Retail executives loathe talking about it, but some have invested millions in a retail pricing analytics platform only to have nobody in the organization use it. This generally boils down to a few key areas: the system does not address the company’s biggest pain points or fit current business processes, recommendations are hard to interpret, or the User Interface (UI) is just difficult to navigate.
Driving user adoption is critical, and the failure of user adoption lies behind the lack of involvement from key business stakeholders. In order to build a successful pricing solution, organizations must work collaboratively and iteratively in design and development… How do you accomplish this? There are four essential steps to the process:
Define your business needs.
As a team, understanding the organization’s current pain points and highest impact problems is vital. It’s also essential to align on the criteria for solution success, making certain to highlight how the innovative pricing solution will be a decision support tool. In other words, it allows users to focus their attention on the highest impact decisions, not replace them.
Design with an end-user focus.
Start with a high-level mockup of the UI, documenting user interactions and business processes to demonstrate how the pricing solution will help ease their current challenges. Where possible, create data mockups to make testing screens feel more ‘life-like’ to users which will prompt effective feedback.
Keep end-users engaged throughout the development process.
Once each screen is in development, hold working sessions to walk through scenarios and capture feedback to help ensure everyone’s voice is heard. In addition, review the next iteration to validate stakeholder opinions and show your commitment to their feedback. Keep sessions small to maximize the impact and consider one-on-one review sessions with the high-touch users. Finally, conduct User Acceptance Testing (UAT) with a variety of user groups to ensure multiple perspectives are captured.
Don’t stop after the solution goes live
After system roll-out, measure adoption and collect user feedback. Define key metrics to measure adoption (e.g., frequency of overrides) to provide a benchmark for continuous improvements. Even once the solution is in production, it’s important to maintain a feedback loop to capture additional enhancement opportunities. These enhancements should then be prioritized based on the impact to adoption and the effort required to implement (e.g., are there any ‘quick wins’ that would further drive adoption and are relatively easy to develop).
There you have it! A handful of effective steps to drive user adoption. Remember, a pricing solution will only be successful if both executive stakeholders and day-to-day decision makers are brought in early and stay engaged throughout the entire process.