Business Objective: With increase pressures coming from e-commerce, specialty chains, and reductions in center store sales performance, our retail customer was looking to develop a more effective way to develop, validate, and communicate innovation to their executive leadership. Historically, this client used an innovation center which was costly to maintain (facility, labor, fixtures, and products), took extensive time to set and reset, provided little flexibility to make real time changes, and was limited to research that could be conducted in a single physical location.Meal_Solutions_Centers1.jpg

Business Functions Impacted:
Store Layout & Design
Innovation Center 

Business Situation: Our retail partner challenged InContext to help them develop a model using virtual solutions that would empower them to save time, reduce their investment, and mitigate their risk through validating their ideas.  We partnered with them to design and implement an enterprise virtual platform through ShopperMX™.

ShopperMX™ Approach

Phase 1: Create An Ideation Tool-Kit

  • Store Layout & Design teams work with InContext to build their top 3 store footprints.
  • Merchandising teams, in collaboration with their agency, worked with InContext to build product, signage & display libraries that could be integrated and moved throughout the store. 

Phase 2: Design New Shopping Experiences

  • Store Layout & Design created multiple new store concepts by moving aisles, categories and fixtures to update the flow and open up areas for category reinvention.
  • Merchandising and marketing partnered with a focus on high margin categories to differentiate themselves from the competition. They experimented with a destination focused center store, combining merchandising tactics with navigational signage focused on benefits; enhancing the shopper experience through innovative gondolas and displays.  

Phase 3: Collaboration: Store Layout & Design, Merchandising, Marketing and Executive Leadership reviewed each new comprehensive concept within ShopperMX™.

  • New Store concepts were visualized on a life-size screen for a real-world perspective on the proposed shopping experiences.
  • Teams conducted store walk-throughs to envision what shoppers would see when they entered the store and how their navigation and interaction with key categories would change.
  • ShopperMX™ highlighting tools enabled presenters to call attention to product placement of key manufactures and high margin products.
  • Sign-off was gained from Executives.
Customer ROI

With ShopperMX™ the client was able to establish best-in-class innovation process that cut innovation timelines in half.  In this particular scenario, the client recaptured 3% market share that had been previously lost to specialty channels.  And while difficult to pinpoint, the company felt strongly that the improved process and its accessibility to merchandising and store design teams made store innovation the norm instead the exception.