Retail with Design Thinking

Reshaping Retail with Design Thinking

Retail with Design Thinking! In the last three years in China, “new retail” is now an extremely popular concept that blends offline and online retail. At frog, a lot of our clients are interested in developing the “new retail” experiences.

While we are glad how the marketplace is accepting this idea with excitement, we typically begin our collaborations with our customers by asking them “What do you mean by new retail?” and “What business goal do you want to achieve by adopting this new concept?”

Transformation of retail is usually an intricate process that requires a systematic approach to diagnosis and investigation. Through our work with retail customers we have identified three main factors that are essential to the transformation process including human, product and service and the touchpoint. At first glance they appear to be commonplace and easy to understand. However, we find that these aspects are often undervalued or often misunderstood. There are three ways to get the most value from the retail transformation process by identifying new opportunities as well as filling unmet requirements in the marketplace.


Be Human-centric, not just user-centric

Although “user-centric” thinking has been popularly accepted and embraced We have observed that businesses often do not recognize the significance of the people who comprise their business or their services. In the case of retail services, the employees directly affects the experience of customers. Instead of being exclusively “user-centric,” we encourage our customers to remain “human-centric” by engaging every employee in orchestrating seamless and memorable experiences.

Beauty Farm Enhance the customer experience with a human-centric approachLast year we worked with the top beauty-care company within China, BeautyFarm, to create a brand new venture which focuses on the younger generation. After a thorough examination of the experience of staff members in traditional beauty services, we discovered that in order to assist customers for an 1.5 hour duration the staff had to perform four roles such as receptionist, consultant masseur, and customer service. However, every employee was a distinct and unorganized method of working. Due to this, they were not able to communicate effectively with their clients. In addition, they were not equipped with the equipment and infrastructure for sharing the data their customers required to give them an overall experience. The organizational structure and processes of their staff did not just result in an over-staffed staff, but also caused internal barriers in delivering an effortless and enjoyable experience.

We suggested a new model for staff with a brand new role, Xurface beauty peer. The role is accountable for the complete experience of every customer that enters the store. The new model for staff in the store allows the staff to be more flexible and adaptable. Each beauty associate is able to provide greater involvement throughout their specific interactions with customers. They also provide an intimate and memorable customer experience.


Check that any new products are in the service of your existing offerings

Although e-commerce is certainly responsible for a large portion of retail businesses annual sales, it could be a drag on margins due to costly digital marketing campaigns. Additionally the e-commerce industry is reaching an end of its hyper expansion and the traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are getting renewed attention. Many companies are seeking to use “service” to expand their revenue models. Based on our experience it is typical to see businesses trying to transform themselves into lifestyle brands by incorporating food courts and bars to their stores, with the intention that customers will stay engaged for in the foreseeable future. But service shouldn’t be a mere an add-on. It should enhance the benefits of existing product options and help build a deeper relationship with customers.


Sportswear The importance of data is greater than the way you shop

When purchasing shoes and clothes, shoppers need to test things out. They want to determine what style is appropriate and if the material is comfortable. This is a major gap between offline and online retail experience. To help bridge this gap an athletic wear brand provides an 3D scan option for the entire body and feet. With the assistance of their team, customers will receive precise scan results with the 3D model of their body and feet. The company also can use more accurate information to draw from when suggesting shoes and clothing to their clients.

JNBY “More than a Box” The subscription-based stylists are looking for to find clothing that does not just fit their body and comfort however, they also have their own unique fashion. We at frog have asked us how we can help users discover their personal style through a broad selection of clothing styles especially through online shopping? JNBY is a top Chinese fashion house, has launched the first subscription-based stylist program known as “More than Box” last year. Users can avail personalized advice from the stylist who is featured with an annual cost of 99RMB. Additionally, they get each of their “boxes” with inspirational clothing choices that include an “try first, buy later” option that can be used up to six times per year.

This kind of experimentation provides an array of possibilities for personalized recommendations. This method lets us not rely on analysis of previous purchase data in order to promote products to the customer and instead to develop an individualized, more personal and a deeper understanding of a user’s preferences. These needs are then converted into beautiful boxes without the obligation to buy in advance and encourages customers to browse further.

Create a clear strategy for your network of points of contact

Retail spaces are gaining their power because of the slowdown of e-commerce’s growth, especially in the field of food and beverages and services and fashion–physical stores have become the principal platform to engage customers. But, moving into (or back to) the brick-and-mortar world won’t have its own set of difficulties.

