Pier 1 Imports-02

Pier 1 Imports

ROLES | UX/UI design, concept development, video editing, user research

TIMELINE | 4 weeks

TEAM | Shamim Bakhit, Sahar Feyz, Mahsa Alavi

Overview

Pier 1 Imports “Design Room” is a result of an intense 4 week user experience project that started from finding a business problem to developing possible prototypes for a decent concept.

In brief, Pier 1 Imports Design Room is an experience where young homebuyers would be informed about different design inspirations and assisted in finding their desired home furniture for their new house.

Process

Research

Pier 1 imports is known as the nation’s largest retailer of imported furniture and home decor. The company focuses on building a strong personal relationship with their customers by constantly responding to their needs, both in-store and online. The brand has a promise on providing decorative inspirations and guidance that help customers create beautiful and personal spaces in their homes.

Throughout our extensive research, we found that Pier 1 Imports profit margin has decreased by -1.92% and this decline has started from 2014. Also, looking at the competitors such as Williams Sonoma and Crate & Barrel that have 52% and 44% ecommerce revenue respectively, the 24% revenue coming from ecommerce for Pier 1 Imports is not as effective as it can be.

Competitors e-commerce revenue

Pier 1 Imports profit margin

Insight

We further looked to see where there are opportunities for us to intervene with design and help Pier 1 Imports to increase their e-commerce. Moreover, we found more quotes from the CEO of Pier 1 Imports:

“The real opportunity for us is to speak to the customers that we aren’t speaking to currently and to actually take a smaller share of a new group of customers whilst continuing to talk to our core”.

“The core Pier 1 Imports customer is 45 years to 60 years old. We believe there is an opportunity for the brand to appeal to millennial’s between 30 and 40 years of age”.

Framing

And we framed this problem by asking how can Pier 1 Imports meet the needs of a new generation of audience while increasing their online sales?

Customer Journey Framework

I was responsible for creating a customer journey framework to understand the frictions of a first-time homebuyers, and we noticed that in the engage phase, there are some frictions that customers experience, which Pier 1 Imports could resolve with their expertise in customer service. Therefore, we created a page extension called “Design Room” that informs and assists first-time homebuyers to buy furniture.

Design

After sketching our ideas with pen and paper, we started creating our prototype using Adobe Sketch.

We decided to create a page extension on the existing website that would help new customers to become engaged in a better and different way.

Features

Design Room Button: By placing this new feature on the menu bar on top of the home page, the new customers could easily interact with it and reach their goals faster.

Moodboard Options: After interviewing with a stager, we noticed that creating a moodboard for different projects helps them to organize their design decisions and make their creations come alive. Having this insight encouraged us to create a moodboard feature for new homebuyers. This moodboard can be accessed through a “design room” tab in the menu bar. The moodboard enables the customer to efficiently explore possible products based on their desired style.

The customer could choose to either import their existing moodboard from pier 1 imports pinterest channel or start creating a new one.

Moodboard Features: When creating a mood board, they are able to choose color, texture, pattern, material and the type of room they wish to decorate in their new home. By creating this moodboard, the customers can easily decide how colors, texture, and materials can blend together and which products could create their desired look.

Suggested Design: After which the customers have finished creating their moodboard, they are able to look at the suggested room designs generated by Pier 1 Imports, in order to see what might match to their taste, or they could directly choose from the filtered list of products. The reason we designed this was to implement their in store customer experience in their e-commerce, where the customers would be informed and supported in order to create their ideal space.

Add to Cart: Finally, if the customers are satisfied with the suggested products, they can add them to their shopping cart or they could experiment more with the moodboard.

Pitch Video

Another task that I was also responsible for was to create a pitch video for our proposal. In order to do so, I started by writing a script about our product.

After writing the script, we asked someone in order to read our script and record their voice. While that was in process, I started gathering some B-roll of Pier 1 Imports from Youtube. In order to show our product, we screen captured our prototype by interacting with it the way I was explaining it in the script. After collecting all the footage, I started editing the video in Adobe Premiere Pro. One challenge that I had was that it was very difficult to match the speed of the voice recording with the speed of the screen capture of our prototype. This required us to try to screen capture our prototype for a couple of times until it matched the speed of the voice recording.

Results & takeaways

Even though these 4 weeks had a lot of ups and downs and they required a lot of time and effort, this was a very different and engaging experience for me and it gave me a lot of knowledge about the process of creating a digital intervention. One of my main takeaways from this experience was that it is very important to find insights and to shape your intervention toward what the business need and what they desire. Without any insight, one might just make assumptions and create a product that would not serve anyone.

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