The Commerce Omnichannel Blueprint: Creating Seamless Experiences for Modern Retailers

Working in the commerce space has always been characterized by rapidly changing conditions. Whether it’s a new industry trend or shifting customer demands, it’s crucial to keep your finger on the pulse.

However, traditional legacy systems often struggle to keep up with this evolving landscape, leading to siloed perspectives and complex workflows. To truly shift towards holistic experiences, an interdisciplinary approach to tackling challenges is necessary.

In this article, we’ll dive into how commerce businesses can leverage a new omnichannel-focused blueprint to create exceptional experiences.

Developing a More Pragmatic Way

We've already looked at the challenges of using traditional service blueprints in commerce environments, which you can read Service Blueprints: The Challenges Commerce Retailers Face​​.

With the goal to find a more pragmatic and streamlined way forward, we created the Commerce Omnichannel Blueprint and shifted our focus from a service to a product experience. We eliminated common components like line of visibility and physical evidence to reduce overload, and instead, the new Blueprint emphasizes business and tech requirements to pursue the following goals:

1. Multidimensional Product Perspective: Break down discipline silos and includethe perspective of not only the external end users but also the internal business users

2. Pragmatic Project Execution: Achieve the right balance of detail and completeness

3. Smooth Transition: Ensure a decluttered handover from Product Discovery to Delivery

Commerce Omnichannel: Process Walkthrough

In the last article, we looked at the problems that arise during this process while using traditional service blueprints. Now, we’re going to look at how much more streamlined the process is with the Commerce Omnichannel Blueprint.

Step 1: Understand and Visualize

The starting point is the Product Discovery of the problem space by mapping out “status-quo” use cases. The goal is to enable a first high-level derivation of “Packaged Business Capabilities” and the MACH tech stack components based on user, employee, tech, and business needs.

This step includes creating a comprehensive structure with stages, adding use cases from both external user and internal employee perspectives, and conducting deep dives using methods such as business process modeling, user flows, and ecosystem maps. This information allows us to identify the first steps for developing a detailed map of ​​​​​​​​initial components and business capabilities.

The visual mapping helps teams become more aligned and establishes a single source for project execution and domain-specific expertise.

Step 2: Diagnose and Prioritize

Now it’s time for the transition from Product Discovery to Product Delivery readiness. By mapping out the first solution use cases, teams can derive a basic scoping and cost estimation. This is done mostly without the use of the C4 software architecture technique, which is often difficult for non-technical stakeholders to understand.

During the further detailing of “status-quo” use cases, process deep-dives, and identification of rules and preconditions, new solutions and blind spots may emerge. To avoid confusion, it’s helpful to mark these with visual annotations and conduct additional research and experimentation.

This process allows you to make an informed decision on product experimentation, based on prioritized insight gathering and synthesizing.

Step 3: Plan and Continuously Execute

The third step focuses on mapping out the future state of the product and creating a foundation for Product Delivery. This involves another round of detailing and prioritizing to easily derive requirements, which enable the transitions towards a project roadmap, initiatives, epics, and user stories.

The comprehensive structure allows the Scrum team to continuously use the Blueprint as a living document, where they can respond to fast-changing demands and continuously identify unknown areas. Depending on the amount of information, it may be helpful to create sub-swim lanes to keep the Blueprint visually organized.

Merging all product-related information into the Blueprint enables the visualization of the project progress and lays the foundation for alignment across the whole Scrum team.

Creating Exceptional Commerce Experiences

The Commerce Omnichannel Blueprint helps make cross-functional complexities easier to navigate, breaks down silos and biases, and helps to enhance relevant moments to create a unique overall experience. In addition to being more pragmatic and result-oriented, the Blueprint offers the following benefits:

  1. Flexibility and Hybrid-Friendliness: The possibility to tailor the Blueprint to individual constraints and to facilitate cooperation, whether in-person or remote via Miro (curious how we do it? Read our success story)

  2. Improved Time to Market: Smooth transition from Product Discovery to Delivery

  3. Living Visual Document: Enables the Scrum team to continuously identify business potential with value for users embedded in technical feasibility

  4. Enhancing Domain Expertise: A single place to collect and develop domain expertise for cross-disciplinary use

  5. Fostering Product Experience Mindset: Establishes ownership for stakeholders to collaboratively develop the product further without siloed structures

The Commerce Omnichannel Blueprint can help your company create holistic experiences and quickly respond to unexpected changes in customer and market demands.

To learn more about how it can fuel your company’s success and help you to stay calm in a fast-paced commerce sector, speak to one of intive’s experts ​​or check out the Commerce Omnichannel Blueprint in the Miroverse. 

Read also: How to implement AI in business!

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