Case Study 1: British Retailer

Opportunity

 
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How might we create a digitally-fuelled clothing experience for busy mums who need guidance and assistance that differentiates us now and in the future?

 
 

Background

The customer was facing falling profits, store closures, disruption from pure play online retailers and an ageing core customer base. They identified busy mums aged 35-50 as a key growth target but were struggling to find relevance with this demographic. They came to our team asking for a new omni-channel customer experience strategy, however, we reframed this challenge to be centred around busy mums instead. The project was sponsored by the customer’s CMO and Chief Digital Officer.

Our project team consisted of a researcher, a strategic designer (me), an interaction designer and a solution engineer. I acted as co-lead on the project.

 

Approach

1. Dscout research diaries

We recruited 55 busy mums across the UK using the dscout mobile research tool with some follow-up f2f interviews:

  • Explored shopping frustrations, recent customer service experiences, and where they go for help/guidance.

  • Synthesised our findings into research insights, jobs-to-be-done and an empathy immersion video.

  • Reframed how our customer viewed their problem from inward-looking & product-centric to mum-centric & needs-driven.

 

2. Concept co-creation sessions

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We held a number of co-creation sessions to facilitate ideation, share early concepts and prototype solutions:

  • Held an innovation workshop with a group of customer stakeholders to build empathy for busy mums, find alignment across functions and ideate around the challenge.

  • Held co-creation & testing sessions with busy mums to further our learnings and shape our concepts.

 

3. Mapping the future experience

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We created a number of deliverables to enable easy sharing of our vision and solutions across the customer’s organisation:

  • Customer journey booklet provided an overview of the customer experience, captured data and supporting technologies.

  • Prototypes provided tangible examples of what the new customer experience would feel like for busy mums.

  • Microsite and videos helped us to broadly share our vision and solutions across the customer’s organisation.

 

Vision

 
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We created a “full-stack” vision which connected together business ambitions with the customer experience and supporting technologies. This vision included the following deliverables housed within a microsite for easy sharing…

  • Research summary

  • High level business case & market sizing

  • Customer journeys & experience prototypes

  • Enterprise & systems architecture

  • Strategic roadmap

 

Solutions

 
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1. Maternity Bra Subscription Service

  • Job: “Help me get properly fitted bras during and after pregnancy” 

  • Opportunity: Properly fitting bras are important; especially throughout pregnancy and nursing when the body is changing so frequently. This is a challenge for new mums because of their restricted mobility and schedule. Therefore, repeatedly going to the store to be re-fitted isn’t really a practical solution. 

  • Solution: Letterbox Lingerie is a maternity and nursing bra subscription service, that helps busy mums get properly fitted bras without the fuss of repeatedly going into store.

  • Value:

  1. Builds on the customer's existing brand equity as bra fit experts.

  2. Leverages existing services and ties them together in a more meaningful way by creating a single customer view.

  3. Establishes a blueprint for future subscription-based value propositions with applications far beyond maternity bras.

 
 
 
 
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2. AI Personal Stylist

  • Job: "Help me find clothes that inspire and flatter my new figure from the comfort of my own home"

  • Opportunity: Motherhood brings new challenges to shopping and personal style. Time is scarce and busy mums have often lost confidence in their body image. They want to look good with minimal effort and fuss. However, only seeing 18 year old models for style inspiration makes it feel daunting and unachievable.

  • Solution: A digital styling companion app… designed for mums, by mums. It brings together curated content, community interactions, and conversational commerce, for a highly personalised mobile shopping experience.

  • Value:

  1. Deepens customer intimacy and collects customer data for personalisation.

  2. Helps to reduce online returns rates with more realistic expectations of how items will fit.

  3. Builds on existing technology capabilities; helping to scale and integrate it more seamlessly back into the broader business.

 
 
 
 
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3. Omni-Channel Fitting Room Services

  • Job: "Help me try on and purchase the right items while shopping with kids in-store"

  • Opportunity: Trying clothes on before purchase is the only way to guarantee they’ll be liked and fit well. However, finding clothes in-store and trying them on with kids in tow can be quite a challenge. Manoeuvring a pram down narrow aisles, squeezing into tiny changing rooms, dealing with tantrums… it’s enough to put any mum off the idea of going shopping!

  • Solution: Family fitting room combines together reserve & try on in-store booking tool, a redesigned fitting room and enhanced mobile services to make the most of a mum’s limited time in-store.

  • Value:

  1. Increases footfall in-store and reduces returns rates

  2. Empowers colleagues to personalise customer experience by leveraging stylist-curated edits and AI-powered recommendations

  3. Tells a compelling brand story: we are mum-centric and digital-first!