Today the Co-op Digital team came together at our Christmas conference to share and celebrate our successes from 2019.
This year hasn’t been without its challenges but it’s important to reflect on what we’ve achieved thanks to talented and conscientious delivery teams, communities of practice, and individuals. Their commitment to meeting colleague, member and customer needs is unfaltering.
Here’s to many more victories in 2020.
‘One web’ platform
In 2019, we’ve increased the number of websites, products and services on the coop.co.uk platform from 3 to 10. Between May and October this year we had over 4 million visitors – that’s an increase of over 200% for the same months in 2018.
Next year we’ll continue to replatform our business sites – we re-platformed Co-op Food and most of Funeralcare this year and in 2020 we’ll be prioritising Co-op Legal services and Insurance. The aim is to give teams autonomy over their own sites so they’ll be able to update content themselves and use the Design system as a guide to improve brand familiarity.
Rebekah Barry, Content designer
Funeralcare customer-facing work
This year we got involved in the customer journey after focusing on colleagues for so long.
In February, we created the ‘service map of a death’, which shows everything people do after a death.
It includes the touchpoints with our service, pain points and opportunity. The map formed the basis for a year of digital working on the customer journey and played a part in building the exec’s confidence in our ability to deliver a great customer experience that would help Co-op Funeralcare meet its goal: increase funeral numbers.
We created ‘After party’ – how we’d disrupt recommendation and consideration in the Funeralcare market. It showed the problem isn’t around which tool people use to plan for their funeral, but how Co-op Funeralcare can motivate people to plan theirs. This piece of work stopped the exec simply buying a later life planning tool and gave them the confidence to ask us to work on the Funeralcare website. We were also commissioned to create the new visual design and do discovery into priority areas, ready to start creating new features in 2020.
So many highlights, so little space. But Rae, Tom, Helen and Gail have smashed it out of the park all year.
Hannah Horton, Principal designer
Digital Skills team
We help teams in the wider Co-op adopt digital culture and agile ways of working. In 2019:
- 457 people attended one of our agile masterclasses
- we coached 22 teams in agile ways of working
- 450 people attended a training session or workshop
- we’ve partnered with teams on 2 discoveries
Our highlight of the year was collaborating with members of the People team on a discovery to understand how colleagues experience and understand their benefits package.
Above is a thank you card – we’re very proud to have influenced ways of working and helping the team become more user-centric.
Vicki Riley, User researcher
Guardian plans is part of Co-op Funeralcare and aims to improve the experience of creating a pre-paid funeral plan. Traditionally, a colleague filled in paper forms, posted them to head office and the information was typed into our system. The new site allows colleagues to add information during a meeting with a client which means it’s recorded instantly – it used to take up to 7 days. It has also improved accuracy.
This year, we tested the site in 2 regions, learnt lots, iterated and scaled up. Now, over 90% of pre-paid funeral plans from over 1000 funeral homes come through Guardian plans.
Liam Cross, Product manager
In 2019 we’ve iterated, researched, and iterated again on the Shifts’ ‘exceptions’ feature which helps managers make sure colleagues are paid correctly for extra hours they’ve worked. We ran 2 trials involving 130 or our 2661 stores (around 5%) and now around 15% of all exceptions are managed through Shifts.
Here’s some of the feedback:
We’ve also helped reduce the most common type of payroll error by almost 49% and colleagues have praised how Shifts helps stores find cover for shifts at short notice.
In the last half of 2019 we averaged 4 releases a month (around twice as many as in the first half).
Thank you to subject matter expert Julie Haselden at head office – she’s been so generous in sharing her knowledge.
Robyn Golding, Delivery manager
In 2019, the Tech ops team completed:
- 1,065 changes (as of 10 Dec) with a change success rate of 98.21%
- 1,127 service requests such as new starters, Leavers and access requests
- 27 stories and 118 sub tasks since we changed to 3-weekly sprints in September
Steven Allcock, Digital service manager
Pay in aisle, Visit and SmartGap (Operational Innovation Store team)
Our team looks after 3 services used in Co-op Food stores. Here are our 2019 highlights:
- Pay in aisle – lets customers skip queues by paying for items on your phone. Trial in 32 stores with a significantly improved, frictionless user experience, reaching up to 1% of transactions across particularly engaged stores.
- SmartGap – removes a cumbersome, time-consuming daily paper process. We’ve gone from prototype, to alpha and beta within 9 months, it is now rolling out to all stores to save colleagues time, and over 20 million sheets of paper and better product availability for customers.
- Visit (as shown above) – replaced the need for a signing in book with a digital sign-in on till screens. Saving colleague time, and meaning we are more compliant with asbestos and fire safety, and can better track our contractors.
Charles Burdett, Designer
We’ve had loads to celebrate this year but we’ve pulled these points out as our highlights of 2019. We’re proud because:
- 12% of people are returning to Co-operate
- feedback about the platform has been positive – for example: “How fantastic that Co-op are empowering communities!”
- the community has added over 300 events to our ‘What’s happening’ page since July
- there were 1,600 page views in 2 weeks for our ‘How to organise a community event’ guides …
- … and the feedback on them was good too, for example: “A really useful guide for organising community events!”, “This is great, really useful” and “Love this, what a great idea!”
