How we guide our clients through a project with a consumer-centric approach.
In our previous posts in this PeopleDriveDigital series, 'Why digital?' & 'Defining Digital Retail', we covered the reasons and expectations brands have to create retail experiences of the future, then we defined what digital and physical components make up this type of environment and experience.
We have covered the basics needed to create the relevant context, now we’re going to look at what experiences guide an implementation and introduction of a new concept for us at Digital Innovation.
To put it simply, the key to our approach, is starting with the consumer experience at the center and then working towards the most effective digital solution to enhance that experience from there.
Once ideation and scope planning are completed together with our clients, we will take a closer look at all the different elements involved in making a vision come to life. For us, that means managing the entire end-to-end process.
We cover contracting and supervising a multitude of sub-contractors, from architecture and maintenance to electrical and network providers. Managing these processes and stakeholders according to our clients’ requirements, frees up their time and offers a solution to focus on the desired experience.
While furniture, lighting, surface materials and displays are the final touchpoints of a brands’ future retail experience, we also look at the unseen elements, ensuring that all concerned parties are fully aware of obligations or potential impact on their work.
These unseen elements include basic infrastructure needs like IT procedures and internet connections, product lifecycle management of all digital touchpoints, service and maintenance agreements with all suppliers, content management systems, as well as content creation according to potentially unique formats and communication channels.
Providing Structure To create a bespoke consumer-centric experience, within a project, clear actions and deliverables as well as the technology used to merge a brands’ physical and digital touchpoints need to be defined. While each project is unique, we generally split our digital spaces concept into four phases. Discovery, planning, design and iteration, and finally, implementation. Each of these phases always contains multiple actions and deliverables. We’re sharing this experience, to help brands understand how easy it is to underestimate the effort required in each phase and to keep the focus on where it’s needed. With our proven track record, we know this approach works and delivers exactly the results a brand expects. If you want to make changes or reduce your scope in the project, the framework helps to explain what is needed from your end to ensure the project still is a success.
Discovery Phase During phase 1 ‘Discovery’, we kick-off the project by doing an as-is analysis of your entire retail ecosystem to find a contextual baseline for all work to come. Activities in this phase include a review of existing documentation, store and space visits, as well as first stakeholder interviews to begin with some probing questions around the as-is situation.
The documentation review helps us understand the level of current efforts regarding consumer behavior, existing store layouts and concepts, digital points of interactions already in use, technical infrastructure and other foundations. Store visits as the next activity, aims to evaluate which goals were actually realized across retail locations.
Based on these insights, we move on to the first meetings with stakeholders, to ask more specific and informed questions about the current way of working and the brands’ retail experience, as well as the goals they are trying to achieve.
Armed with results from our first analysis of the input and results discovered during these first activities, we plan deep dive workshops with all parties involved as a next step.
We prepare relevant best practices and additional trend or industry-based impulses to ideate and brainstorm together with our clients.
The results of these deep dive sessions allow us to find the most relevant ideas to leverage the most suitable technology solutions to realize your vision. The outcomes generally also include cost estimates required to realize your efforts, alongside the expected benefits.
Digital Retail Series We will continue to expand on the following phase in our approach, their activities and outcomes as part of our new Digital Retail series. Stay tuned for more insights into our experiences around the future of retail. In the meantime, we would love to hear about your experiences and perspectives on the matter. Do you have an understanding of your current as-is state in retail? Are retail spaces, partners and technology selected with your consumers’ experience at the core?