During our user research we discovered that many people like ordering online, because it is more convenient for them to have it delivered to their doorsteps. Still, many people also prefer going to the store to get consulting and to be able to see and touch the product before buying it.
We wanted to come up with a solution that would draw people that order online – because of convenience reasons – into retail stores, while also making it more convenient for people to buy more in one go when going to the city.
Our solution is called “Lock&Roll” and we offer lockers that are placed nearby malls, shopping centers or in the downtown. Users have the ability to lock their purchases away so they have their hands free to shop more. But most importantly, we also offer a delivery service for a small fee. Users can simply lock away all their shopping bags, can walk home with free hands, and have all their bags delivered to them when they arrive home.
During our research, it became obvious that especially young people find bookstores and books boring. In the following days, we developed various ideas to make bookstores and books attractive again.
The idea that finally prevailed is a holographic book cover. While holding the book, elements shown on the cover move. For example, they show a scene that appears in the book, or even a trailer designed specifically for the cover. This allows customers to get a brief impression of the book in a short period of time. In addition, the holographic cover draws attention to the book and is supposed to gain the interest of potential customers. Books displayed in the store window attract the attention of pedestrians who stop and look at the illustrated scene, giving them an incentive to enter the bookstore and buy the book.
We believe that this idea will make books interesting again, as well as encouraging young people to visit bookstores and buy and read books again.
After our interviews in different retail stores our group came to the conclusion that it is important to improve the costumer experience in a store whilst also helping workers with their daily tasks. We developed three ideas for products that could serve this purpose.
One idea we chose to dig deeper in is a smart shelf. It automatically detects when a product is out of stock and alerts a worker to fill it up. In addition it has a button that a costumer can press If he needs advice about a product. The shelf is linked with a mobile device that every employee carries around so the employee will get all the informations immediately.
This product would help the problem of product availability and make a purchase more enjoyable as a costumer would not feel like employees urge him to buy anything because he is only advised about a product if he wants to be.
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!
Durch unsere Beobachtungen haben wir herausgefunden, dass der große Vorteil des Einzelhandels im persönlichen Kontakt zwischen Kunde und Verkäufer besteht. Deswegen haben wir ein Konzept für ein System entwickelt, dass den Kundendialog fördern soll, indem es erstens den Verkäufer von einigen Aufgaben entlastet und zweitens dem Käufer eine Wohlfühlathmosphäre im Laden bietet.
Eine große Aufgabe des Verkäufers ist es im Laden die Präsentationsfläche zu verwalten und zu schauen, dass immer genügend Auslage vorhanden ist. Dies wird eingespart, indem im Laden nur noch Anschauungsmaterial liegt und sich der Rest im Lager befindet. Der Kunde sagt nur, was er haben möchte, und die Produkte werden in einem effizienter zu organisierendem Lager zusammengestellt und dem Kunden gebracht. Dadurch wird Ladenfläche frei, die für den Kunden gemütlich eingerichtet werden kann. So kann er entspannt auf die Fertigstellung seiner “Bestellung” warten.
After some User Research our team agreed that the sense of community is a good opportunity for retailers. We have developed some ideas on how to create such a sense of community. With some Design Thinking methods, we developed an idea that met our requirements.
With our app, booksellers can organize book exchange events. People who no longer want to read their old books can offer their books on the app, browsing through the available books from other customers. If you are happy with the book selection, then you can take part in the book exchange events for a certain fee. For the fee you get a voucher from the respective bookstore. You can exchange your old book in the bookstore and buy a new one with the voucher. During all this process you can meet new or old people and talk about the books.
After doing some research in retail stores and thoroughly analyzing the interviews, we came up with three ideas. These ideas mainly deal with the problem that for many small shops it is too complex to digitize their inventory. The best solution, we figured out, is a smart way to add the products to a database. Therefore we developed an idea for an application which scans a single product or even a collection, e.g. bookshelf.
With the help of this technology it would be a lot easier for retail stores to catalog their inventory. However the main advantage for customers is that they can simply get information, e.g. about the availability of products. This avoids dissatisfaction of customers who weren’t successful in purchasing the things, they were looking for.
If desired it is also possible to easily set up an online ordering service. Through this, the online presence of the retail shops is extremely improved. Furthermore the attractiveness of the store to customers increases.