Technology continues to evolve at a rapid-fire pace, empowering consumers and businesses with more options and expectations for shopping seamlessly wherever, whenever and however they want. And retailers need to keep up.
In order to succeed in this crucial time, the Naperville, Ill.-based, 900-plus-store office products chain OfficeMax, Inc. recognized that it needed to expedite decision-making to bring website improvements to market more quickly.
“We wanted to create a highly collaborative culture that enables rapid innovations aligned with changing shopping habits and strong online competition,” said Jim Barr, executive VP and chief digital officer, OfficeMax. “Also, we wanted to create an environment to help us recruit and retain the best and brightest in ecommerce and digital.”
Bringing the Team Together
To reach these goals, OfficeMax has created the OfficeMax Digital Innovation Collaboration Center, an interactive environment designed to foster ideation and real-time collaboration and creativity among members of the OfficeMax digital team.
“The center’s technology provides us with real-time data and visibility to just about every step in the customer’s shopping experience, which we can then use to continuously improve their experience with us,” explained Barr. “For example, we can monitor response times aggregated across our sites, but we can also drill down to key individual components of the customers’ shopping experience, including search and browsing, shopping cart and checkout, all to help make improvements at each step. Most of the solutions used at the Operations Center were developed in-house and are customized to our business KPIs.”
“In the first few weeks since we launched the center, I have already seen a boost in real-time collaboration among the team and a greater collective awareness of our business,” Barr said. “We’re also seeing greater awareness of how our websites are performing through the new Operations Center. This real-time visibility has allowed us to proactively identify and address performance needs in half the time than we previously could; which helps us to create an improved customer experience across our sites.”
Technology OfficeMax uses to run the center includes Oracle Endeca search technologies that provide customers with faster, more accurate and productive search results. The retailer is also investigating analytics solutions. Moving forward, Barr sees more innovation in the future.
“Our team is currently developing new e-commerce features, including search engine upgrades, significant online SKU expansion, mobile advancements and more, which will be released during the holiday season and early 2014,” he stated.