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IRX 2017 Lego’s Shehnaaz Chenia on developing its future shopping experience

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Shehnaaz Chenia, director, global ecommerce for Lego , told the IRX 2017 audience how the toy brick brand went about evaluating how shoppers would buy its products in the future, as it tackled the challenge of bringing its online and offline offerings closer together. We summarise her main points here.

The challenge

As Lego set about planning the future of shopping, it began by talking to fans and shoppers to understand their pain points and where they met friction on their customer journeys. The brand found a disconnect between online and offline channels: online, said Chenia, “didn’t match the brand look and feel or the fun playful experience of the store.” Often it was hard for shoppers to know if a website was an official one or not. Instead, Lego found that its channels “needed to work together, to play a big role in shaping the shopper journey, not only now but in years to come”.

The role of Lego fans in shaping content

Lego fans, said Chenia, play a major role in shaping and developing the product, posting reviews, product shots, custom builds and news online. Comprehensive fansites created by adults, such as Brickset, had a “tremendous content offering”.

The Lego strategy

Key themes that came out of Lego’s research were the need to focus on affiliation, relevance, value, convenience and playfulness. It was hard to compete on value with the likes of Amazon, with its heavy price discounting, so instead Lego chose to focus on developing a website that made people happy, was convenient to use with a frictionless funnel and checkout, and on the role of Lego in child development. Features that it has defined as part of the ideal journey include shared bills, easy pick up, shopping on the go and the ability to buy together.

Starting points

“We had to start somewhere, and we started with a small step, that was massive for Lego. We looked at segments, and formed the basis of how we developed the website from adult fans of Lego and gift-giving grandparents and parents. We took the very best of physical stores, moved it online.” The emphasis was taking the physical store digital. That meant that the architecture and design of the website reflected the feelings associated with entering the store. “We mapped the store to the website, and created the look and feel where we demonstrated key features of the store on the website.” Fun, playful language was used, and playful content surfaced and the VIP and loyalty programme were surfaced on the site. Search and navigation were a major focus as Lego looked to make the experience more convenient, so that shoppers could find the product they were looking for.

Looking to the future

Possible future features include model vitrines, model animations, and working out what pick and build would look like on the website itself. Features in the Lego store in Leicester Square that might work well online include the mosaic maker, in which shoppers buy bricks to recreate a mosaic of themselves, individual brick purchasing, and the pick and build wall.

As yet, however, says Chenia, “Our journey has just begun: it was really about creating an experience to exemplify the premium Lego brand but also bringing the online and physical worlds together.” She added: “We’ve worked with partners to build our digital flagship. It’s the minimum viable product: it’s not yet perfect but we’ll spend time and energy and talent investing in the website to become the digital flagship for the company and the brand.”

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