Target Smart Cart
A new product to improve the shopping experience at Target Stores.
In August 2017, Amazon bought one of the biggest grocery chains: Whole Foods for a whopping $13.4 billion. Further, Amazon Go already gave a glimpse into what the future of shopping at the retail stores could look like.
With this semester-long project, we proposed a "Smart Cart" product where a tablet gets attached to a shopping cart and leverages augmented reality technology to simplify the end-to-end shopping experience for a Target customer.
We are hoping that this product will give Target a competitive edge over Amazon and other retail stores.
Sept - Dec, 2018 (3 months)
Design a solution to improve the shopping experience at Target Stores.
We wanted to understand how people act in the context of shopping and wanted to capture both observational and inquiry data, thus, we decided to use contextual inquiry as to our primary research method.
We interviewed 9 participants representing diverse demography across age, sex, marital status, and occupation.
A part of the affinity diagram
We discovered a number of opportunities and pain points but eventually, decided to focus on 5 major problems because of the higher frequency of occurrence and possibility of a solution to lie in the product design realm rather than service design.
1. Ineffective shopping list
Everyone has a shopping list either written or mental and it is highly collaborative in nature. Even though the Target mobile app has the functionality to create shopping lists, it is incomplete: it does not support collaboration and creation of multiple lists for different occasions.
2. Finding a product takes too much time
We saw our participants running down different aisles to find a product because of undescriptive signs. Even being in the correct aisle does not ensure easy product discovery as our participants often missed their desired product among numerous other products. This led to a frustrating user experience and lost sales.
3. Finding key product information is cumbersome
Expiry Date, Calories, Protein Content, Allergens, etc. Every person looks for different product information that helps in making buying decisions but all this information is finely printed and located in different areas on different items. This cumbersome interaction negatively impacts the shopping experience.
4. It is difficult to compare products
Unlike online shopping, retail shopping lacks user reviews thus making it difficult to decide which product is better. Further, comparing nutritional information and price is a big hassle.
5. Opportunity for a quicker checkout
Self-checkout counters were introduced as a solution for quicker checkout but it wasn't long before queues became common even outside these counters.
Thus, an opportunity for a quicker way of checkout still exists.
After spending numerous hours ideating several solutions, we decided to go ahead with the idea of a mobile app with AR navigation and checkout functionality inside it.
CRISIS!!! Time to go back to the drawing board...
After creating the low-fidelity designs, we realized that even though the designs accommodated for many things, it did not consider two major instances:
1. People come to Target for high volume shopping and blocking one hand with a mobile phone would lead to a cumbersome experience.
2. The above solution did not accommodate the need for putting items in a bag after purchase.
We went back to the drawing board with the above concerns and came up with the concept of Smart Cart.
1. Create shopping lists collaboratively
Use the Target mobile app to collaborate on shopping lists. Now, even create shopping lists for multiple occasions.
2. Import your shopping list by scanning the QR code on Smart Cart
Once in the target store, simply scan the QR code to import the shopping list. The system will then pick the quickest route and will guide the user in an intuitive way using AR technology.
Smart Cart login process
Smart Cart home screen for login
Home screen after login with shopping list and AR navigation
3. Scan barcode and add items to the cart
This provides a simplified shopping process. Original process: Put items in the cart -> Take out when checking out -> Scan item -> Put items in the shopping bag.
Current process: Scan item -> put items in the shopping bag.
Add to cart process
Scanning item screen
Item added to cart screen
4. Check relevant product information easily
GIF: Item added to cart screen
Product info card
5. Checkout directly from the cart
Home screen after all the items has been added to the cart
Select payment method screen
Transaction complete and receipt screen