Shaping Tchibo’s Future through Customer Engagement

  • Retail

The Challenge

Concerned about future growth and relevancy,Tchibo partnered with Vivaldi Group to re-think its business strategy and evolve with the changing customer behavior in a new century of multi-channel retailing.

The Opportunity

To create a unique experience for the brand and achieve exponential growth in the years to come, Vivaldi created innovative concepts and actionable blueprints to reimagine the way Tchibo interacts with their customers.

The Outcome

Tchibo evolved its brand to capitalize on the opportunities of multi-channel retailing. Our work acted as a roadmap for Tchibo to offer a seamless experience to its customers and map the future of retail.

The Future of Retail

Tchibo – a German chain of coffee retailers and cafés – had grown its business over the years by extending its in-store merchandise range from coffee products to a wide variety of categories including even unrelated services such as travel, insurance and mobile. With over 1,000 shops worldwide, the company had focused on developing its unique retail strategy, which served as the key touch point to engage and interact with their customers.

However, the emergence of information technology changed consumers’ purchase behavior. With consumers increasingly taking control of how they shop – jumping between channels via multiple devices – Tchibo needed to re-think its business strategy and evolve its business model in order to stay relevant. Vivaldi was given the task to identify relevant growth areas that could bridge the gap between the online and offline worlds through customer journey mapping, and to develop a sustainable multi-channel strategy.

“Vivaldi Partners helped us to develop our growth strategy for how to succeed in a new century of multi-channel retailing.”
— Martin Meister, Former Managing Director, Tchibo Direct

Mapping the Future

To explore potential growth opportunities for Tchibo, Vivaldi Partners used its proprietary DemandFirst approach to understand the underlying motivations and needs that influence consumers’ behavior when shopping online.

To reconstruct the consumer’s journey, we conducted extensive qualitative research including in-depth interviews as well as focus groups with different user groups across Germany. These discussions helped uncover some of the issues regarding the current brand experience and our team was intent on listening to how customers gained familiarity with the Tchibo name, offerings and promise to then actually make a purchase. But more importantly, we were focused on what was not being said. The latent needs that weren’t being expressed and yet which would help create a unique experience for the Tchibo brand.

What we found is that the search and purchase process had become less linear and was following an approach that we refer to as the “flight of the bumble bee”: people had a growing number of online touch points and engaged in an increasing number of conversations about the Tchibo brand and its products, but these were happening in a haphazard and unpredictable way along the consumer journey.

Based on these insights, we developed five distinct consumer segments with different needs and drivers, and identified six high potential growth areas for the brand. During an action-packed workshop, we worked with the core team to jointly select three high priority innovation concepts in line with the overall business brand strategy of Tchibo. For each of these, we created an actionable blueprint to serve as a compass and guiding principle for internal implementation. These were especially useful in context of the release planning and rollout of a new IT infrastructure, as well as for external activation.

“It was a great pleasure to prepare the strategic ground for Tchibo’s multi-channel strategy, which had become imperative in today’s digital era. We’re excited to recognize our work as it gets implemented progressively by Tchibo, and to see the increasingly seamless experience offered to customers.”
— Christian Wank, Partner, Vivaldi Group

Moving Toward Real Customer-Centricity

Our work set an essential cornerstone for Tchibo to fully leverage the potential of a multi-channel strategy. It broke down rigid organizational silos that hindered the collaboration between the online and offline business units, and offered a framework that allowed teams to work together to build a seamless customer experience.

The upgrades to the customer experience were successfully approved and rolled out over time. For example, Tchibo integrated digital displays within their stores featuring live-streamed content as well as tweets and user-submitted photos from Tchibo’s social media channels. Tchibo also marked another milestone, thanks to our work on the extension and optimization of service offerings, when they introduced truly consumer-centric ordering, shipping and returns policies that would foster ROPO (research online purchase offline, and vice versa) taking advantage of Tchibo’s ideal network of stores and depots as well as its strong online/catalog/mail-order operations.