The conundrum; how do you research colleagues and customers in as lean a way as possible?

The Challenge
To create a ‘diagnosis’ of Argos customers and colleagues today – particularly the context of pain points and unmet needs of customers in the newly developed digital stores.


What is the best way to learn what an Argos colleague knows about their customers? Become a colleague. Instead of standing in the background, we went and worked in 10 Argos shops up and down the country to experience both their day to day life, but also to get close to and understand customers. We had conversations with customers and colleagues constantly whilst rolling up our sleeves and dealing with people on the shop floor.

We also carried out ethnographic research to understand how people from a variety of backgrounds would use the new digital services. We watched their flow around the store and their interactions with each of the digital and non-digital touch points. Observation of actual behaviour was key to the development of actionable insight in this project. Watching and carefully recording their actions unlocked issues that people would have found hard to identify in interviews away from the environment of the store.

The first-hand experience of customers and colleagues meant that we had a number of stories to tell that superbly brought to life some of the challenges and opportunities.


We played back our diagnosis to the Argos retail board, to help them set their strategic focus on transforming store service. In addition, we proposed a number of alterations to the layout of the stores and the design of the individual touch points to make the new stores easier to navigate and use as they were rolled out.