This study was carried out to assess the level of integration between the online and offline channels covered by the Motoabbigliamento brand.
Testing & UX
Sept 2020 - Nov 2020
Users are increasingly used to using different channels while engaging with a brand. They look at an item in a physical shop and then decide to buy it online. Or they browse products using their smartphone, read reviews and then buy them in a physical shop.
With the growing impact of apps and digital touchpoints on purchasing behaviour, customers have more channels to find and buy products.
To be successful, therefore, a brand must be able to offer a consistent and seamless experience: users need to find what they need regardless of the device and channel used.
Omnichannel is a strategic factor for growth and digital innovation in retail. In Italy, there is a growing focus on hybrid models of online-offline integration. Among the main ones, there is click&collect, enabled by 77% of the top retailers with eCommerce. Offline returns of products purchased online (32%) and virtual verification of product availability in shop (30%) are also very popular [source: Digital360].
The Omnichannel Customer Experience Observatory promoted by Politecnico di Milano highlighted the main tangible and intangible benefits of an omnichannel strategy.
Tangible benefits include increased sales, improved customer acquisition and more leads. As for intangible benefits, improved customer engagement, loyalty and satisfaction are recorded. In addition, personalised consumer communication, brand consistency across all touchpoints and the creation of new products (or the enhancement of existing ones) are improved. [source: Osservatorio Customer Experience].
Loyalty programmes are an essential aspect of an omnichannel strategy as they help to increase revenue. A brand should be able to intercept all the actions that users perform on different channels (on social media, on the website, on the app, in the shop) and reward them through a single system. In other words, the loyalty program must be omnichannel too.
During my collaboration with Sintra Digital Business s.r.l., I carried out a study to assess the level of omnichannel experience offered by Motoabbigliamento.
Motoabbigliamento has been selling clothing and accessories for motorcyclists since 2005. It has an e-commerce and 18 physical shops distributed throughout Italy. It has also an Instagram profile and a Facebook page, both with an integrated shop. So, this brand was a good candidate for the experimentation that Sintra's UX team and I wanted to pursue.
First, we defined the scenarios we wanted to test. We took as a reference those most common in the Italian retail scene:
For each scenario, we outlined a customer journey that took into account the online or offline reality of Motoabbigliamento. We then defined a series of specific tasks for the tester to perform. Each of these tasks was associated with one of the KPIs that IBM has identified in its Customer Experience Index (CEI):
We then identified a tester who would represent Motoabbigliamento's target audience and perform the tasks we had defined.
We asked our tester to carry out some online tasks, moving from the Motoabbigliamento Facebook page to e-commerce. The user carried out some tasks on a PC, others on a smartphone. After finding some information on the website, he purchased a product online.
For the execution of these tasks, we used the thinking aloud methodology: while performing the required activities, the user expressed his impressions aloud, highlighting positive and negative aspects of the experience. All sessions were recorded.
In this phase, we were able to assess the following aspects:
The tester went to the shop in Altopascio, where he made a purchase. The user analysed the whole experience in the store, and asked the staff questions about the products, any loyalty programmes and return procedures.
After purchasing an item, he returned it to the shop in Florence, concluding the experimentation.
Once the experience was over, we interviewed the tester to organise the information he collected.
We produced a detailed report with an analysis of all the data collected and proposals for improvement.
We then made a video summary of the experience (see below).
In the Italian retail scene there are still few companies adopting a true omnichannel approach.
This project gave me the opportunity to research current omnichannel strategies and their application, and allowed me to test my knowledge in the field, on a real brand.
It was really important to break down every single process into tasks and look at everything that revolves around every action a user does while engaging with a brand.
This kind of study was useful for me, but also for the client on whom it was conducted. it was essential to highlight the positive aspects of the experience, but also to focus on anything that could be improved.