The Container Store
Getting Organised with Next Generation Retail Concepts
- Retail & Consumer Goods
Get to Know The Container Store
The Container Store is a leading American storage and organisation retailer. Partnering with Valtech, they created the next generation of their retail experience.
The Next Generation Store
The container store
The product of extensive consumer research, the next gen concept store seamlessly combines unique digital tools with a personalised service that delivers on the The Container Store’s brand purpose. The project has revolutionised the in-store shopping experience by creating a suite of digital products that will add value long into the future. Working with strategic design and architectural firm, FRCH Nelson, the project also encompasses a new architectural design and merchandising strategy.
The container store
Container Store customers find themselves in a tangle; arriving at the store in the midst of organisational conundrums and looking for simple solutions to help them streamline their lives.
These situations call for the clarity that only data can provide; looking at customer research and user testing allowed us to quickly visualise the customer journey so we could see what was working and what wasn’t. In-store performance metrics, brand analysis, a review of online + digital assets and some tech compatibility analysis provided the insight needed to develop a customer experience strategy that would sit alongside the beautiful design work being done by FRCH.
Early concepts were imagined, built and delivered quickly with the best ideas propelled forward to deliver digital tools that immediately started reducing customer friction and increasing the positive feelings of solving organisation challenges.
The Organisation Studio
The Container store
Digital tools thoughtfully support and guide customers through the store; offering everything from inspiration and advice, to an interactive design tool and a new proprietary digital experience. Unique to the Concept Store, The Organisation Studio enables customers to upload a photo or video of their challenge online and set an appointment to meet an in-store Organisation Expert who presents a personalised solution, free of charge and with no purchase commitment.
The Container Store is renowned for a superior level of customer service from their sales associates. Whilst the data was showing that the Organisation Studio was converting customers with product recommendations created with machine learning, we had the hypothesis that we weren’t capturing the value of the human interaction with sales associates. By developing new prototypes that added the human element back into the customer journey, it changed everything.
The warmth of that interaction, and the relationship created with “Organisation Experts” showed a much higher purchase conversion in subsequent user testing.
We know that countless retailers are building digital tools and using them to innovate the shopping experience, but combining the human element with technology is when things really get powerful. The Organisation Studio offers the convenience of an online experience and marries it with a personalised in-store engagement that offers a curated solution created by a real person.
Val Richardson, vice president of real estate at The Container Store.
For the format to work seamlessly, the tool had to transcend the digital and physical worlds. Working with FRCH, we designed “The Arch” – a beautiful studio space carved into the center of the store where store associates and customers worked together to create their own personal organisational zen.
A Beautifully Organised Product Deserves a Beautifully Thoughtful Interface
the container store
Our Design Principles
Be true to Container Store brand
Leveraging an already impressive brand reputation, it was important to continue to build on the Container Store look and feel – adding new elements and styles while creating a fresh landscape to house a family of digital tools. The data showed that customers expected this heightened level of experience to cost money. Instead, without the limitations of cost, the design tone was inviting and explicit. Clear messaging & icons, stunning organisation imagery, and simplicity in each step become paramount, ultimately serving up a minimal, elegant design aesthetic – ripe for customisation.
Fluid and Flexible
Living style guides and design systems that scaled with grace between personal mobile screens to in-store 50” displays elevated the experience further. From submitting and taking photos, videos and information on the customer side to creation tools for the organization expert; the design system provided consistency throughout.
Focusing on the Organization Solution reveal between the Organization Expert and the customer as our “magic moment”, the screen size (and visual impact) was increased, with a reveal interface that required customer interaction to start the animation and build the suspense from their submitted challenge to the final delightful solution.
This quick test, learn and delight approach led to a successfully launched complex, omni-channel digital experience that landed on time and within budget. This supported the establishment of a long term digital product roadmap for future success and iterations and beautifully merged digital and physical design into one cohesive brand experience.
the container store
The future is bright for the Container Store. They have a management team that is laser focused on building a customer-centric, modern retail experience that covers both online and physical stores. They are open to any and all technologies that can make their customer’s experience better, while making sure that the tech enhances their brand promise. I consider this organisation to be on the forefront of the digital transformation happening in brick-and-mortar retail.
Jeremy Duimstra, SVP, Connected Experiences, Valtech