Attracting VIP guests to a golden Games experience with SEEK

With the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games now brought to a close, and the country still basking in the afterglow of such a fantastic medal result, we’d like to reflect on some work we recently did with SEEK.

As an official supporter of the Games, SEEK was instrumental in facilitating the recruitment of the 35,000-strong workforce – a task that required years of planning and product innovation.

In order to showcase this monumental journey, SEEK invited a group of key clients to the Gold Coast to attend a two-day thought leadership workshop complete with VIP Games experiences.

Whippet was tasked with helping SEEK build excitement and inspire invitees to attend, so we produced a diverse suite of collateral, as well as bold concepts for merchandise, welcome packs and more. All the creative aligned with both SEEK’s and GOLDOC’s brand guidelines, and also brought in new elements to tie in perfectly to the event.

We’re delighted to say that the workshop went off without a hitch, and feedback from guests has been glowing. On top of all that, SEEK’s guests were able to witness history as the Aussie guys and gals set new records and won gold!




Digital Lead

Whippet AUS

Why retail is a work of complete friction

by Steve Stoner


The expression ‘frictionless shopping’ has been increasingly tripping off retailer tongues for the past few years. We are constantly being encouraged to deliver a more seamless experience for customers so they can be on their way to the next soy latte with barely a blink. But is a totally frictionless retail experience actually desirable for either customers or retailers?

If you break down a customer retail experience into three phases, things start to become clearer.

Phase 1 – Shopping

The word ‘shopping’ is often used to describe the entire customer process but really, it’s only the part where customers are weighing up their options and making choices. It spans from the moment a customer recognises a need and that the need can be solved with a purchase. Depending on the product, this decision making phase could last seconds, hours, days or months. For instance, I’ll decide in seconds, right there in the supermarket, that a steak can solve my need for a quick weekday dinner, while I may ponder for weeks over which new phone to spend a thousand dollars on.

Phase 2 – Buying

This is when the customer has made the decision, chosen the product and needs to make the financial transaction in order to own it. It’s the point of sale. The customer may pay with card, cash or even a bank transfer but during this process the customer mindset has changed completely, from a consideration and decision making mode into a functional, ‘getting the job done’ mode.

Phase 3 – Fulfilment

Basically, this is ‘how I get my stuff home’. Often overlooked, this is a crucial phase in a customer’s experience, especially in terms of overall retail brand experience. Whether the item is simply popped into a shopping bag or delivered directly, this is the last touchpoint of the customer’s journey and because of this it can be the most memorable. The wonderful warm feeling of buying a new piece of furniture can easily be let down by a 16 week wait for it to be dumped on the doorstep by a surly delivery man.

As a customer I want to be able to choose exactly how I want each of these phases to play out. I might want to shop and purchase in store but have my purchase delivered to my home. Or I may want to shop online and pay and collect in store. Today, customers are demanding these options from every retailer and retailers are having to upscale their service offerings accordingly. If there’s only one way on offer from the retailer it could be a ‘no way’ from the customer.

But what about the friction? In the buying and fulfilment phases of this process, less friction is highly desirable for the customer. They have made their decision and just want to get on with it, with as little hassle as possible. It is the retailer’s responsibility to make sure that payment systems are slick and delivery options are quick. But in the shopping phase friction can be a positive influence, for customers and especially for retailers. Visual merchandising, point-of-sale marketing and store layouts are all designed to disrupt a customer’s journey and influence their decisions, to create friction, to slow them down.

There’s a good reason supermarkets often stock milk, a frequently purchased commodity item, at the back of the store instead of the front where it could be a ‘grab and go’ item. It’s the same reason IKEA have a long, looping, one-way runway that ensures you take in the entire IKEA collection as a series of room sets. This kind of friction creates the opportunity to influence consideration and expose more product to customers.

And let’s not forget that customers might also want a little friction in their retail experience. I know I do. I want to be surprised, to try new things, to go off the beaten track of habit purchases, just not always. And this is where retailers have to carefully walk the line. Too much friction at the wrong time, where it is significantly felt, can become an irritant to the customer and negatively influence their feelings towards the retailer brand. “Slow me down a little and show me something new” is just fine. “Slow me down a lot with no payoff” is not.

It is difficult to argue that the functional processes of buying and fulfilment shouldn’t be as friction free for customers as possible. But rather than striving for a totally frictionless shopping experience, shouldn’t we be adding the right amount of friction, in the right places, to deliver a totally amazing shopping experience?



Digital Lead

Whippet AUS

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