Makro, the leading cash & carry retailer in Spain and belonging to the multinational retail group Metro AG, contacted Lantern with a concrete business challenge: how can we generate new traffic in our stores and increase sales within our existing customer base? Makro had performed well in the past, but a new wave of players was eroding their business by competing on price or offering more personalized services. Loyalty became harder than ever to establish, as some of Makro's restaurant owner customers were also stocking at nearby retail supermarkets, where the quality of private label brands had improved relentlessly in the last decade.
The Lantern team spent several weeks researching the market: data, trends and leading retail CX strategies. We also went on an ethnographic tour with several distinct profiles of restaurant owners: from discussing their life dreams, frustrations and anxieties over a glass of wine, to accompanying them as they shopped to stock their pantries. The data and stories we gathered were key to bringing texture and narrative to a customer journey, abundant in pain-points and undeclared opportunities. We complemented these findings with an assessment of Makro's operational and employee-related challenges towards improving customer experience. One of the guiding principles behind our design was to help Makro move beyond its role as a place for stocking goods: our goal was to turn the brand into a hub of inspiration for all things food and gastronomy related for idea-hungry restaurateurs. Equally important was our emphasis on supporting storefront employees through empowering tools and better brand engagement, enabling them to act as real allies in the fulfillment of the customers' everyday goals and ambitions. With all of this in mind, it was time to get the team to rock and roll. After several ideation workshops, the project team developed over 20 initiatives with action plans designed to dramatically change and improve the way customers experienced shopping at Makro stores.