client story

Retail Customer Mobile App

A global retailer was looking to strengthen customer journeys between the online and brick and mortar channels by creating a mobile application to help unify the experience, inventory, and shopping experience.

Innovation Strategy
Digital Transformation
Unified Commerce


A global retailer with an online store and established brick-and-mortar locations desired a more catered experience for customers who frequently shopped multiple channels. Data indicated that their customers preferred more engagement and personalization through their smartphones. With industry trends indicating that customers engaged across multiple channels with one brand increases overall spending and loyalty, the retailer was interested in merging the experiences from their online store and brick-and-mortar stores together for a more seamless experience.  While their vision of a more unified, commerce experience was clear, the retailer still faced multiple challenges as part of the initiative

  • Lack of Unified Inventory - Merchandise purchased online or in stores was not centrally synchronized or tracked in real-time, so purchases from one channel were not visible to someone shopping in another channel.  For example, someone shopping online for items in a local store was not able to see what was in stock before making an online purchase or driving to pick up the item at the local retail location.
  • Competing Channel Teams - Since customer journeys were managed separately for the online channel and the physical retail locations, there were concerns of revenue cannibalization and loyalty rivalry for high-value customers.  Creating a mobile application that effectively incorporated the in-store experience (and vice-versa) required a central focus on the customer’s experience without the historical biases.
  • Varying Channel Technology Stacks - The technology architectures supporting the various channels across the business were very different. The retailer needed a solution that allowed integrations across the broad range of technology stacks to enable a seamless customer experience.

The overall desire was to provide the customer with a native, smartphone that allowed them to shop all digital store merchandise, and also merchandise across every location in the country.  With a consolidated mobile shopping experience that integrated all inventory, a clean interface, and a backend that allowed for coordination with retail location personnel and dynamic shipping options, the customers could ultimately shop the way they wanted to from the convenience of their phone.

We began with an Understand phase, a process where we learned from subject matter experts, hosted user focus groups, and worked with the various customer systems to learn the process and gain an in-depth understanding of our users’ pain points in all channels. The Understand phase resulted in initial concepts and plans for a custom mobile application that would allow customers to shop across all channels and coordinate with retail locations for merchandise in nearby stores.  The initial milestones included centralized inventory tracking and customer profiling, and leveraging the existing digital commerce infrastructure allowed us to ensure purchasing functionality remained consistent with existing experiences. 

Systems integrated across the enterprise included:

  • eCommerce System
  • Order Management
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Custom Web Services
  • ERP Inventory Management
  • Business Intelligence and Analytics

As a result of this initiative, the retailer experienced the following: 

  • A proof-of-concept mobile app for both Apple and Android devices that unified the shopping experience and inventory from all locations in the business
  • Support from all channel teams to expand and complement other channel-specific customer journeys
  • The ability to coordinate purchases and merchandise presentation appointments with local retail store locations
  • A new analytics feed for "high-value" customers engaged frequently across all channels to expand on personalization feature offerings and notifications through the app

The native mobile customer application has become a key platform for crafting personalized experiences for all customer segments. The ability to blend the digital and physical storefronts in a unique way, sets the retailer apart from competitors.



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