Developed a service platform for Sainsbury's to engage customers to plan, shop, cook, and connect with
the local community.
Project type: School Project—Royal College of Art Project Partner: Sainsbury's Discipline: Service Design, UX/UI design, Graphic Design Date: 6 weeks, April 2015 – May 2015 Role: User Research, Customer Journey Design, Workshop Facilitation, Sitemap, Wifreframe, UX/UI Design Mentor: Gus Desbarats Team: Kaneeka Agarwal, Klaudia Do, Kristi Hodak
For most mothers, even a 30-minute meal seems like everyday challenge. Deciding what to buy or what to cook
for the next week is every weeks hurdle. I developed a service platform that will enhance Sainsbury's
customer experience by helping customers plan their shop, get inspired, and connect with the local community.
The project was presented to the head of design at Sainsburys' and the client was pleased
with the outcome.
I defined high level missions:
Provide seamless experience between online and offline channels.
Engage customers and build purposeful relationship.
Sainsbury’s is the second largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom. Sainsbury's
is facing new due to changes in shopping patterns, new technology, and an increase in the
elderly population. This 6 weeks project explores Sainsbury's 2020 retail vision with a focus
on replacing the current shopping routine by providing a seamless combination of new online
and in-store experience.
By analyzing the brand, I learned that Sainsbury's brand has integrity, trust and loyalty by
helping people eat better, reducing waste, and building communities. Sainsbury's committed
to help customers to live well for less. However, in reality, consumers are tired of making
decisions for themselves and their families. They want a healthy lifestyle in which they learn
more about how their food is sourced, or simply want to connect with their local community.
Early Stage Research
I facilitated user research with internal stakeholders, such as front-line staffs, director
of Brixton branch and head of design. I learned about customer missions, products, stores,
display strategies, psychology in store, and customer segmentation. I will omit details to comply
with the non-disclosure agreement. I also interviewed a few customers at the store who were mostly mothers.
From the research I learned that for most mothers, even a 30-minute meal seems like everyday challenge.
They have to carry heavy grocery bags and make sure everyone in the family eats healthy and is happy with
the home made meals, which can make planning a meal extra complicated. We rarely observed a meal in which at least one family member didn't
complain about the food they were served. Varying schedule among the family members double the chores:
cooking and washing dishes. In addition, food plans are often ruined by spoiled food, which leads to wasted food
resources. Deciding what to buy or what to cook for the next week is every weeks hurdle.
"I am so overwhelmed with planning, shopping, and cooking because I am the only peson in my family making
all the decisions around food for my husband and three children."
- Busy mom with 3 kids (43)
To gain a better understanding of Sainsbury's strategy and discover insights, I designed workshops.
The workshops were conducted with 2 different age groups: 8 young participants and 8 old participants.
For our end product we ultimately targeted mothers. However, we invited those groups that aren't familiar
with grocery shopping. If our end product could benefit those customers to shop without any instructions
or special adaptations, we believed mothers, who shop everyday can easily adapt to the service.
I used different research methodologies to provoke customers to reveal pain points and ideas.
(e.g., I created index cards with illustrations of superheroes, which represents the different
customer segments and asked interviewees to describe how they would shop.) I then contributed to
gathering, categorizing, analyzing qualitative data, and brainstorming insights from the workshops.
Visualized maps that illustrate a user’s emotional experience through the journey of interacting with Sainsbury's and other retails.
I hypothesised each age group would have different pain points. (e.g., the young group would have poor experience while waiting in a
que and the old group would have a poor experience on the way back home with heavy bags or not knowing how to use self-checkout machines.)
Then I identified the hot-spots, which is an area of customer irritation that has a high potential for improvements.
Based on qualitative data from workshops with people of different backgrounds, my team
and I created a user profile that depicts the user's personal characteristics, pain points,
behavioral and emotional journey.
From the research, I learned that fresh products purchases are sensory - people like to smell, touch
and choose what they are going to eat. Whereas commodities are often bought online because people don’t
really need to see this kind of products. Consumers want to know where their food is being sourced from
and be a part of their community. They are tired of making decisions for either themselves or their families
about what they should buy, eat, cook, which brand to choose, and which offer would actually save them money
and avoid waste. However, people want to have a healthy lifestyle and make smarter decisions, but they have
no time to do so.
How might we help Sainsbury’s to do all the heavy liftings for mums so that they can plan, shop, and cook with ease and adopt healthier lifestyle and make smarter shopping decisions?
Our research provided us a very clear direction, which led us to develop Sainsbuddy.
Sainsbuddy is a service platform that will change the customer experience by helping
customers plan their shop, get inspired, and connect with the local community before
they go to the store.
I named the service 'Sainsbuddy' because Sainsbuddy is a service that assist customers,
staffs, and the local community. In addition, 'Sainsbuddy's' carries a memorable and
friendly presence, which align with the Sainsburys' brand spirit.
Plan The Shop
Sainsbuddy will help customers plan their shop and menu for cooking. Many customers buy
the same products over and over again for their weekly shop. The app will help customers
purchase items they have bought previously.
Preventing Wasted Food
Households in the United Kingdom churns out 7.3m tonnes food waste.
Sainsbuddy's will encourage users to minimize wasted food resources and cook, rather
than purchase ready-made food.It will feature a history section and notification section
where the user will be notified about not only the expiration date, but will also has a
list of recipes that the user can make using the ingredients that are about to expire.
Click & Collect
Sainsbuddy does heavy-liftings for the users. The user can select and pay desired items on
Sainsbuddy and in-store staff will collect items in the bag. In addition, Sainsbuddy encourage
family members to share shopping tasks. After the user finishes online shopping, the users
family is enabled to pick up the items at the store.
Eight in ten British women admitted cooking the same dishes over and over again.
Sainsbuddy encourage users to cook variety of dishes by recipe sharing feature.
The user can upload their own recipes and share them with other users. As the user gets certain likes,
Sainsbury's will invite users to have a recipe demo at a local store. The user will receive a certain
amount of a nectar loyalty incentive, which is a loyalty card scheme in the United Kingdom.
The online experience will seamlessly tranlsted into in-store experience. We envision Sainsbuddy's to be
the space that engages the customers by offering sensory experience, allowing them to access
food ingredients. Sainsbuddy will feature farmer's market and in-store restaurants. Customers will be
able to purchase the ingredients from the food in the restaurants and shop with the installed tablet device
while waiting or eating.
Our focus has been on how to make the current shopping experience more convenient,
provide a seamless experience between different channels, and make customers stay
exclusively with Sainsbury’s. Sainsbuddy will bring Sainsbury’s to your living room.
Through this project I have gained user research experience. I executed not only
desktop research but also field research by brainstorming, stakeholder analyzing, user journey
mapping, shadowing and interviewing. During the co-creation workshop I tried research methodologies
such as provocations and emotional journey. I feel that I discovered core problems and user needs.
I defined feasible, profitable, and usable service by 2020. In addition, I believe branding and
video demonstration of the interface is nicely done.
I feel that I could have done rapid prototyping/testing and executing implementation strategy
if project was managed better. In addition, interface could be more visually polished.
"You took the brief and exactly understood the core problems. I love the ideas of Sainsbuddy.
Congratulations to the innovation." - Head of design at Sainsbury's