Walmart’s Experience Redesign Makes Sense

What do you get when you combine Walmart’s low prices with smart merchandising and good service? Trouble for competitors. And Walmart’s Project Impact is aimed at doing just that.

According to Walmart’s Northeast general manager:

We’ve listened to our customers, and they want an easier shopping experience. We’ve brightened up the stores and opened things up to make it more navigable.

Here’s an example of Walmart’s new store experience:

Source: BNET

My take: There’s no reason for companies to make trade-offs between low prices and good in-store experiences (or good experiences in other channels like the Web and the phone). That’s the core premise of the post My Manifesto: Great Customer Experience Is Free

When companies focus on their target customers, it becomes very clear that customer experience is not an optional ingredient. But that doesn’t mean that Walmart or any other retailer should replicate the experience model of Nordstrom’s or even Michael’s Crafts. The key is to understand what your customers’ need and want.

Employees are also a critical component of customer experience. As I’ve discuss in my eBook The 6 Laws Of Customer Experience: Unengaged employees don’t create engaged customers. That’s why every one-tenth-of-a-point increase in employee engagement at a Best Buy store increases it profits by $100,000 a year.

Is there a blueprint for getting this right? Yes. Experience-Based Differentiation.

The bottom line: Customers notice when you neglect their experience.

About Bruce Temkin, CCXP
I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about these topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

One Response to Walmart’s Experience Redesign Makes Sense

  1. Although many retail stores start to get it right, I am still wondering whether it’s possible to get a really good end-to-end experience.

    I am shopping at my local retail store four to five times a week (because, believe it or not, in Switzerland, stores close at 6:30 pm to 8 pm and this is the only store open until 9 pm) – rushing in and out in less than five minutes, grabbing stuff I want to eat for dinner. The store is really great, supporting this behavior as the retail chain found out that this is what most people want to do who live in this area of the city: Go there often, and be in and out in under five minutes.

    BUT – and it’s a huge *but* – then I am home with the stuff I bought and I start fumbling around with the packaging. It takes me about four minutes to get the “ready made” salad on the plate (longer than it took me to buy it).

    So how do I adopt my behavior to the good retail experience?

    I go there often (even more often than I used to in the old store design), but I start buying things that are easy to unpack! This may sound ridiculous, but it’s true: I started to buy other products, because the retail chain optimized the PURCHASING EXPERIENCE but it’s not in their might to optimize the PRODUCT EXPERIENCE.

    Where does that lead to? I would not go so far as to say horizontal integration – but where, then?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: