An engaging and inspiring shopping experience reinvented for Walmart
CollateralConcept Video, 3D Wireframe,Customer Journey Maps, Process Book
TeamAzalea Irani, Geunbae Lee
Collaborated WithNCR Corporation, Walmart
My RoleInterview, Competitive Analysis, Personas Creation, Ideation, Storyboarding, Touch Points Design, 3d wireframing, Concept Video
Tools Sketch, Adobe CC, Google SketchUp
3D wireframe Video demonstrating how does Insight work
Brick & Mortar stores are strongly affected by the rise of online shopping/e-commerce. Over 6700 retail stores in the US were shut down in 2017 alone. With the decline in physical stores, even big retail corporation like Walmart are looking for ways to attract more young customers (Millennial, Generation Z). Yet, a lot of customers find their current shopping experience at Walmart frustrating and disappointing. How can we create new services/experiences to attract customers to visit the brick & mortar stores?
A new service is redesigned for Walmart stores to excite and inform customers as well as to reduce all frictions in shopping at Walmart. The service introduces 7 touch points which include the use of hologram, in-store locating technology, automated delivery system as well as workshops to make customers feel inspired, well informed and well taken care of while they visit Walmart physical stores.
Here is a video explaining how exactly does Insight work.
It has become apparent that retail are no longer gaining with physical stores as much profit as they were a decade ago. As a matter of fact, Walmart - one of the largest retail corporation in the States just closed 63 of its very own Sam's club store recently. This indicates a significant problem is faced by major retail corporations in the US when it comes to operating physical stores. Different corporations are seeking for ways to solve the problem and changing their operations plans by introducing more e-commerce. Yet brick and mortar still has its own values. To address the issue, our team paired up with NCR corporation and Walmart. A question has become clear to us - how can we reinvent and disrupt current experience at Walmart physical stores to attract more young customers to continue shopping in the future? In order to solve the problem, our team conducted interviews and literature review to gain a better understanding in the problem space:
Interview with Walmart customers
Why do they still prefer shopping in physical stores?
What are their gain points when they shop at Walmart?
What are their pain points when they shop at Walmart?
How do they shop at Walmart?
What influences their purchasing decision?
Interview with Walmart Associates
What are Walmart associates struggling with in terms of customer support in store?
What motivates Walmart associates to provide better customer support?
What are some of the common porblems they have to help out customers with?
What do they like about working at Walmart?
What are some of the technology trends that can be utilized?
What are some of the technologies being adopted by the industry now?
How successful are the current technologies? Why?
As we completed interviewing 6 customers as they shop at Walmart, 8 Walmart associates and reviewed over 10 articles. We come to synthesize our findings as following.
The research gave us important insights holistically. We became aware of the stakeholders we will potentially affect as we reinvent the service. We gained understanding from both employees and customers about their pain points and gain points shopping/working at Walmart. We also came to understand what are some of the important trends in technology that we can leverage when we are imagining a design for customers.
Stakeholder Relationship Map
A stakeholder relationship map informing us how are they affecting each other
Personas & Customer Journey Map
It became apparent to us Walmart has a wide range of customers. We should not categorized customers at Walmart based on traditional behavior personas. Rather, we should create personas based on their shopping behaviors. Therefore, we created 3 personas based on different shopping behaviors. Afterwards, we created a customer journey map for each persona to identify their pain points and gain points when they are shopping at Walmart and what are some of the opportunities available.
Customer Journey Map of all 3 types of personas
By creating the personas and customer journey map, we came to realize there are still a number of gain points that attract customers to shop at Walmart. For instance, they enjoy the variety of products available at Walmart and the competitive pricing. However, their experiences at Walmart are often negatively affected by difficulty to choose from a variety of products, the sense of being lost in a big store, the lack of help they find, the bulky cart to roam around as well as the long lines. These helped us to identify some of the pain points that can be addressed as we redesign the retail experience.
In order to understand how are customers and Walmart associates affecting each other during one's shopping journey in Walmart, our team also synthesized our findings into the following service blueprint to identify the opportunities in disrupting the experience:
Service blueprint indicating how are customers actions related to frontline and back-end Walmart associates
These are only some important findings from our research. There is actually a full documentation of our research if you are interested in reading the details, go check it out if you want something long to read or if you are interested :)
Our team has decided to focus on designing for customers that will be affecting Walmart the most in the next decade - Millennial and Generation Z. Therefore, we have decided to propose solutions that can be realized in 5-10 years from now, as we aim to leverage technologies that will be ubiquitous in the future. These are the technology trends we leveraged in our design:
Leveraging future technologies
Hologram/Augmented Reality will be extremely helpful in providing information specifically needed by individual customer
In-store location detection will help to identify where the customers exactly are and direct them when they are lost
RFID/Object recognition will help to reduce friction/shelves displays by removing the need of physical cart/large stock display as items can be scanned immediately by customers
Our team decided to focus on exploratory and leisure types of shoppers, as they are the ones that will still be interested in visiting the physical stores in the future. We started with ideas such as using shopping "clickers" that only requires customers to scan items on shelves and retrieving them from designated lockers later to retrieve the items in virtual cart. We also introduced availability indicators on associates' name tags to inform the customers if the associates are available to assist the customer at the moment, as well as AR glasses to direct users to where they need to go and provide comparison features to help them make purchasing decisions at ease. These ideas were presented to NCR corporation and Walmart representatives to seek feedback. Once we received feedback, we refined our ideas into 7 touch points as following(I highly recommend you to check out the video in intro if you haven't done so)
7 Touch Points
5. Call for associates
6. Wheel of Fortune
7. Smart Pod Delivery
With the new touch points introduced with Walmart Insight, we believe we will significantly improve one's shopping experience at Walmart by amplifying their gain points and eliminating their pain points as following:
Improved Customer Journey map
Improved customer journey map for exploratory shopper
Improved customer journey map for leisure shopper
This project is very different from other UI&UX design projects I have worked on. Because of that, I have learnt a lot that I didn't expect when I first started working on it. Here are some important takeaways
1. Consider multiple stakeholders involved
In this project, we had to design a service which involves and affects various stakeholders. This requires us to think holistically and consider how are different stakeholders affecting each other. By establishing stakeholder relationship map, it helped our team to view the problem from a different perspective. Then, we can dive back deep into the problems encountered by customers by referring to personas, customer journey map as well as service blueprint.
2. Utilize different tools to help visualize findings / showcase your idea
We utilized multiple tools to help us in this project - including customer journey map, service blueprint and stakeholder relationship maps. These helped us to synthesize our findings in multiple ways and identified opportunities available from different perspectives. We also made strong use of 3d modeling and concept video, since the touch points we designed cannot be easily prototyped in real life as they are based on technology trends. Yet the videos are highly appreciated and well understood by Walmart representatives. These tools helped us to communicate ideas very effectively.
3. Communication with stakeholders (clients)
We worked with NCR corporation and Walmart representatives on this project. Working and communicating with clients are definitely challenging. We had to make sure all of our materials are all ready for proper presentations and effective communications, leading to multiple iterations and refinements in all the documentation you see in this page. Yet they all helped us to present to various stakeholders with ease at the end.