Not just a buzzword: Esprit & intive take up omnichannel

Esprit Europe GmbH

13 min read

Overview

The leading global fashion brand chose intive for concept testing and delivery of an efficient and user-friendly in-store app for sales associates.

Services

Product Development, Mobile App, iOS, UX, Backend

Client

Esprit Europe GmbH

Founded in 1968, Esprit is an international fashion brand, headquartered in Germany and Hong Kong, with a presence in over 40 countries.

Industry

Consumer Services



In-store apps are the missing link

If you think that only online shopping has something to gain from the latest digital trends, take a look at Esprit and their brand new Order@Store app for sales associates. intive, after providing the retailer with the best-in-class e-commerce app, is proud to support yet another amazing concept that blurs the lines between on- and offline and brings the sales assistant closer to the customer and his ever-rising expectations. Here is the story of a successful Proof of Concept that turned into a powerful tool in just a couple of months.

App-powered sales assistant

Enterprise apps such as Order@Store are great time-saving tools that enable sales associates to provide customers with information in an instant. Moreover, they offer a chance to keep the customer in the store regardless of the stock availability of the desired item. Placing orders for home delivery or in-store pickup have never been easier or faster. Why carry around shopping bags when you can have them sent home? Why worry about baggage allowance on your shopping trip to another city? An in-store app for sales associates offers retailers a chance to increase customer loyalty and overall satisfaction.

From ideas to products in the blink of an eye

Esprit, as a globally recognized brand, quickly realized that converting browsers into buyers in today’s interconnected world requires more than great fashion, meticulously designed stores and great e-commerce. Modern customer service and brand experience are built around a seamless cross-channel fusion, and tools such as Order@Store serve as perfect binders. intive was challenged to prepare a user-friendly and low-cost MVP version of a store associate app within a timeframe of less than 6 months. The product had to perform fast and flawless to satisfy its early users in all the 20 Austrian Esprit stores appointed for testing. The pressure was significant, but so was the enthusiasm of the dedicated dev team.

Maximizing in-store experiences

Omnichannel translates into consistent, engaging brand experiences made possible by creative, easy-to-use solutions. The more engaging customer touchpoints, the greater the service flexibility, and – as a result – the better the conversion rate.

Iterating for quick results

Preparing a satisfactory PoC was the goal for a small flexible team of 2 iOS developers located in Munich and Regensburg, Germany and 2 backend specialists from Wroclaw, Poland. Fast progress and reliability often don’t go hand in hand. Investing in test driven development and snapshot testing was crucial to meet the changing requirements, iterate dynamically and maintain high stability at the same time. While previously working on the mobile shopping app, the dedicated e-commerce dev team delivered middleware that helped re-use the backend logic of already existing software in the new solution. The middleware provided a uniform interface for the app, one that combines all the different external services that it communicates with. Leveraging this “shortcut” and the Swift-only approach, the team was able to meet the tight deadline and create a light, lean and efficient native app that supports all iOS devices and can easily be enriched with new features in future iterations.

Partnership based on trust

One of the key factors that contributed to a quick delivery was the level of trust on the side of the client. Esprit granted this project a lot of freedom, encouraging creativity but also instilling a sense of responsibility within the dev team. Such collaboration, based on great previous outcomes, resulted in an MVP that surprised everyone: the partner, end users and the developers themselves. Order@Store got immediate positive feedback. Sales associates experienced no difficulties with the core app functionalities (label scanning, item and order history search and order placing) and eagerly used the app from the start.  



Going international

An in-store app – in its essence – integrates high-quality customer service of a knowledgeable sales associate with the fast performance of a smart tool that addresses consumer needs within seconds and helps to successfully complete the purchase. Customers quickly get used to new, comfortable solutions and Order@Store is no exception. In October 2018, after the promising trial, Esprit introduced the app to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands. In the next iteration, the app will be fitted with more languages and will support all Esprit stores worldwide.

When we decided on investing in an app for sales associates, it wasn’t about expanding the digital portfolio – it was about taking care of our offline shoppers using handy, digital tools. intive put this idea into action in no time. They did a great job, again.

Leif Erichson

Chief Operations Officer, Esprit

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