Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

RTR: iOS App Upsells


After a customer adds a dress to their cart on the desktop site, they are shown a pre-checkout experience we call “Upsells”. The Upsell experience shows accessory recommendations for their recently added style. Because our users found our recommendations helpful, this became one of the most requested features for our mobile app. Average order value (AOV) was also much lower in the app vs desktop, and we believed adding Upsells would help drive that number higher.

Goals and Challenges

  • Increase attach rate per order (and increase AOV) for accessories and “saleable” (for purchase) items
  • Users want to view accessories that would pair well with their dresses to save time and effort of searching themselves
  • Users want to quickly reference the dress as they’re picking matching accessories, view product details, and read reviews
  • Users want a way to access these Upsell recommendations at a later time



Research & Explorations

Option 1 – Mimic Desktop Experience

Load a full page view of recommended products after a dress is added to their bag. This is a similar experience to desktop.

In this flow:

  • User adds a dress to their bag
  • A full page of recommendations in carousels slide up, with the item they just added easily referenced at the top
  • Tapping on a product allows users to read product details and access user reviews (reviews are extremely important to our users’ decision making process)
  • Add + remove upsell items, display the total $ as users add items, so they can easily reference and compare total costs
  • Once the user is finished (or if they don’t want to add any at all), allow them to “Continue Shopping” or “Go to Bag”
  • (Not shown) Users are able to reload this Upsell experience from their bag if they want to browse at a later time


Option 2 – “Candy Store”

A subtler “candy store” approach, in the case that a full panel felt too overbearing/aggressive. Show a sprinkling of recommended products instead of a full page. Give user the choice to swipe through products or swipe up to view more category carousels.

In this flow:

  • User adds an item to their bag
  • User is presented with a confirmation ‘Added to bag!’ dialog and a carousel of products animate up from the bottom
  • Tap outside of dialog to ‘skip’ this experience, interact with product carousel to continue browsing upsell recommendations
  • This carousel is swipeable L+R to view more items
  • Tap ‘Add’ to add product, tap on product image to view more details
  • Once items were added, tap on bag to continue to view cart
  • (Not shown) Users are able to reload this Upsell experience from their bag if they want to browse at a later time


What launched?

After internal and external testing using high fidelity Invision prototypes, we felt most comfortable having a similar experience on desktop and app for the following reasons:

  • The majority of our users are both desktop and app users, so it was important to keep both experiences consistent.
  • Users did not find Option 1 overwhelming or jarring to their shop flow. In fact, most users commented that the experience was similar to desktop and were comfortable navigating through.
  • With Option 1 (full product view) we’d be able to present more product categories to the customer. This meant more opportunities to upsell, which would also help drive up AOV and utilize otherwise ‘stagnant’ inventory.
  • In Option 2, despite the experience being less intrusive to the customer, the action of swiping up to view more categories was unfamiliar and not discoverable enough.

“Final” Upsell Experience in App


Feedback + Next Steps

Once mobile Upsells were released, average AOV on the app increased (as we had hypothesized).

If we were to run experiments on Upsells in the future…

  • How would swapping out different categories affect attach rates?
  • Would Upsells be an area we can surface/test new offers?
  • How can we use browsing and attach data to help improve recommendations?

RTR: Shortlists & Personalization