Case study

Food and the city: disrupting online grocery shopping

Partnering with Colruyt Collect&Go to bring new value to city dwellers and establish an internal Innovation Lab

Collect&Go is Colruyt Group online shopping service. With 200 pick up points across Belgium, Collect&Go is the market leader for online grocery shopping.

Challenge

Designing innovative solutions for online grocery shopping

With an ambition of growing their market presence in the Belgian cities, and expanding their offering to suit the lifestyles of city dwellers, Collect&Go saw that their current offering and strategy didn’t meet the needs of the central city folks.

Strategy

A customer-centric approach to new product development

We tackled this challenge with a blend of design thinking, business model innovation, and the lean/start-up methodology, all sequenced in a multi-phased approach. The approach was entirely customer-centric, with customers involved from the problem fit stage all the way through to testing the MVP. We tackled this challenge with a blend of design thinking, business model innovation, and the lean/start-up methodology, all sequenced in a multi-phased approach. The approach was entirely customer-centric, with customers involved from the problem fit stage all the way through to testing the MVP.

Outcome

Building a new mobile shopping experience and a new approach to product development

Our innovation accelerator dual-wielded its impact on Collect&Go, reshaping the approach to launching new business and building new capabilities. Collect&Go launched their first ever live MVP, learning how to work in a customer-centric way, and disrupting its usual approach to new product development.

The first no-walk-in grocery experience in Belgium & a new, speedy approach to launching new concepts

Challenge

Designing and testing innovative solutions for online grocery shopping, to bring new value to city dwellers

While Collect&Go has a strong presence across Belgium, its impact in the country’s larger cities needed a boost. Its service, often used for larger, periodic online grocery hauls, offers customers the convenience of at-home delivery or pick-up at one of the 200 available points.

But the current model didn't quite mesh with the lifestyles of bustling city residents, who tend to prefer smaller, more frequent grocery trips that aren't always planned in advance.

Collect&Go was keen to explore a new strategy. They wanted to understand how to integrate Board of Innovation’s accelerator approach into their operations, aiming for speedier and more cost-effective development and launch of business and product concepts, while ensuring high-quality results.

Strategy

A customer-centric, multi-phased approach
to new product development

Welcome to the first-of-its-kind grocery shopping experience in Belgium that requires no walk-ins. We tackled this challenge with a blend of design thinking, business model innovation, and the lean/start-up methodology, all sequenced in a multi-phased approach.

Our strategy was entirely customer-centric. Customers played a pivotal role at every stage. During the problem fit phase, their insights fed into our ideation phase, helping the design team shape the initial concepts. When it came to validation, customers tested the earliest version of our solution, the MVP, via a range of experiments. Their valuable feedback allowed us to refine the solution and perform multiple iterations for improvements.

These were just some of the key customer insights, that helped to shape and refine the solution:

Flexibility > price

“Give me a solution for my daily routine. And give me space to change my plans.”

Sense of belonging

“I love the richness that the city can offer, but, if I exclude my office, I could say that I always gravitate in my neighbourhood, because that’s my community. Literally, I never do shopping outside a 5km-radius area.”

UX is king, on- and offline

"Shopping for groceries online? Sure, why not. But have you tried this app for example? It's a mess, and you can't even understand what you're adding to your cart!" "Standing in line at the supermarket is incredibly frustrating! I don't understand why supermarkets are so noisy..."

Recognizing the complexity of the validation phase, we developed a bespoke ad-hoc experimentation dashboard to monitor nine different experiments carried out simultaneously across various digital and physical channels.

The outcome? Meet City Collect, Belgium's premier no walk-in grocery shopping experience, transforming a cargo bike into a mobile supermarket on wheels.

City Collect, born and tested in Brussels, provides city dwellers with a multichannel grocery experience. It all starts online with a dedicated app, and concludes in the open air at a mobile pick-up point. Designed as an electric cargo-bike, it travels around Brussels, delivering groceries to various urban communities. A truly innovative approach to grocery shopping in the city.

It is a nice gift, as a designer, to know exactly what is the ideal solution for my customers

Dieter Schotte, Product Designer

Outcome

Building a new mobile shopping experience while shaping a new approach to product development

Our innovation accelerator dual-wielded its impact on Collect&Go, reshaping the approach to launching new business and building formidable capabilities.

First-of-its-kind mobile shopping experience

The mobile grocery shopping experience in Belgium that requires no walk-ins was swiftly designed and trialed, aiming to add value for city folks who favor more frequent shopping with smaller grocery baskets.

A new, disruptive way to approach launching new business

On the capability-building front, the innovation accelerator encouraged Collect&Go to adopt a customer-focused approach, urging the design team to shake up the typical business development process. The result? Their first ever MVP, conceived, constructed, and market-tested in record time.

But wait, there's more! The innovation accelerator also spawned Collect&Go's first-ever Innovation Lab, created leveraging the knowledge and expertise gained from the Board of Innovation-led acceleration track. As you're reading this, the team at the Collect&Go Innovation Lab is working on new challenges across the various brands of the Colruyt Group. Here's to #learningbydoing!

I was really impressed by the speed at which we worked. We had exploration, ideation, experimentation and test phases and we always involved our customers

Hilde Marcelis - Senior Project Leader at Collect & Go Innovation Lab

What if the future of your industry is already here, hidden in disruptive ideas waiting to be realized -
how could your business lead that transformation?"

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