Customers community platform
The design problem
Community platform for businesses, which allows them to engage with their customers, increase brand loyalty and build loyal community around.
Target audience: entrepreneurs, creative professionals and startups.
Create and validate concept idea for new product.
- Evidence-based approach. Enhance design process with the Lean UX approach and reduce risks.
- Cost-efficiency. Avoid developing product no one needs and minimise waste.
In far too many cases, people, teams, and organisations develop products that nobody needs, that do not solve any problem, or even worse, solve problems that users don’t care enough about.
- “Social media platforms and online product/service reviews form an important part of the millennialsʼ shopping journey as it influences their purchase decisions.” (Deloitte report, 2018)
- “Millennials spend more on memberships or on brands with loyalty programmes.” (Deloitte report, 2018)
Pain-points for stakeholders
Community administrators of traditional social media platforms are frustrated because of following reasons:
- Lack of tools and metrics for measuring performance. (Co-matter.com, 2018)
- Struggle for attention. Algorithms define what audience see. (Gigrev.com, 2017)
- Lack of ownership. Most social platforms keep user data to themselves.
Pain-points for end users
- Need for personalisation (Deloitte report, 2018)
- Demand for Experiences and Expertise (Mighty networks, 2019)
- Need for being recognised and acknowledged
Most of the data, used for developing this concept was gathered through desk research, as response rate for conducted online survey was quite low.
Significant part of research took competitors analysis of existing online community platforms and other alternatives to facebook groups. I analysed 10 different community platforms falling to following categories:
- platforms for creating and selling online courses (Podia, Teachable, Kajabi);
- membership site platforms (Patreon, Mighty Networks);
- white-label social media platforms (Tribe, Mobilize, Honeycommb, Hivebrite);
- open source discussion platform (Discourse).
Findings from desk research, overview of digital trends, analysis of value propositions from close competitors helped me collect data required for defining and developing concept idea.
Main target audience of the created concept are online retail businesses and brands, or brand owners. Influencers (or loyal customers) and regular online shoppers are representing two other segments. Navin, is one of three different personas, which were created for every segment.
Concept of the product
Community platform for companies working in online retail for identifying influencers and most loyal customers and reward them for leaving reviews, answering questions about product and other kind of user generated content (UGC). Reviews, answers and other generated content in return will make product pages more appealing for potential customers and impact sales, increase conversion and organic search engine traffic.
Benefits for companies
- Having own social platform will help to get clear overview of engagement with customers, measure return on investment (ROI) for the money spend on campaigns.
- One platform instead of many will provide more consistent experience and increase customer loyalty.
Benefits for users
- Loyalty programs and unique offerings (invite-only events, exclusive content, premium services, free shipping, discounts and vouchers) increase engagement.
- Virtual coins allow to incentivise users by rewarding them for certain behaviour. Coins can be redeemed later, while purchasing products or converted to cash.
Indivisible part of discovery process is validation. While developing new products, it is important to make sure that there is a need in the market for the new product, that users value the solution and ready to pay for it.
Lean approach helped to bring confidence and make decisions about next steps of the project. During workshop main assumption about product was identified and selected for testing.
Brands aware that reviews leads to sales and they are using them on different stages of customer journey (awareness, consideration, referral) for increasing conversion, click-through rates (KPI, outcomes) and driving sales.
Landing page showcasing value proposition was created as an experiment, in order to collect evidence and measure outcome.
Building a simple landing page does not take a lot of resources, and it is relatively cheap to create. Conversion rate from call to action will help to prove or disprove assumption of the product.
Outcomes of the experiment will determine next steps of the work on the concept. If conversion rate of request will be as high as it is expected, it indicates interest in the offered proposition from potential customers. On the other hand low conversion and small number of requests will indicate that concept is not desirable (does not deliver value) to potential customers or value proposition was not clearly communicated.