OVERVIEW

DESCRIPTION:

Development of a digital microsite for an e-bike launch as a proposal for Reid Cycles.

MY ROLE:

Business Designer/UX Architect.

TEAM:

Yui Rasananda, UX/UI Designer.

TIMEFRAME:

2 weeks.

CHALLENGE:

A major Australian cycling mass-market retailer acquired the distribution rights for Corratec a premium electric bike brand from Germany. Sales have been relatively low for e-bikes in the Australian market. I saw an opportunity for Reid Cycles to change this, and own this particular niche like do in ladies retro cycles.

SOLUTION:

Development of an educational microsite with a new premium brand ‘look and feel’ targeted towards customer segment with the conversion goal of getting the customer to come into the store to demo the bike.

ACTIVITIES:

  • Business Research
  • Model Canvas
  • Comparative Research
  • User Survey
  • User Interviews
  • Personas
  • User Flows
  • Wireframe
  • Prototype

TOOLS:

  • Pens & paper
  • Bohemian Sketch App
  • Invision App
  • Typeform.com
  • OmniGraffle
  • MS Excel

THE BRIEF

Reid Cycles partnered with Corratec to become the sole Australian distributor a line of stylish modern e-bikes.  The Corratec bikes are designed and Made in Germany, using the renowned Bosch eBike mid-mount motor system for long battery life, quick charging and smooth operation. The bikes are best of breed and cheaper than comparable premium e-bikes.

However, its early days and e-bike sales are yet to ramp up like they have in Asia and Europe. This is our proposal to Reid Cycles to assist them to improve digital channel assets to power-up e-bikes. 

BUSINESS RESEARCH

The business research examined the existing business, its brand, and alignment with the new e-bike product and potential market. An early discovery was that Reid cycle’s existing business and the new product were simply not aligned. The new product targeted a niche premium market and required an experience-led education experience.

We began by understanding Reid Cycles Australia brand

  • Large footprint with 10 physical stores located in main cities.
  • Online e-Commerce store.
  • Mass-market appeal to a wide selection of everyday Australian.
  • The range is highly affordable and bikes are <$500.
  • A wide range of bikes from vintage to commuter & MTB.
  • Best known for ladies vintage retro cycle bike range.
  • Few non-Reid cycle brands
  • Online reviews may indicate after-purchase service is not a brand strength
  • Very little customization of bikes for buyers.

PRODUCT EVALUATION

Corratec/Bosch e-Bike products evaluated in Australian market context. 

  • Corratec brand unknown in Australia
  • Bosch brand recognised for quality electrical goods.
  • High price AUD$3000+, although reasonable given premium brand.
  • Premium quality (“Made In German”).
  • Online product reviews by Australian experts and general public indicate positive sentiment towards brand/product.
  • Reid Cycles sell a small tailored selection of larger range.

HEURISTIC EVALUATION

A heuristic evaluation of Reid Cycles for potential e-bike Purchasers revealed the site is

  • designed for high volume low-cost commodity sales.
  • designed for the mass market general audience
  • focused on sales, and less so on buyer education.
  • highlighted product feature and less so on product benefits.

A heuristic evaluation of the current site and a comparison with competitors and comparative websites revealed that the current website could be improved or supplemented with a secondary site to better capture potential buyers.

CONTEXTUAL INQUIRY

The overall buyer  experience was explored through contextual enquiry in-store. We explored existing user research and conducted user survey’s targeted at existing e-bike owners. This research identified early adopters and yielded insights around local sales and support issues that could aid Reid’s sale into these customers. We also began surveying the general commuting population to discover the needs of other possible e-bike buyers who may represent the potential needs of the early majority. This lead to the creation of further personas.

A contextual inquiry was undertaken to experience the in-store e-bike education, test-ride and sales process.

Insights from the inquiry:

  • E-Bikes are small part of a much larger shop
  • No special treatment is given to E-bikes
  • The initial sales staff member could not help.
  • Once staff member found, he had passion, knowledge & experience.
  • Significant amount of information discussed and technology explained in 45 minutes discussion with e-bike expert. Essentially this was a buyer education session.
  • Sales person encouraged us to test-ride at the end of discussion.

We took the Test Ride

Insights from the test ride:

  • The experience is fantastic.
  • The experience changed my perceptions.
  • The test ride sold the bike.
  • BUT the test ride comes at the end.

