We wished to drive engagement by targeting users more inteligently, offering content tailored to people's habits and needs. To do so, we would look at data collected via fidelity cards and other demographic data and match content to user's profiles. My role was to help identify consumer types and propose templates for marketing emails and micro-sites, and improving local stores with local content and other services such as an Open Innovation Platform.
By looking at the data from the fidelity program it is possible to analyse a consumer's shopping habits and customise the commercial messages and special promotions directed at him or her.
In order to help everyone identify with the target audience it was helpful to make consumers more tangible, in a process similar to the creation of personnae. But in this case the process was not based on direct observation of users, and the purpose was to push diferent types of content rather than creating an application or service. So I prefer to call these "consumer profiles" rather than personae.
One of the key strategic elements for Carrefour to engage deeper with its custoemrs was to focus their communication around local content, in order to change consumer perception of the brand as being distant and impersonal. There were several ideas for engaging customers at the local level, some more feasible and interesting than others. Carrefour wished to start by having a local site for each store, relaying content local to that store.
Looking at the existing customer journey and identifying opportunities for improvement we crated a first iteration for a typical Local Store micro-site. Altics conducted a focus group trying to asses what was interesting to users. This provided material to refine the prototype, and afterwards we ran a live test with local content across three locations.
The tests were successful so the next question was how to make the content production side of things scale. With over 1200 hypermarkets in France, each one had to be able to produce its own content, so we proposed a simple CMS operating on a smartphone which content managers can use to shoot videos, take photos, write short articles and moderate user comments.
Carrefour customers had an image of the brand as being monolithic, slow, impersonal, and inhuman. One of our key recommendations was that Carrefour should prove it listens to their customers. The best way to open up to users and engage with them is to let them propose improvements to the Carrefour experience, and make the best ideas happen. This mechansism was already in place for Carrefour's own brand products, now we needed an open innovation plaltorm to improve the service and experience side of things. We were heavily inspired by IDEO's system.
Carrefour catalogues are seasonal, thematic, and comprise a sellection of 50-200 promotional products on average. They exist in paper and digital format. The existing digital format was rather dated and inneficient, resembling a pdf reader application, so we set to improve it iteratively via a cycle of protyping and user testing. Sometimes several versions of the catalogue would be live in parallel. User testing was undertaken by Altics at their usability labs, equipped with eye tracking, I sat through as many sessions as possible behind the glass and learned some invaluable lessons.
At first it was a bit hard for Carrefour to let go of the idea of having a page-turning catalogue to emulate the paper version like they'd always had, but with the results of user testing they began to understand the limitations of that system. We faced a similar issue with horizontal scrolling, but again, user testing results proved vertical scrolling was preferable. Many other improvements were made with each iteration of prototyping and testing.