Special shout out to Natalie Evans, our community subject matter expert and resident Member Pioneer. Her energy and focus have been incredible.
Ben Rieveley and Jen Bowden-Smith, Product managers
This year we’ve replaced the proof of concept third-party front end with our own. When the 2 were running side by side, the performance stats from 12 to 24 November showed:
- for London traffic on mobile conversion rate increased from 3.3% to 5.15% (a 56% percent increase)
- A 22% decrease in bounce rate on mobile
Regular workshops and working transparently have helped us create valuable relationships with the wider Co-op Food Ecommerce team. We’ve also been able to show value in our approach and have started to change the way some of the business team interact with us for guidance, as opposed to just delivery.
A great team to work with. Challenging (in the right way!). Always pushing us to think of the customer first and to be different when the easiest thing is to stick with the familiar.
Gary Kisby, Head of Web Operations
Sophia Ridge, Product manager
The newsletter gently pokes the organisation to look at future digital opportunities and threats, and it helps show public readers what we’re thinking.
Subscriber growth is around 170% year on year and the open rate is approximately 50%. Big thanks to beloved readers, Richard Sullivan, Jack Fletcher, Linda Humphries and everyone else who has sent stories to the #newsletter Slack channel.
Co-op Digital blog
In 2019 we published 32 posts, by 41 authors – 22 of these identify as female, 19 as male. We’ve heard from a range of seniorities but a less balanced mix of disciplines – 7 posts from researchers; 3 posts about product decisions and the same number about delivery; but only 1 post by an engineer. We’ve gained 169 subscribers – some internal, many from orgs like Citizen’s Advice and the fin tech sector.
My highlight was working with the Design team on a series of posts to support their 90 minute show and tell which explained the benefits of being a design-led business to our stakeholders.
The posts are something to point at when stakeholders would like to know more about our ways of working.
Customer and member
We’ve made a lot of improvements for customers and members this year. Here we are looking at our screens and the big screen.
Here are our top 10 in no particular order.
- We’ve made 339 changes to date with 98% success rate and 99.5% availability.
- We launched the Co-op app and it’s had nearly 200,000 downloads.
- We’ve built a single place to sign into Co-op online services (500,000 API calls a day).
- Fought off constant bot army attacks.
- We launched digital offers and members are making around 656,000 offer selections a month.
- Local causes pay out supported (£17M paid out!).
- This year was the first time we’ve launched with 3 new local causes in every community. This was made easier at least in part because we helped with changes to remove the need for the charities aid foundation vetting and paying out to causes.
- All new systems were built with serverless technology.
- Reduced AWS cost by more than £5,200 per month.
Paul D’Ambra, Principal software engineer
Co-op Insurance design team won Best in Digital – Direct to Customer at the Insurance Times ‘Tech and Innovation’ awards.
The judges were impressed with our customer and metric-focused approach, alongside the lengths we go to benchmarking ourselves against competitors and better understanding the challenges customers face, now and in the future.
Azra Keely, Optimisation consultant
We are a new team working on a series of alphas to test if we can increase sales and product mix by using a conversational tool.
The first alpha is to help recommend the type of will someone should get. Wills are challenging to understand and research has told us they’re not at the forefront of people’s minds. We want to educate people about what wills can protect against and which will might be right for their circumstances. We are working closely with our stakeholders and we’re really pleased they’re attending our user research sessions showing they are bought in to listening to user needs.
Liam Cross, Product manager
Last year, we completed the rollout of Guardian to all Co-op funeral homes across the UK (over 1000!). In 2019, our focus has been continued iteration and improvement.
25% of users responded to a National Promoter Score (NPS) style survey we sent out and the average rating was 7.5 out of 10 – positive but still room for improvement. We worked closely with our 2 least satisfied groups of users, to design solutions to their problems.
We developed 8 new features, eradicated 3 bits of time-consuming paperwork and simplified workflows to save over 100 hours of time to-date. We got some excellent feedback from colleagues about the changes we made. One said:
Hi Guardian Team, just wanted to say thank you for all the previous changes done recently. From a Funeral service operative point of view it has helped amazingly.
We’ve also done lots of work to increase the stability and resilience of Guardian, with some major missions to improve our release process, our backups and re-work some legacy features to keep them fit for the future.
Daniel Owen, Product manager
Co-op Health app
In May we launched the Co-op Health app. In the app you can order your repeat medication and choose how to get it – either collect it from your chosen pharmacy, or get it delivered to your door for free.
Different GP surgeries use different systems to manage their patient’s prescription. Since launching the app we’ve integrated with more of these systems, meaning patients from 99% of surgeries in England can use our app.
In October we were also the first service in the UK to offer ‘NHS login’. This means people can choose how they register for Co-op Health – either by visiting their GP surgery or completely online (using NHS login). Around 20% of new customers choose to register using NHS login.
Being the first organisation to use NHS login is a massive coup for Co-op. We’ve worked closely with NHS Digital, sharing designs and feedback. Massive credit to Jack Fletcher, Dan Cork, Catherine Malpass, Ben Dale, Ayub Malik, Andrew Bailey, Stephen Gatenby, Alex Potter and the rest of the Health team for making this happen.
So far, we’ve delivered 12,447 prescriptions to customers and have a 4.1* rating in the Google Play and Apple app store.
Joanne Schofield, Content designer