COMPETITIVE REVIEW

We reviewed the competitors’  website content and features.

The best sites explained:

  • The benefits
  • The technology
  • Their e-bikes

And focused on getting the customer in for a test ride.

The best sites

  • Told a brand story around users’ lifestyles and identities.
  • The premium design of the website reflected the high quality positioning of the product.
  • Design was clean, had rich high quality images, used of white space well, unafraid of making user use the scroll wheel..

USER RESEARCH

We explored existing user research and conducted user survey’s targeted at existing e-bike owners. This research identified early adopters and yielded insights that could aid sale into these customers. We also began surveying the general commuting population to discover the needs of other possible e-bike buyers who may represent the needs of the early majority. This lead to the creation of further three further personas representing potential customers.

Online Survey of E-Bike owners  in 2013 by Researchers at Monash University. (n = 529 Participants)

Our phone interviews, discussions in online forums and an online survey (n=8) with e-bike owners and potential e-bike owners reflected Monash’s research.

USER SURVEY – COMMUTER

We also began surveying the general commuting population to discover the needs of other possible e-bike buyers who may represent the potential needs of the early majority. This lead to the creation of further personas.

Existing commuters surveyed (n=32) and interviewed.

Insights

  • e-bikes solve challenges for existing cycling commuters such as distance, speed, ease, and freshness.
  • BUT add new challenges like weight to carry up stairs, concerns about theft.
  • Existing cyclists are likely to compare the purchase cost against the cost of bikes, not cars.
  • e-bikes improve but do not remove objections other commuters have with bikes.
  • e-bikes still don’t solve rider safety, bad weather, long distances etc.

Key insight:

Commuters seem to have heard of e-bikes, and be receptive to buying them in the future.

RESEARCH + INSIGHTS = KEY LEARNINGS

  • Reid Cycles’ existing customer base and the potential buyers of the Corratec / Bosch e-bikes in Australia are not aligned.
  • The potential e-bike buyers need to be educated and inspired to come into  stores to try the e-bike.
  • The potential buyer of a premium e-bike brand like Corratec / Bosch would expect their online experience to match that of the brand they are buying.
  • Reid Cycles’ is uniquely positioned.
  • Reid Cycles’ have the ability to offer a german-engineered brand in 10 stores across major cities all across Australia.
  • Reid Cycles can provide local knowledge, support, and stores with the ability to test ride in all major cities in Australia.
  • No other e-bike seller can do this.
  • The Bosch warranty and Reid Cycle service capability offer extra protection to customers.

Owners are predominantly

  • high income earners
  • highly educated
  • males aged 40+
  • car owners

who used their e-bike for commuting, leisure and to replace some short car journeys.

PROPOSAL TO CLIENT FOR NEW SITE

Using these insights we proposed a new online premium experience for e-bikes using an e-bike microsite. To increase potential sales, a new premium sub-brand and new in-store experience were also proposed.

DESIGN PROCESS

The design aesthetics of the microsite reflected the premium nature of the product with a clean design, lots of white space, and high-resolution photography and videos.

PERSONAS

Personas were developed to cover both the early adopters and possibly early majority buyers. The personas covered working professionals, wealthy hipsters and online buyers.

USER JOURNEY MAPPING

A User Journey Map was designed for Fabian, who was an online buyer. The map below shows the relationship between the microsite and the main e-commerce site.

SITE MAPPING

A new site map was developed that focused on education and experience of e-bikes, and broke down the products into different ranges so that different types of buyers could find the bike they were seeking.

FEATURE PRIORITISATION

Competitors features were reviewed to understand which were common. All possible features were prioritised by a Must-Could-Should analysis by persona, with  the features needed by the main and secondary personas prioritised over the others.

WIREFRAMES

The purpose of the microsite was to educate potentials buyer on the product and invoke desire. The calls to action were to “try” the bike and drive potential buyers into stores to trial the bike. The “try now” rather than the “buy now” philosophy removed potential risks for the buyer and drove them to take an action with a known and established high sales conversion rate. It also played to the large footprint the differentiated Reid Cycles from local competitors.

ITERATING WIREFRAMES

Wireframes were produced and some early feedback sought from stakeholders and potential users. Below shows us reviewing the wireframes and adding user feedback to them. =

NEXT STEPS

  • High fidelity prototype.
  • Finalizing visual design of the website.