Locals Only
UX/UI, Concept Development

OVERVIEW

The Challenge
In these uncertain times of social distancing, new challenges have surfaced for individuals and businesses. Small, local businesses that rely on their brick and mortar locations and don’t have an e commerce system in place are especially feeling the effects, and many are searching for new ways to create revenue since they have been forced to close their doors and restrict direct contact with consumers.  
The Outcome
I created a platform for a custom subscription box service tailored to local businesses. This will offer existing businesses with alternative ways to reach customers, spread brand awareness and make a profit to help reduce financial stress during these uncertain times. Unlike other subscription boxes that are specific to a type of supplier or product, this service will feature a diverse range of products sourced only from very local businesses that are struggling.
Role
UX Designer, Researcher and Strategist

USER RESEARCH

Research Goals
  1. Who are the target users for both the consumers and businesses and what are their wants/needs?
  2. What are the pro's and con's of existing subscription boxes and how can this service be different in a competitive market? 
  3. How can the products being offered in this subscription box be marketed to a diverse group of consumers with a variety of ages, genders, interests, etc.?
Secondary Research
I researched a lot of existing subscription boxes, reading reviews and customer feedback to better understand what people liked and disliked about the services. I also looked at recent trends in subscription and delivery services which saw a huge increase because of COVID-19.
Based on my research of who would be most likely to use this service, I narrowed my target audience down to individuals that likely have a disposable income and are already interested in supporting local. I then created user personas and stories to help understand the target audience and how to market to them. 
User Stories
Local Business Owner
As the owner of a small, local business that is struggling with having to close my physical location because of COVID-19, I want to find new ways to bring value to my customers and make a profit, so that I am able to spread brand awareness and survive this temporary crisis.
Consumer who Supports Local
As a consumer who has always been interested in supporting local companies, I want to still have the opportunity to make purchases from my favourite small businesses despite many of them temporarily closing down, so that I am able to support them through this difficult time instead of large corporations that are less effected.

DEFINE & IDEATE

Value Proposition
Our platform can offer existing local businesses with alternative ways to reach customers, spread brand awareness and make a profit to help reduce financial stress in uncertain times. 
This service will also provide customers who my be feeling the isolating effects of social distancing with new products and activities to try from the comfort of their home. 
Basic Needs (Must Have's)
  • Subscription boxes must only contain local products
  • Contain a variety of types of products that would appeal to many consumers (eg. food, drink, activities, health & beauty, etc.)
Linear Satisfiers (Performance Items)
  • Regularly feature different companies and types of products
  • Source the majority of products from small businesses that have been forced to close their physical locations
  • Allow small business to easily register as a supplier for the service
Delighter's (Satisfiers)
  • Offer customization features so consumers can personalize the types of products they would like to receive
  • Partner with existing delivery services​

MVP

MVP Definition: Ads on Social Media
Minimum
A short explainer video will be created to explain the subscription box service and how it will help support local business. It will include a link to sign up. 
Viable
The service is something that is targeted at such a current and pressing issue that people are already interested in addressing.     
Product
The analytics can be measured of how many users click to sign up out of the total number of users that viewed the ad.   
Hypothesis
By highlighting the fact that this service will help support local businesses that are struggling at this time and also provide consumers with products to make their time in isolation a little better, potential customers will be more likely to order this over other similar services.  
I believe that 30% of viewers who see the MVP ad will click the link to read more, and 40% of those viewers will click to sign up to try the first subscription box.     

Market Strategy

Strategy Positioning
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Metrics
  • Cost of marketing vs how many new users subscribed to the service to determine the cost of customer acquisition.
  • Compare active users on a weekly and monthly basis to determine growth rate. 
SWOT Analysis
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Risk Matrix
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PROTOTYPE & WIREFRAMES

To align with many local companies values around sustainability the design of the subscription box will be a simple, natural and 100% recyclable. The branding will be limited to the "LOCALS ONLY" title to let the products from a variety of businesses speak for themselves. Within each box, a card will be included to highlight each product, the company it came from and the option to include promotional coupons/codes to further customer relations.  
Home Page
The home page of this platform has to appeal to both potential subscribers who are interested in purchasing the subscription box plan, and local businesses who want to register to be a partner and have their products/service offered in the boxes. 
I decided the best way to do this is to highlight most recent products and featured local business partners. This would appeal to consumers with tangible examples of products they could get with this service, and inspire other local companies to want to get involved.
I included two CTA's from both the home and about page for each of these user groups. On the home page, the main banner says "support your local businesses" followed by a quick link for to sign up for the service, and the other near the footer is for local businesses to register. From the about page, these quick link buttons are also included following a brief description explaining the two user types and the benefits of each. 
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Two User Journeys to Sign Up
All the links to register and join bring users to the sign up landing page. The user journey for both consumers and businesses are very user friendly with simple step by step sign up pages breaking down the registration process into categorized sections. 
Profile
The key element I included in the customers user profile is an archive of all the past products they would have received in their subscription boxes with quick links back to each local businesses website where they are able to purchase more of the product. This creates ongoing relationships between Locals Only customers and our small business partners.