Project Canre

Canre is a solution for those small merchants whom you used to buy household products years back. In Hindi they are called "Kirana stores". Those are the shops where you go with a list and the shopkeeper fetches from racks of products and gives it to you. One counter for specific purchases. Unlike now where you take the skeleton of a buggy, go around like a kid at a carnival in fancy supermarkets and get things you never know or (and probably never) need and spend a significant portion of your salary on it. 

The project was started by two of my colleagues for which I provided the design and was part of the initial brainstorming process. Basically, Canre is a POS (Point of Sale) system, a machine with two screens, one facing the shopkeeper and other at the customer. This system is placed at the counter and the billing is done with this. The screen facing the shopkeeper runs the software which we built. And the screen which faces the customer runs ads and promotions. As the shopkeeper bills various products which the customer requested for, the appropriate discounts or promotions runs. If there are no offers, generic ads are played. 

The advantage for shopkeeper is that he pays a small subscription to use this system which modernises and incentivises his business (advertisements). For the customer, the dynamic ads based on his purchase enables him to get better deals. 

The advantage for shopkeeper is that he pays a small subscription to use this system which modernises and incentivises his business (advertisements). For the customer, the dynamic ads based on his purchase enables him to get better deals. 

And we started with information architecture,

A simple information architecture

HOW A TYPICAL STORE FUNCTIONS

 Store Type: Mobile phones and accessories store

 Key services provided in store

  • Mobile phone sales

  • Accessories Sales

  • Mobile phone service

  • Mobile phone exchange

 

Store Size: 600 (small store) to 1200 sq. ft. (avg. size showroom with walkin)

 

No. of SKU’s : 

  • ~ Phones from 15 popular brands. Each brand having about 3-5 popular models at a time (at most 10)

  • Samsung, Apple, Mi, Lenovo, Motorola, Oppo, Vivo, Infocus, Micromax, Xolo, Nokia, LG, intex, Asus, Sony

  • So ~ 150 phone models running at a time

  • Accessories (cases/covers, screen guard, power banks, adapters, headphones, Bluetooth devices, mem. card)

  • Samsung, Mi, Lenovo, Intex, Spigen, Motorola, Apple, Sony,….

  • Many local unknown brands (with and w/o barcodes)

 Store environment (In all about 5 people managing store activities)

  • Store typically has the owner and at least 2 assistants

  • Store might also have Brand representatives about 1 or 2 of them at a time

  • Store would also have insurance agents.

No. of customers during peak time

  • On an average there would be about 4 or 5 customers in the store front spending on an average 10 to 15 minutes  depending on the type of purchase

 

Inventory management

  • Store gets stocks from suppliers who would come for delivery either during peak or non peak hours. On an average a single stock purchase can have about 10 to 20 SKU’s

  • Might get stock from friendly stores for a later settlement in case of urgency

THE PERSONA

Age: 25 to 35

Expertise

  • Is tech savvy and uses smartphone extensively.

  • Would have basic education about  10+2 and sometimes more with a bachelors degree

Main Tasks

  • Is extremely busy with most of time gone in attending customers, handling cash and procurement related activities

Current Management of Compliance

  • Does not understand all tax related implications on his day to day activities but knows it at a high level

  • Replies on managing some of his sales on a system and certain others on hand written paper and few others (like accessories) without an bill

  • Is used to going to an accountant and pay a fixed amount along with some of his purchase bills/invoices to file his taxes

Canre: Initial prototypes

The above screens were designed and developed by the creators for Android tablets. Even though the layouting and the entire flow looks a little flawed, the screen made its point. The functionality was working well.

My job was to redesign this using SAP's design system for Intrapreneurship*.

So, with the persona and store information, coupled with the screens which the creators had, I set out to redesign. One of the most important condition is not to change the design ground up. The creators really liked the design and didn't want it to be changed. So, I gave them the first set of prototype with the redesign. I followed SAP's design templates so it was not a fresh design.

I redesigned their familiar design using SAP's Fiori UI. The flows, structures and even categories were re-thought. I felt it was essential to the overall experience. 

 

There was just one validation with a shopkeeper near to one of the creator's house (where the POS machine was installed as a Beta product). He liked the simplified UI but complained about lots of missing features. 

 

Few of them were,

  1. Addition of customer information

  2. How discounts could be added

  3. Switching between customer accounts could be more clearer

  4. How to add more quantities of the same item?

and few more...

So we had a round of brain storming session after which the second iteration of prototypes followed. 

The redesigned screens addressed few of the features which shopkeeper had requested. However due to framework limitations, we couldn't tackle the switching between customers. 

Unfortunately this project didn't see the light of the day since it wasn't selected for funding from SAP. Any sort of progress around this design might not have been possible because it's based on SAP's proprietary framework. 

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