Instore was a masters class project UC Berkeley and a collaboration with Dave Lester, Aijia Yan, and Gaurav Shetti.
The goal was to improve the in store shopping experience. Coupons, deals, and events are spread across various channels. Consumers spend much time to find good deals from their favorite brands.
- 25 million American use coupon apps each month.
- 20% of adult mobile phone users will use mobile phone coupons.
- People didn’t want another app to just browse through things, and search.
- People valued personalization.
- Word of mouth is still the most powerful sales driver.
- Redemption of coupons was still far too clumsy.
Research can help refine and confirm concept direction. I set out to explore users shopping habits, and identify some key pain points. I also wanted to talk with businesses and explore how they sought to engage customers. So I setup some informal interviews to get started.
Additionally I wanted to explore the current app ecosystem and see how others were approaching solutions to mobile shopping. So I did some competitive analysis.
I identified a set of common characteristics of all users who would have an interest in our app. They were smartphone users who cared about the shopping experience, but prefered to spend less.
Shopping habits could characterize them as an “Impulse buyer”, who enters a retail store with the intent or willingness to purchase something immediately once they like a brand/product/deal.
They only shop in specific stores, and are less likely to wander into unfamiliar stores.
Engaged in comparative shopping, and visiting nearby stores to locate the best deals. These budget conscious consumers may not always be driven by the necessity to save money, but instead the desire to feel like they found a good deal.
They might even end up not buying a product if they feel they did not get the best value for money. Sale, offers at retail stores (either through adverts or word of mouth) are something which drive the user to shopping.
I always try to get ideas down early so we can get feedback and continue to iterate. Below are some examples of early prototypes we shared with users.
Once I had a good beaing on exactly what users needed and the problems we were trying to solve I mapped out the entire end to end flow for the app.