When pricing came under pressure for Sainsbury’s and mobile technology enabled widescale diversification of shopping habits, they needed to shift the focus for customer experience design from tactical deployment, to a strategic capability, in order to remain competitive.
The Engine Service Design Team implemented multiple major projects alongside the Sainsbury’s CX Team, resulting in increased revenue, customer satisfaction and reduced costs. Today, customer experience design is well-deployed across all functions in Sainsbury’s, the digital team is fully-integrated and Sainsbury’s now employs a team of service designers.
Client: Client: Sainsbury’s Duration: 3 years Sector: Retail Duration:
When Sainsbury’s pioneered the self-service supermarket in the UK in the 1950s, the role of the shopper changed forever. Over the last ten years, consumers’ expectations of shopping have changed dramatically and Sainsbury’s have continued to lead the way to offer choice and exceed customer expectations.
Future of shopping
Supermarket shopping has become more complicated. As a trend, UK families no longer do one sizeable weekly shop and increasingly use supermarkets for food ‘on demand’ (although Covid-19 has pushed this trend back a little). Supermarkets sell much more than food, diversifying into non-foods, mobile phones and financial services. More and more shoppers are combining visits to physical stores, with online click-and-collect and home delivery. The result? It’s now much more challenging than it used to be to segment shoppers. The Engine Service Design Team worked with data from extensive studies, customer feedback and qualitative research to define a new set of Customer Personas. These became important in support of cross-functional working, enabling everybody to talk about customers in the same way.
Focusing senior leaders on the emerging commercial role of services
Sainsbury’s saw these trends continuing and needed senior stakeholders to work together to imagine and anticipate how stores and technology should change in response. The Engine Service Design Team researched leading-edge retail and emerging retail technology. An important early step was to engage the Operating Board to define, on one page, a service proposition and principles for the supermarket. Engine’s “Future of Shopping” project in 2015 helped focus senior leaders on the strategic opportunity of designing new services and one customer experience.
Small customer-driven projects became a programme
Engine started working with UK supermarket (Sainsbury’s) in 2014, to establish a cross-functional, collaborative role for service design. We helped make a case for using Engine’s Service Design System on five major projects within Sainsbury’s and evolved a comprehensive CX Design Toolkit. We delivered these projects as a customer experience programme emerged around them, triggering further work, facilitated by an expanded Customer Experience Team and using the tools we’d created.
The strategic programme was formalised with the objectives to improve customer satisfaction of Sainsbury’s overall, customer transactions and consumers’ positive perception of Sainsbury’s and work is on-going.
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