Purchase journey diary study

Background

OneMarket is a retail technology company. When I was asked to design a product which focuses on post-purchase customer experience, I raised the concern that the company has very little research on the entire customer journey including the post-purchase journey. I proposed to the VP of Product that we use qualitative research to gain more understanding and empathy on the topic, and I presented several research options with pros and cons on the expected outcome and timeline. In the end, we chose diary study with follow-up interviews since the method would likely provide in-depth insight while staying on top of the project timeline.


Research goal

I worked with the team to crystallize the following research goals.

We aim to gain understanding of the underserved needs and pain points throughout the shopping journey (online and offline) to:

  • Uncover new innovative solutions to solve these underserved needs
  • Inform focus for upcoming research in expanded markets.
  • Potentially validate proposed product ideas on the roadmap

 

MY ROLE

In this project, I was responsible for designing the screener and the study, evaluating tools, recruiting, scheduling, and conducting the study. Being one of the more senior research members on the team, I was delighted to mentor a co-worker on conducting research. I also involved other members of the design and product team as much as possible, including sharing preliminary findings periodically during the diary study, and inviting them to the follow-up interviews as notetakers. 

Participants' diary study entries

Participants' diary study entries

Synthesizing data with digital tools and post-its

Synthesizing data with digital tools and post-its

 

INSIGHTS

The following insights resulted from the diary study and follow-up interviews.

  • Return process influences where people shop.
  • Most people prefer online shopping in this study. The consensus is going go the store is a hassle and often more expensive, but sometimes it’s worth the trip e.g. when people want to try out clothing or understand the size of furniture.
  • People research online first to be more informative and reduce time in store. Most people don’t go to shops just to browse.
  • Only bad customer service is noticeable. Customer service “doesn’t make me purchase something, but I can make me not purchase something”.
  • For urban shoppers, In-store trips are either grouped with other activities or they happen organically.

 

A research participant illustrating the item he got from his recent seamless shopping experience

A research participant illustrating the item he got from his recent seamless shopping experience

 

Result

I wanted to share the study findings in a way that is relevant for the team, so after presenting the findings, I facilitated a brainstorming session on solving customers' pain points. Based on the themes resulted from this session, I facilitated several smaller workshops so that the team could choose the topics that are the most useful to the products they were working on. In addition to the comprehensive presentation, I also shared the following one-page overview with the team so that they can quickly reference the findings.

Some of the study findings were directly incorporated into one of the product requirements and use cases.

 

Summary findings

Summary findings