- UI Design
- Interaction Design
- Usability Testing
- Figma Design
- ProDevs x Kusnap
Improving customer retention rates for an e-commerce platform
Kusnap is a B2C e-commerce web platform for the Nigerian market. Since its first launch in 2020, it has struggled with low customer retention rates.
In collaboration with members of the product team assigned to this project at ProDevs Outsourcing, we set out to help the client achieve their goal of improving customer retention rates.
We successfully developed a mobile app for the platform which focused on improving communication between buyers and sellers and creating a secure and transparent payment system allowing both parties to engage in business without the fear of being defrauded.
We helped the client increase retention rates by 8% and gained over 10k downloads with a 3.7-star rating on Google PlayStore.
Laying the groundwork
Defining the problem
Answering the question of “Why users do not keep using the platform” resulted in the following insights.
- Buyers and sellers rely mostly on their mobile phones for online transactions.
- Sub-optimal communication between buyers and sellers.
- There is no way for buyers to verify the authenticity of a seller, resulting in a lack of trust between buyers and sellers and a lack of engagement for sellers.
Our goal for this project was to increase the customer retention rate of the Kusnap platform. To achieve this goal, we needed to develop a system that solves the problems of poor communication and the lack of trust between buyers and sellers.
Our high-level goals were:
- Make the platform more accessible on mobile devices.
- Improve communication between buyers and sellers.
- Develop a system that bolsters trust between buyers and sellers.
As the senior product designer on the project, I was responsible for supervising the other designers on the team and contributing to designing the UI and Interactions, prototyping, and usability testing of the platform’s mobile app.
In addition, I collaborated with the engineers and product manager to ensure that the final output followed the approved design.
Designing the solution
One last review
Before kicking off the project, I embarked on reviewing the PRD provided by the product manager and the existing web platform one last time. In addition to these, I took another look at similar platforms—Jiji.ng, Amazon, and eBay—to see their approach to solving the problems we were faced with.
While doing this, I came up with some ideas to further enhance the product and shared them with the team. With approval from the client, the PRD was updated to reflect the new ideas.
Improving buyer-seller communication
The major problem buyers have had in communicating with sellers is the high latency between sending a message and getting a response. On the seller’s side, it has been that the only way of knowing they had a message or notification is to open their browser app at intervals which becomes tiring after a while.
In addition to these, both classes of users barely use their emails and rely mostly on WhatsApp for communication. Hence the need for push notifications and in-app messaging.
We implemented in-app messaging to solve this problem. Alongside the in-app messaging, we strategically implemented push notifications to further enhance the solution.
A disagreement on optimal placements
The product manager and I had different opinions about the placement of the notification menu item in the platform’s UI design. I believed that placing it in a navigation drawer to give more room for the search input (which is one of the key features of the platform) was optimal, while the product manager believed it should be by the search input for easy access. To come to an unbiased user-focused decision, we conducted an A/B test to determine the discoverability of the item.
Results from the discoverability test—ignoring testers who spent time fiddling with the prototype before attempting the task—we found that both options would produce similar results, with only a 0.001% discrepancy between them. Given the test results, we decided to go with option B as the final solution.
Bolstering trust between buyers and sellers
To tackle the problem of buyers not receiving their items and sellers not collecting what is due to them, we introduced an escrow system. Payments are held until both parties have marked the transaction as completed, ensuring no money is lost and reducing the resources spent verifying authenticity.
While the escrow system was introduced to tackle the trust problem between buyers and sellers, it posed some technical challenges. To address these issues, we decided to implement a wallet system that housed the escrow system and allowed for faster processing of orders by both buyers and sellers.
Aside from the main improvements to the existing system discussed above, I adapted other features that were part of the system to the new solution. Below are some screenshots of these features.
Public profile: provides ample information about a seller in the marketplace. All products and stores associated with the seller show up here alongside the seller’s marketplace rating.
Search alarm: enables users to track searched products that are unavailable at the time. Once the item becomes available in the marketplace, a notification is sent to the user.
My products: this is where sellers add products to the marketplace. Sellers can either create an organized store for their products or add individual products tied to their public profile.
Offers: similar to bids on eBay, offers allow buyers and sellers to negotiate a suitable price for an item. Users can make an initial offer, review an offer, or make a counteroffer.
Measuring success and conclusion
Since the app’s launch on January 31, 2023, on Google Play Store and Apple App Store, it has gained over 10,000 downloads with a 3.8-star rating. We’ve also recorded an 8% increase in customer retention over 8 months.
I’d say the project was a success, given that we achieved the set goals and delivered the product on time. I was pleased to work with some impressive people, from the managers to the engineers.
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