A tool to give salespeople a way to organize and leverage a customer's online shopping data, and give customers the benefit of having a personalized in-store shopping experience.
An omnichannel customer data tool
Many furniture retailers are still in the dark ages of managing leads, sales, employees, and customers via pen-and-paper record keeping amongst a landscape of towering filing cabinets. We wanted to create a modern way to empower salespeople, with data from their ecommerce site, to better understand and cater to their shoppers, leading to better organization, increased sales, and improved customer satisfaction through a better omnichannel experience.
As the design lead, it was my job to figure out the wants and needs of our client's management, store associates, and customers, and design an application that would revolutionize the way they handle omnichannel business.
Where to begin?
We were no strangers to the world of furniture ecommerce, and had an idea of how helpful this product could be, but how much product was "too much" and would they see the same value in the quality-of-life features we thought we could deliver?
We based our initial concepts on interviews we held with current clients. Their wants and needs were clear, but were they shared by the broader industry? Part of the goal was to attract prospects with a product our competitors didn't have, driven by research and industry-specific knowledge, and show current and prospective clients we understood their business needs better than anyone else. To find out, we went to them directly, in-person and unannounced.
Our objective was to gather information about furniture sales associates' interactions with customers and their day-to-day operations, see if it matched what we thought we knew, and get feedback on a light prototype we'd created from the sales associates who'd actually be using it. We outlined an interview template to guide our conversation and interaction, put the prototype on an iPad, as it was meant to be operated on, and mapped out an interview path for nearly two dozen retailers, large and small, across the greater Boston area.
Reception to our in-person cold calling was mixed (feel free to ask for anecdotes), but the research proved incredibly valuable. Some of our takeaways were:
Many furniture companies are still in the dark ages - the threshold for entry/use of a product like this should be low
Appointments make up a fair amount of business and managing time is difficult
Customers rarely buy on initial visit, so managing/tracking them (customers) is important
A customer insight page would definitely be useful to associates, but it needs to feel innocuous
Store associates want to be self reliant, and access to detailed product information would help with that
Store associates have a need for schedule automation and clarity
Store associates need a way to visually communicate with customers who lack furniture vocabulary/interior design skills
Store associates are concerned about getting the commission they deserve - there's internal distrust
After synthesizing that information, I was able to map it to OneView's proposed features and see how what we wanted to build would solve for these pain points and insights. I was also able to see that associates had no issue navigating the prototype, which told me we were on the right track with the interface.
With insight on which features to keep, enhance, and prune, we were able to move forward and iterate on the next version of the product. Continuing with this iterative process led us to a product we're proud of, the general layout of which you can see below. For a closer look or an in-depth walkthrough, feel free to reach out!
What do the customers experience?
A true omnichannel shopping experience that streamlines their journey and removes or smooths out potential bumps in the road. Scroll through the example below to see how: