We were approached by International fabric giant, Welspun, create a new way for customers to discover their area rugs in retail stores.
The problem with shopping for area rugs is that they’re often rolled up or stacked in piles on the floor, which makes them difficult to move and go through all the design patterns and textures.
We went to Home Depot, Lowes, and Target to observe the current customer experience in area rugs. We took notes of the user interaction with the rugs. What did they do first? Did they dive in and start digging through rugs, or was there any hesitation, confusion, or frustration? After observing some of the users we asked them a few open ended questions about their overall experience. What we discovered is that many shoppers had trouble going through the piles, and didn’t know exactly what size or shape would work best in certain rooms. Employees were not always nearby or knowledgeable enough to answer questions.
We made an affinity diagram to organize the data collected. What we found was that many of the shoppers were experiencing the same issues that led to indecision and abandonment. We then brainstormed solutions that would solve these issues by making the process more informative and convenient for shoppers in a digital experience.
We made personas from customer profiles, behavior, answers to questions and comment we gathered. We used these personas to make sure that different customers with different experiences in the process were all being addressed as part of the solution.
Customer Journey Map
We made journey maps for the personas, stakeholders, and touchpoints in the customer experience. Using this data we could map out the best customer experience to include in our app.
Through the process we were able to evaluate the current area rug shopping experience, and find ways it could be improved in a digital experience.
Some of our solutions included:
- Creating different ways to shop for rugs by: style, shape, size, pattern, and color.
- Our navigation had many pathways throughout the app that enabled users to quickly and easily get to other sections from any page.
- A stationary top menu housed buttons for home, call an associate, and design ideas to make important links clearly visible at all times from any page.
- We included a design section that simply showed users how different sizes and shapes of rugs fit into various rooms.
- Rugs could be scaled to see extreme details, with important information, and rugs could be purchased with the touch of a button, or users could email their favorites to themselves and share them on social media.
The end-cap kiosk and software debuted at Welspun’s 5th Ave showroom in NYC during Market Week in Sept 2016, and was a huge success. Welspun received orders from retailers such as Home Depot and Lowes, who have integrated them into some of their stores and showed a 30% increase in sales at those locations. The software also helped them track data to find their most popular styles, best sellers and manage inventory and restocking across retailers. The end result of the project is that the application accomplished exactly what it set out to do by enhancing the in-store shopping experience, and making it ‘fun to find the perfect rug‘.