Seamless Online/Offline Shopping Experience Design for in-store Customers

Author: Udana Bandara


Over the last few years, the conventional brick and mortar business model has been challenged by the proliferation of smartphone-based shopping apps, which exploit the weaknesses of this conventional model. As an alternative to these apps, we have developed Ubira [1], a patent-pending service platform that allows healthy online/offline competition rather than merely exploiting the weaknesses. This business model provides brick and mortar shops a fair chance to compete with online stores while creating a seamless shopping experience for in-store customers based on an online/offline partnership. The main design challenge in Ubira has been to promote serendipity in shopping rather than bargain hunting, and integrate the legacy inventory systems of brick and mortar businesses into the platform. To overcome these challenges, we have made some critical design choices based on context awareness and seamful design methods.

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