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: Shortlists & Personalization


Rent the Runway has a feature called ‘Shortlists’ that allows users to favorite and create lists of styles they’d like to save for later. Based on our data, users who “hearted” items and created shortlists were more likely to convert than those who didn’t. Shortlists were tucked away on the product grid and user profile. Because they contributed so heavily to conversion, we wanted to explore different ways to surface shortlists and “favoriting” across the site, in hopes to introduce a more personalized experience earlier in the funnel, helping users make rental decisions faster.

Goals & Challenges

  • Increase shortlist creation and usage, which leads to higher conversion
  • Design a few modules on the homepage to:
    • Encourage new users to create shortlists
    • Remind users of their existing shortlists
  • Challenge: Account for various user states: new, existing, Unlimited subscription members
  • Challenge: Homepage hierarchy… How could we frame the experiment so it wouldn’t interfere with other initiatives?





We pulled some data…

  • What percentage of users hearted items and created shortlists?
  • Of those who create shortlists, how many converted? And how quickly thereafter?
  • What are the most common shortlist themes or names?
  • How many items are typically hearted?
  • How many create lists out of their hearted items?

And looked sites that provided recommendations like Amazon, eBay, Etsy.


I developed a series of ‘modules’ we could run as experiments on the homepage for various user states:

  • Users who have already created a shortlist and told us their event details
  • Users who have hearted items and had not provided event details
  • Urgency messaging showing limited availability on items users have hearted
  • Recommendations for styles and designers based on previously ‘hearted’ items


Click image for more details


What Launched?

As the MVP, we first segmented our users into the simplest grouping: Users who have created a shortlist and provided event details. We launched this module on the homepage, right underneath the hero banner.

Feedback + Next Steps

Shortly after launching, usage of shortlists and hearts increased. We also saw a lift in conversion and users enjoyed seeing a personalized experience on their return visits. Next steps included expanding this module to target more users, as a gentle reminder to revisit ‘favorites’ they saved in previous sessions. This was also the first step into creating a personalized experience that we could then trickle further down into the funnel.


RTR: iOS App Upsells