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The Retail Lab Workshop by Shops of The Future

Hult International Business School – Thursday, November 30th 2017

Last Thursday, Stephane Monsallier, founder of Shops of the Future, facilitated a workshop which guided retail participants through our methodology. Simple and effective it empowers brands to design an action plan to improve their customer’s experience.

Four simple steps

Success often comes from following proven recipes. Shops of the Future is no different and its methodology follows four steps:

  • Assess your customer experience, identifying parts that could be improved for the benefit of consumers.
  • Invent new scenarios that will make the life of visitors to the stores better.
  • Select a scenario that is easy to implement, which brings the most value to the consumers.
  • Plan the fastest, cheapest deployment of that scenarios as a pilot, to get feedbacks from real customers.

Assess: Customer Journey in Slow Motion

Stephane asked the retailers not to apply the methodology on their own brands, but rather on their favorite brand. As he explained, most retailers are biased towards their own brands, because they know too much of the constraints behind-the-scene. Customers don’t care about the constraints about the brand, they just react to the experience.

He then asked participants to take two minutes to write down what they like in their shopping experience from their chosen brands and what they would suggest them to improve.

Once done, he took his own example: Starbucks Coffee, and guided the audience through a very detailed description of his experience at Starbucks, from finding a store to finally sitting and enjoying his drink. Discussing and analyzing each step of the experience of buying a shot of coffee takes longer than the actual transaction. We call this exercise Customer Journey in Slow Motion, as we slow down to understand the customer motivation at each decision point.

The attendees of the workshop discovered the difference between a simple “what can they do better?” question and the outcome of their own slow-motion journey analysis. They understood the benefit of taking the time to cut the journey in small pieces to precisely identify the intricate details that can create friction for the consumers.

The next step is to design effective solutions to remove these friction points. This is key to a successful Invent phase (all ideas are welcome). Stephane demonstrated that a customer journey that everybody takes for granted could be enhanced in many ways, creating shortcuts and alternative options for a better customers’ experience.

Next Steps​

The next steps of the workshop covered the Select phase (let’s make it quick) and the Plan phase (don’t spend all your budget). And we will make sure to cover them in upcoming articles and events.

If you missed last week’s workshop, you will have another chance to experiment the Shop of the Future methodology on January 25th. For more information contact us on our official account.

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