In the retail ecosystem service design, touchpoints form the bridge between the customer and the brand. In order to achieve real interaction with the intended audience it’s essential to develop an effective plan for these touchpoints that draws on the strengths of a brand and its distinctiveness.

“On the Way” Locations data-driven store positioning and site selection decisionsWhen approached by a fast-food chain to investigate potential business opportunities to open hundreds of locations we employed a technique known as “location intelligence” to gather important insights from customers. By defining four important factors, we were able determine the strengths of each location. What is the density of work relative to residential density? Are they well connected to public transportation? Is the area competitive?

One of the most important insights gleaned from the qualitative research of users was that the location is important to commuters who are buying breakfast while they commute to work. They aren’t inclined to walk across the road if they don’t have to. Inspired by this that we looked further into the traffic flow of pedestrians in the morning hours of peak traffic. Within the confines of two blocks, we were able to discover “on the way” spots with the potential to draw the largest breakfast customers. These findings not only gave an accurate assessment of the performance of the store, but also helped inform a possible site choice for breakfast-related services.

Essential aspects to creating user-friendly customer experiences based on design

Learn about the needs of customers and viewpoints:The Design thinking prioritizes the customer’s viewpoint as the most important factor in the process of establishing. The resolution of the most pressing consumer issues can result in an item that is customer and therefore, providing the user a pleasant experience.

Make Personas by making personas about the customers, companies are able to get closer to the inner psyche of the buyer. The persona should comprise an illustration of the fictional persona, a demographic characteristics, traits, motivations, requirements, problems, and customer testimonials.Empathy mapping, which is a process that allows for collaboration to gain greater insights into consumers, is able to provide a complete picture the consumer and what actions they may take as a result of their thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

The mapping of the customer’s journey Maps of the customer’s journey allow companies to comprehend the customer’s wants and needs, and consequently establish relationships by addressing issues at every touchpoint.According to research the use of customer journey maps can increase ROI on marketing investments by 24 percent, and reduce cycle times by 16 percent.

Create prototypes and roadmaps for products:Creating product roadmaps and prototypes prior to launching the final product reduces possibility of making mistakes and allows the possibility of further development. Re-creating the product with feedback from customers is a great way to develop a prototype for customer experience and test designs. These tests can result in secure results prior to scaling up the product.

Testing of products using the end-user:Product Testing with the customer is among the most crucial steps in the design-thinking process. Simulated environments are designed to allow customers to try out the products , and their interaction is recorded using different tools such as the heat map, touchscreen maps screens, user analytics platforms, etc.


Although Design thinking plays a crucial role in creating customer experiences, particularly in the retail industry It’s more of a shift in the mind and is often accompanied by business and organizational challenges like:

The short term:

Enterprises see design thinking as a short-term approach to a specific project or product. In a time where the technology and experiences of consumers are always changing, a short-term method and perspective might not produce the greatest results from the design-thinking strategy. The entire ecosystem that consumers exist and will be in the future prior to defining the strategy should be taken into consideration.


Given that the number and variety of touch points for customers in an ever-connected and accessible time that requires scaling the design-thinking approach to every touch point could be a daunting undertaking for business.

A challenge for speed:

Global brands need to communicate with and interact with customers and provide a personalized experience to hundreds of customers simultaneously. This may require technology and access to an enormous amount of data and processes implemented. Effective design must be efficient and also stimulating. Companies face difficulties in doing this at every level.

The issue of many stakeholdersThe method of design-thinking is an iterative process, Data and Analytics-driven. In this constantly changing environment, managers of products as well as companies should be prepared to create a Minimum Viable product and then refine the product based on feedback from consumers and data , and then expand it in a step-by-step manner.

Direct Participation of Consumers

Design Thinking requires direct involvement of consumers who are allowed to take part in the design process. The design team should be aware of the limitations of existing systems and integrations in use.

The most innovative businesses, around the world, utilize design as a resource that integrates to develop more effectively and efficiently. Based on the DMI index, design-led companies outperform S&P by 228 percent.

As more businesses turn to design thinking to improve their customer experiences and products professional assistance can help ensure quicker time-to-value. With InfoVision’s experts in design thinking globally, brands are taking a step into the shoes of their clients and describing their preferences before they’ve become the norm.

Improve your design thinking strategies to increase the share you have in your the wallet.




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