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App store mode

case study


As the UX Director at Express, I led a groundbreaking project to introduce “Store Mode” within our native app. This innovative feature was designed to bridge the gap between the online and in-store shopping experiences, providing customers with valuable information and tools while shopping in our physical stores. This case study details the challenges faced and the comprehensive Store Mode design strategy.


Express recognized the need to enhance the in-store shopping experience to stay competitive in the modern retail landscape. The challenges included:

  1. Limited In-Store Information: Shoppers often lacked easy access to essential store information, such as the store layout and available inventory, making their shopping experience less efficient.

  2. Connectivity with Store Staff: Customers had no direct way to contact store associates for assistance or queries while shopping.

  3. Music Control: The store’s background music often failed to resonate with customers, affecting the overall ambiance and experience.

  4. Inventory Access: Shoppers couldn’t quickly check inventory availability, including extended sizes, in-store, and online, which was essential for making informed purchase decisions.

  5. Reviews and Customer Photos: Shoppers lacked easy access to product reviews and customer photos, which are crucial for making confident buying decisions.

  6. In-Store Events: Customers were often unaware of special in-store events, promotions, or activities happening at their local Express store.


Solution & Impact

Our solution aimed at creating a highly interactive and user-centric Store Mode within the Express native app:

  1. Store Layout: Implemented a store map with easy-to-navigate sections, helping customers find products quickly. 

  2. Associate Contact: Introduced a chat feature to connect shoppers with store associates, enabling real-time assistance. 

  3. Music Control: Enabled customers to control the in-store music playlist, allowing for a personalized shopping experience. 

  4. Inventory Access: Integrated barcode scanning functionality to instantly check in-store and online inventory, including extended sizes, by scanning product barcodes. 

  5. Reviews and Customer Photos: Provided quick access to product reviews and customer photos, enhancing the shopping experience. 

  6. In-Store Events Calendar: Included an events calendar with notifications for upcoming in-store events, promotions, and activities.


While the App Store Mode project showcased the potential for enhancing the in-store shopping experience, the strategic decision was made to defer its implementation to a future fiscal year. This decision aligns with Express’s commitment to carefully evaluate opportunities and allocate resources thoughtfully for the best possible outcomes.

“The success of our App Store Mode project isn’t just about innovation; it’s a testament to our commitment to providing users with a curated, immersive experience that transforms their devices into gateways of endless possibilities.” 

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