Aldo on Omnichannel Redesign: 'Sweat the Details' 

An interview with Grégoire Baret, General Manager of Omnichannel Experience at The Aldo Group

Author: Nicole Perrin

April 14, 2017

The Aldo Group recently undertook a significant ecommerce experience redesign in conjunction with product agency Work & Co. Aldo’s Montreal-based general manager of omnichannel experience, Grégoire Baret, spoke with eMarketer’s Nicole Perrin about what Aldo’s customers want and how the new omnichannel experience was designed with them in mind.

eMarketer: Why did Aldo decide to redesign the omnichannel ecommerce experience?

Grégoire Baret: There were two reasons for it. First, we wanted to make sure the consumer experience better fit actual consumer needs—and mobile was a key issue. A large share of our ecommerce users are on mobile, so by definition our experience had to be mobile and that was not the case before.

We also wanted to make the experience more human and add an emotional touch here and there. We wanted to synchronize the ecommerce experience with the brand evolution and our brand positioning.

“We researched consumer reaction to the actual structure of the website, making sure the way we were naming the categories made sense to shoppers.”

So one of the key things we did with Work & Co. was to redefine the visual look and make sure that everywhere digital we’re going to follow unified, consistent visual language. Part of the design is about being more universal and complying with the demand for accessibility. Some of it was also for technical reasons.

eMarketer: What are you doing to find out what customers want from Aldo?

Baret: We are really into customer research. We do digital surveys and market research to connect with our consumer and extend our understanding of their expectations and why they’re attracted to Aldo.

When we build any kind of different product we include consumers as part of the process. With this project, we did usability testing and invited consumers to give a very early visual reaction. We researched consumer reaction to the actual structure of the website, making sure the way we were naming the categories made sense to shoppers.

I think the consumer is our source of objectivity. Research has to be part of the development process; the consumer has to be part of the development process.

eMarketer: Did anything surprise you in the consumer research for this project?

Baret: No, I wouldn’t say we were surprised. I would say that you have to be open to the fact that sometimes the first beautiful design direction is not necessarily what works. You have to be ready for that. The first design we explored with Work & Co. was not the end design we came up with. To give an example, the first approach was maybe more about connecting with a campaign. It was a bit more abstract and it was really beautiful. But for consumers, it was making things a bit more complex and was not that clear to them.

eMarketer: What did you learn about consumers?

Baret: Most consumers, especially on ecommerce, don’t want to be bothered with a lot of talk about marketing campaigns. They have to feel this is a natural flow. You want to connect them with some content, yet be natural. So one of the big decisions we made about the website is to avoid pushing commercial messages. Instead, our approach is to inject content into the flow of the experience so there’s a natural connection. We don’t want to force you to go through specific content.

“We know that digital as a whole is used a lot to prep store shopping. ... We know that 70% of our customers go online to prep their shopping before coming into our stores.”

eMarketer: What does a natural ecommerce journey look like for Aldo shoppers?

Baret: We know that digital as a whole is used a lot to prep store shopping. Just to give you a crazy figure, we know that 70% of our customers go online to prep their shopping before coming into our stores.

So we have an obligation to consider the website and ecommerce as informing and inspiring potential store shopping or connections with content at the point of sale. We made tools to facilitate the discovery of product at stores where it’s available. So you can find a product [online] and know it is in the store, and connect with the store where the product is.

We’re here to connect people with the right product and inspiration either to buy [online] or to go later and shop in the store and make sure that they haven’t lost their [shopping cart] selection.

eMarketer: What are some other important issues to keep in mind with respect to creating great ecommerce experiences?

Baret: One thing is how important it is to sweat the details. Caring about details, design and the rest of the UI [user interface], and the feedback you get—all of the details are important as the rest, because the details are what make you feel comfortable and feel that it was an exciting experience, that this was made for you with a sense of care.



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