â€œâ€¦ I see the opportunity to bridge the gap between what retailers want and what customers need.â€By: Manuel Saez, Creative Director at MS&P
[Article first published on August 6, 2008 on Fast Company Expert Design Blog]
In the last two years I have seen a consistent and ever growing decadence at big box retailers in the US. Recently I found myself choosing NOT to shop at Home Depot, but instead to visit a smaller retailer further from my home cutting out an hour from my day. The reason I switched is clear. I favor a better shopping experience over convenience. So do a lot of people I know. Some are even forgoing lower prices.
Home Depot is not alone; Staples, Wal-Mart and even Target are literally a jungle. Many customers are left to fend for themselves. To get what they need they have to wrestle product information and availability out of ill-informed salespeople (if you can find one) who lack a positive attitude. Low prices have been driving the big retailerâ€™s decisions and choices, but to some extent have sacrificed critical customer needs. And even with store â€œcredosâ€ and â€œcustomer service statementsâ€ posted on receipts and checkout counters, customers are less inclined to believe the store will deliver.
As a designer, I see the opportunity to bridge the gap between what retailers want and what customers need. Using design as a holistic tool, considering store design; process design; product design and graphic design, all working together to enhance customer service and create value, for the retailers and the customers.
Manuel Saez, Creative Director