This project was created within the innovation lab of Merkle Netherlands. Within this lab are talented people always discovering how new technologies have the link with Customer Relationship Management (CRM). When a new potential technology has been picked, a team of specialists will work for one week. This week is within the Google Design Sprint methodology. At the end, they should come up with a prototype which they can test with real customers on the last day.
As Merkle is a data-driven marketing agency, the brief was about finding a product that combines the Internet of Things (IoT) with CRM. It didn't have to fit the need of existing clients, nor was it meant to be sold by Merkle.
Brainstorm & Concept
After intensive brainstorm sessions, we decided that a fitting room would give us enough potential to showcase the possibilities of the IoT/CRM combination. The fitting room can scan the customer's loyalty card and the chosen shop articles. Therefore, it is easy for the customer to pick out other sizes or colours. From a store, perspective is it a solution to gather a complete insight into the target audience.
Goals & Challenges
The goal was to complete an MVP prototype within one week, where 2.5 days were effectively for creating the prototype. I was responsible for the UI/UX and front-end development of the screen. Because ideas are stretching but time is limited, we tried to keep it as MVP as possible. I kept the UI simple but with a clear UX because the front-end coding part would be even more timeconsuming. We had two back-end developers in the team, which I collaborated with to connect the IoT devices to the front-end interactions.
The MVP has quite a compact User Flow. The challenge was to receive and deliver different messages to and from the connect IoT devices to make this flow possible.
The system is revolutionary and a new digital product which requires human interaction. To shorten the adoption phrase, I created an onboarding system by creating a tour throughout the system whenever a customer wishes to use the fitting room.
Next Best Offer
The visitor from the fitting room does scan his or her loyalty card. On this card is personal online information available because of an online profile filled with purchase history, interests and provided information. The fitting room does add profile enrichment to it like interests of potential purchases, the number of minutes visiting the fitting room, styling, and more. Based on this enlarged profile can selected products be recommended via the website or display advertisements. This information could potentially gather more sales.
Ease of Service
The customer of the store would like the fitting room because of their ease of service. It is easy to pick other colours or sizes or just ask for advice. A total amount of all the brought clothing will also be calculated, resulting in a reduction of unpleasant surprises.
The team has created a prototype of the fitting room within the innovation lab. We have created demo profiles and items of clothing. The prototype can be used together with already existing clients to discuss the possibilities of IoT and CRM.
Validation, better known as user testing, took place on the last day of the sprint. We invited five participants and gave them the task to pick clothing of their liking, scan their loyalty card in the fitting room and gave them tasks such as 'Imagine this sweater of your taste didn't fit you properly. 'How would you request a different size?', 'How would you ask for general styling advice?' and 'What features are you missing?'. Traditionally, one team member would guide the participant and ask questions while other team members are observing and taking notes from an unseen location. We placed a camera above the screen (not recommended in a fitting room) and a live video of the screen to improve observation.
The tests gave us some patterns in feedback such as:
This validation would be helpful when they are relatively small to implement (such as hiding items). When they are larger, they are useful when the team can work it out further.
Within the company, there is always a considerable curiosity towards innovation projects. Therefore, we present and demonstrate our process and results with as many people as possible. I had the opportunity to tell more about the prototype and show user behaviour.
Because this particular project had a very tight deadline of one week, of which only two and a half days of prototyping (design + coding), there are many elements which I would improve. For instance, the UI has been kept very simple so that front-end development would be done shortly, but I would make it look more attractive. I would also add the functionality to order unavailable items online. We thought about this during the project, but there was no time to execute it. After the process, I also don't understand the purpose of the welcome screen. It would be better if it just jumped to the main screen after your members' card has been scanned. On the main screen, you are now unable to remove items you would return. That way, the total price doesn't make much sense anymore as only a few people purchase everything they carry into the fitting room. Removing items would be high on the wish list. Another excellent addition and cross-sell implementation would be recommended outfits. When bringing a particular sweater, matched with your personal data, it could suggest matching pants.