Videoprototype

Group 07, Videoprototype, WS1819

Through our on-site observations and interviews in small physical shops we got valuable insights about the needs of storeowners regarding their problems in digitalization and logistics. In the following phase of ideation we collected our observations, sorted different underlying problems in clusters and found and refined solutions. Our most significant question was:

„How might we support retail owners to share knowledge, experiences and properties among each other?

Our solution to this issue is the website RetailRescuers, which creates a network among retail shop owners. Thus, they are not only no longer completely on their own regarding managing their shop business, they also have a platform to turn to in case of questions or problems. This website comes along with several features to make a storeowner’s everyday life easier. In special chat rooms you can talk to either other retail shop owners and exchange trends, experiences and advises or trained support staff, which tries to help you with their best knowledge and conscience. The community is also able to host networking events for its members to connect with each other in real life to establish mutual trust. The tutorial section offers a multitude of online tutorials about commonly occuring problems of retail shop owners. One of the most powerful tools of RetailRescuers is the store sharing option where shop owners can offer parts of their store space to others in order to share rent, costs and manpower and increase the customer base.

Our next steps would be presenting the website and video prototype to the aimed user groups and gathering their feedback. With the obtained information an over-worked and now usable prototype would be developed. Then the user groups would be observed while working with RetailRescuers. In this way, hidden or unrealized problems would be identified. There is still a long way to go but if our vision comes true, we’re sure it will make the life of retail shop owners a lot more comfortable.

Concept

Concept, Group 07, WS1819

One of the major problems we discovered during our user research is that many retailers of small physical shops are completely on their own regarding managing their shop business. They only have limited opportunities to turn to in case of questions or even problems.

Thus, the solution we decided on in order to solve this issue involves creating a network among retail shop owners. This could easily be done by forming an online community of storeowners via a website. There they can exchange trends or experiences and share know how by creating online tutorials about commonly occurring problems. In addition, the website comes along with a feature called store sharing where shop owners can offer parts of their store space to others in order to share costs and manpower and increase the customer base. The community is also able to host networking events for its members to connect and interact with each other.

To visualize our idea and later shoot a video prototype we created the storyboard above. We believe that this idea will greatly improve the life of retail shop owners!

User Research

Group 07, User Research, WS1819

Due to the significant expanding digitalization of everyday life, it is clear that it will sooner or later find its way into the retail trade. In fact, it can provide great potential for retail trade. The ubiquitous presence of digital devices around us offers a multitude of usage possibilities to make life more comfortable.

Despite that, small physical shops themselves tend to struggle from the competition of large online e-commerce marketplaces and as a consequence they often vanish.Thus, these online marketplaces bring a new set of possibilities as well as problems. To examine these possibilities and problems, we interviewed six retailers from different local shops in Munich. We were told about the problems and experiences of retailers regarding the digitalization and logistics of their shops. In addition, we also investigated the everyday life of retailers and made important findings.