NC State Graphic & Experience Design seniors in Professor Armstrong’s studio worked with REI to explore possible avenues of personalizing the shopper journey. By leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence mechanisms, businesses like REI can deliver personalized, efficient, accurate, and relevant shopping experiences to customers. Personalizing experiences have the potential to make interactions more “useful, usable and desirable” to customers in context, i.e. information and options are available when they’re desired during a customer’s shopping journey. Optimized interactions could improve REI’s relationship with customers every time they visit and shop. As the interface “gets to know” customers through data reflecting their behavior, the system should optimize the experience.
Creating these kinds of personalized shopping experiences, however, requires efforts across the REI ecosystem. For example, what kind of data would need to be collected not just from customers, but the vendors who supply products and experiences? How might that data be labeled and organized to efficiently and effectively feed the personalization system?
The goal of this nine week sponsored studio project—in collaboration with REI—was to explore both sides of this retail tension. Students moved through a human-centered research process to dig deeply into the topic and provide REI with multiple opportunities for reimagining their digital and omni shopping experiences through personalization.
N.C. State Bachelor of Graphic & Experience Design (BGXD) seniors explored two core research questions in collaboration with REI: