Clearly, the proposition was not just to retail like other e-commerce players and be another “me too” in the market. With its unique strengths, operational model and customer segments, Durian required an approach that would suit their positioning.
We started with a 4 day intensive workshop with the key stakeholders and addressed several concerns like customer profiles, product proposition, brand positioning, revenue and operational model among others. What emerged out of this exercise was a rock-solid strategy to initiate Durian’s online presence.
One of the key strengths of Durian was the sheer knowledge base, coming from three decades of leadership in furniture manufacture and retail. Durian had a deep understanding of what their core customers look for and the same was enabled in their online presence.
Customers make multiple visits before they zero-in on what they want to purchase and there are several questions they’d want to ask, before buying furniture. Many of the customers’ questions were addressed by providing ample information online; yet helping them schedule their store visit at ease. Customers can now shortlist items and send them to the store, to physically witness them and transact with sales rep.
At Think Design, we always believe that products are meant for users, not the other way around. We wanted to extend the same philosophy to Durian’s online presence as well.
During customer insights workshop, Durian’s sales reps had interesting insights to share. Most of the customers look for either of the four attributes of furniture when they buy at the store: Type of furniture (if it’s a chair, whether they are looking for a stackable, rocking or folding chair), the main material, the geometry and the style. It is this insight that led to categorizing Durian’s online library in a way, it is relevant to its customers.
Along with defining User Experience strategy, Think Design also envisaged content strategy that would help Durian position right. As a result, the new partners were identified and empanelled during design development phase. The portal now features product videos, product dimensions, color palette, look book and other important information that helped user comprehend products better thereby help in decision making.
We looked at brainstorming through business model canvas framework, factoring in Durian’s online strategy. During the process, we looked at alternative ways of how online fits in the larger scheme of this: Whether it becomes a new revenue stream with its own structure (which would mean incubation or spin-off) or alternatively, online augments offline and is integrated into the ecosystem of Durian. Through participant consensus we took the alternative route: Online strategically augmenting offline through a well-integrated and value added approach. This became the basis for many decisions that would influence user experience design and later, technology architecture and web property development.
Post launch and within a period of three months, footfalls in Durian stores improved by as much as 30% resulting in higher than expected sales. As the design included tracking metrics that helped stakeholders understand results of this design sprint, much of the success was attributed to design strategy that the portal underwent.
A new player in online furniture retail is born in India; and it is no other than the legacy brand that already established leadership in offline retail.