Wildlife Conservation Society

Ecommerce Platform

  • Wildlife Conservation Society
  • Challenge

    Improve the ecommerce experience for the Bronx Zoo (and four other facilities WCS operates in the New York area), given the rigidity of the existing off-the-shelf solution.

  • Solution

    Design a streamlined, tailored transactional flow that can be modified and optimized over time based on user testing and feedback.

  • Results

    A reimagined checkout experience that is poised for growth and optimization, and that makes it easy for visitors to find and buy the right products. The new system increased the revenue of each checkout session by 13% and improved the checkout conversion rate by 15%.

A checkout that flows. Our work with Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has included everything from redesigning their flagship site (WCS.org), to rebuilding their central content management system, to creating an in-park mobile app for zoo visitors. We were excited when our conversation moved to improving their ecommerce experience for the Bronx Zoo and four other facilities they operate in the New York area. Our work not only included revamping the process for buying tickets, but also simplifying the selection process for a new (and extensive) set of membership options. Based on our shared belief in continually improving and streamlining experiences for visitors, we knew the right solution for WCS would require a more flexible infrastructure than their previous off-the-shelf software could provide. A UX overhaul plus thoughtful back-end app development were in order.

  • User Experience Complexity Without Clutter

    We focused our design process on on reducing the number of steps and fields users encounter during checkout. The new membership options presented a particular challenge, because the product menu was significantly more customizable. This meant more flexibility for users, but also a more complex decision-making process. We solved this problem by designing filters and expandable cards that let users narrow their options based on their group size and interests.

  • Development Built for Integration

    The back-end system for the checkout experience needed to integrate seamlessly not only with WCS’s existing multi-site CMS, but also with several third-party platforms, including their product and order data service and their payment processing system. We built on top of the CMS to allow for admin management of transaction forms and products, and also built a separate ecommerce app and API that allowed our system to communicate with those external services.

  • Testing + Optimization Flexible Design

    The design and back-end infrastructure come together to create an incredibly robust, flexible system that enables us to continually test and optimize the customer experience over time. We can create variants based on the placement of different design elements, messaging and copy options, and even the number of steps in the checkout process itself. The test results from these variants give WCS the ability to refine the experience based on how their visitors actually use the site.


Our tailored ecommerce platform for WCS includes an intuitive checkout flow coupled with a flexible back-end infrastructure that not only make the product selection and checkout processes easier for users, but also enables ongoing measurement and optimization to continually improve the experience for visitors.