sold (after mine) and I had very little feedback (design-wise) for her. The other two designers incorporated into the company during the pandemic, and had less than six months working with us.

From the “new” designers I noticed that their style wasn’t completely on brand with the company and that that might be the reason their designs weren’t as popular as others. So it clicked to me that since they had joined during the pandemic and the schedule was a little odd between home and the office, they never received proper training. I had a quick training session with each one of them, to try to get them on the right path and pass on some tips and tricks.

During my time as a lead I was also able to grow the team, and hired two more designers. I conducted multiple interviews and selected the candidates that best fit the company and team. This time I make sure these designers received proper training from the beginning to ensure brand consistency.
3. Establishing guidelines
To ensure the products we created fit in the brand’s personality and also to speed up the design process I established some guidelines and standards that could help the team stay on brand and work faster.

The first thing I did was to define go-to fonts that could be used in the designs that ensure a product that stays on brand. Along with this I also created a folder in our server that contained best selling products to use as inspiration.

Since we used render images to display the product in a realistic scenario, it had to look the size it said it was, a tricky task to get as a designer, so I created guides taking an element from an image and giving it a size that the team could use as a reference to get their sizing more accurate, and reduce the possibility of having their design return to make adjustments, instead increase the possibility of having it approved on the first try.

For some of the render images I created a template file, so it would only need to replace one layer minimizing the error margin and also speeding up the design process.

As part of trying to support the brand’s consistency, I also reviewed existing products to make the render images match the established look and feel of the brand and also to analyze the designs and change them if it was not selling nor on brand.

Last but not least, when it was time to introduce a new product (I was there when facemasks, posters and canvases were first introduced) I worked along the CEO to establish the guidelines for that specific product and also to define the styles we were going to try first to test out the product.
4. Working and negotiating with other teams
To guarantee everything ran accordingly, we held weekly meetings, the people involved were all the heads of the different departments, production, printing, shipping, listing and design. These weekly meetings allowed us to stay up to date with the other departments and if any department was facing difficulties try to resolve it between all of us.

Collaboration was key to improving the design team’s process for custom orders. I worked closely with the production department to come to an agreement of what parts of the process were the responsibility of the design team and which ones of the production team.

I also collaborated with the listing team to upload our products to a centralized, multichannel e-commerce platform to make cross listing faster and easier.
The adoption of the four strategies previously mentioned were key to secure positive outcomes that had an impact in our customers’ lives and also in the business revenue.
  • From 1000 weekly sales we passed to 2000 weekly sales and even reached 2300 on major holidays like Christmas and Valentine's Day.
  • Newly introduced designs started to sell more and even accomplished some instant hits.
  • Eliminated the negative feedback we received about an instructions guide I identified was causing confusion for our customers, the guide was updated.
  • My team boosted its productivity from 5 designs a day to 7 designs a day.
  • The time it took a designer to make custom decals was reduced by almost two thirds.
  • I grew the team from four to six members.
  • Everything adds upI truly believe that each part of the four strategies I followed to get better results count and are important. Even the smallest task was key to get the results I did and I really don’t think I would have gotten them if I had skipped even the smallest part.
  • The customer is the starThere is a quote that I like that goes something like “when you focus on the user everything else follows”, and I consider it to be true, it is important to have a human centered design approach that will later turn out to be the solution to the business problem.
  • Research is relevantResearch lets me get a better understanding of the user; behaviors, needs and motivations, the business and the competition, all this led to suggest better ideas to solve the problems the customer was having and the business needs. It is essential and it must not be underestimated.
  • Teamwork does the dream workCollaborating with people is probably one of the skills I never thought I would be needing this much. I underestimated and thought it was an easy skill to acquire. And I was wrong, but collaborating is so worthy, I was able to accomplish so much more by collaborating and joining forces with other people in other departments.
  • You can train skillLeading a team was something I enjoyed a lot, during my time in this role I was able to train my team and hire new members. I learned that you can always train skill but you can never train attitude, and that sometimes you need to prioritize the team’s culture and environment over a candidate with really good skills but not the best attitude for the company nor the team.
  • Lead by example
    I appreciated my team and I’m sure they appreciated me as well. I always tried to lead by example and help my team in anything they needed to accomplish their weekly goals. I can say that they respected me by the work I performed and not out of fear as sometimes can happen. I would describe my leadership style as a combination of coach, visionary and servant.