Innovation Interviews: Retail customer experience innovation
POSTED : August 26, 2020
BY : Lou Powell

When the pandemic hit the US back in March, the world changed overnight. Industries that relied on in-person interaction needed to figure out how to navigate this new normal while retaining customers. One industry hit hard was retail, which had been experiencing a period of reinvention for some time due to increased digital sales and changing customer expectations.

In my latest interview, I spoke with PK Principal, James Kim, and PK Manager of Design Strategy, Emily Eddy, about the innovation in retail that has occurred as a result of the pandemic. The need for retailers to realign their business strategies on the fly has separated the innovators from the laggards. Successful retailers have shown a deep empathy for their customers, understanding that their customers’ world essentially changed overnight, and they did what was necessary to meet them where they are now.

Another customer experience innovation theme that has emerged from the pandemic is the further blending of physical and digital experiences. For years, retailers have been rethinking how to maintain a physical presence in an increasingly digital world. We unpack how some of our most innovative retail clients are responding. In addition, the pandemic has provided the opportunity for retailers to create unique experiences that match any local regulations that might come along, as well as plan for different scenarios ahead of time.

There are more great takeaways and examples of how retailers have innovated customer experience as a result of the pandemic, so watch the video below to learn what our experts have discovered.

Learn more about technological changes improving the retail customer experience in our report Reinventing the Brick-and-mortar Experience.


About the experts

A picture of Lou PowellLou Powell brings a steadfast drive for innovation to his role as partner at PK, a Google Apigee agency that was awarded a 2019 Apigee Partner of the Year distinction. At PK, he works closely with businesses to create pioneering experiences and accelerate outcomes, unlocking greater value and market leadership. He worked in advertising and digital marketing before launching his own business, Vanick Digital, which he led for 19 years before acquisition by PK. Lou is a lifelong student of technology pattern adoption and the practices of tech natives, and he brings a design-thinking approach to technology in all of his work.

James KimJames is a Principal at PK and leads the Experience Design Center of Excellence. He brings more than two decades of experience helping brands understand and navigate the complexities of the digital and non-digital world to engage with users and achieve business success.  James has extensive experience leading user-centered experience design and digital strategy engagements across retail, automotive, technology, and education. His work includes award-winning and business-shifting experience design work for both B2C and B2B brands, including DSW, Nike, Macy’s, Calphalon, Seventh Generation, Subaru, Toyota, Jeep, Union Pacific, Microsoft, T-Mobile, Jack Links, TopGolf and Vans.

Emily EddyEmily Eddy serves as Manager of Design Strategy at PK, where her focus lies in customer experience, service design and retail innovation. As the experience engineering firm, PK works with the world’s most customer-obsessed companies to create pioneering experiences and accelerate outcomes.

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