Back-up box for SimplyCook

Back-up box for SimplyCook

Back-up box for SimplyCook

Led the discovery & design of Back-up box, a feature that improved retention by 2 percentage points. Back-up boxes now make up 13% of all boxes shipped.

Led the discovery & design of Back-up box, a feature that improved retention by 2 percentage points. Back-up boxes now make up 13% of all boxes shipped.

Led the discovery & design of Back-up box, a feature that improved retention by 2 percentage points. Back-up boxes now make up 13% of all boxes shipped.

Year

2022

Role

Product Designer

Company

SimplyCook

Simply-who now?

SimplyCook is a flexible recipe box subscription. They deliver kits that contain herbs, spices, sauces, rubs & pastes, to help you cook extraordinary meals at home.

Whilst not sending fresh ingredients (like your HelloFresh's) is a unique selling point that customers love, it can also be a weakness as there is no pressure to use the kits compared to competitors who provide all the fresh ingredients.

The challenge & a bit of background

As a product team we were tasked with improving retention - specifically around usage. There was a history of ideas and experiments in this area (I’ll talk more about one of these later) so whilst we wanted to take them on board, we were aware they could be a distraction early on and might lead us to creating solutions before we truly understood the problem. Rob, our Head of Product, and I, decided to start very broad, with lots of interviews and research around how people were using (or not using) the product.

My role

As the sole product designer at the time, I led the concepts, prototypes and visuals of the project. Rob and I also split all the interviews and research between us. We worked very closely.

Research & interviews & interviews

We gathered quantitive data from various places including post-cancel surveys and on-site metrics. We also conducted a lot of customer interviews. We used an Opportunity Solution Tree (OST) to synthesize our qualitative research and detect themes.

We knew that the main reason for customers to visit the site and app was to choose the recipes for their next box. As we delved deeper into the data and what people were saying, we noticed that lots of people were forgetting to choose their recipes and that resulted in frustration when they were sent recipes that they hadn't picked.

We had a data point from the post-cancel survey showing 17% of customers cited ‘boxes piling up’ as a reason for not wanting to continue their subscription. We hypothesized (using knowledge gained from interviews) that the accumulation of boxes in their cupboards was likely due to customers not choosing those recipes, resulting in a lack of appeal and ultimately a lack of cooking (usage).

📈 Cancel survey data

Analysis of cancellation data showed that 17% of customers cancelling their subscription directly mentioned “boxes building up”, “having a backlog” or “forgetting to choose”.

📣 Plus customer interviews

Dozens of customer interviews also suggested that this was probably the most common single cause of cancellation.

Back to 2021 (just for a sec…)

Context was key here in coming up with a solution.

The team had tried to tackle this problem before with various experiments based on reminding customers to choose their next recipes (the simplest, as an example, being a reminder email). However, when these were tested, the result was always the same: lost revenue. By reminding people that they had a box coming, some inevitably would end up canceling off the back of that reminder. The churn over time would ultimately outweigh any benefit gained from the reminder.

🚀 Interlude over, back to the present!

Concept, risk & the unexpected

We started to brainstorm solutions to how we could solve this problem of forgetting to choose & boxes piling up, without impacting revenue.

Our initial concept was an idea we called ‘the Queue’. This would allow customers to choose up to three boxes in advance, the idea being that when customers came to the site (on average once a month) they could queue up a few deliveries in a row, resulting in less boxes being sent that they hadn’t picked.

This would be complex to design and build, but also to fulfill operationally. We would need to re-structured how we managed stock to make sure recipes selected for future boxes stayed in stock until they were due to ship.

We needed to quickly validate this idea.

We used assumption mapping to analyze the potential journey and identify key areas, and categorized them under the headers of usability, desirability, feasibility, and viability. Specifically, we focused on areas that we believed were crucial for the feature's success, but lacked sufficient evidence (top right of the graph).

I then designed a few different versions of how it could work, created prototypes, and put the designs to customers in moderated interviews.

📌 Important to note

There were other problem areas we discovered whilst building out the OST. ‘Forgetting to choose’ was just the one we felt there was most evidence for, and the one that most directly linked to the goal of increasing usage.

Customers were receptive to the queue, but to our surprise, we found that a small part of the design was the thing that most excited people. The option to “Set a default box”. This would allow customers to set a ‘default box’ that we would send if they forgot to queue recipes. This turned out to be the most exciting part of the design for the customers we interviewed.

From our perspective, this idea offered lots of the benefits of the queue but with a lot less complexity, so I started designing for more user tests. We weren't sure what to call it, so I removed the title in the headers and on buttons and at the end of the interviews I’d ask users what they would call it. “Back-up box” was born - named by our users.

Launch, impact & next steps

After testing we saw an increase of 2 percentage points to our overall retention figure - which we were really pleased with - we rolled out to 100% of users.

A year later around 13% of all subscription boxes shipped are back-up boxes.

The feature has been praised by customers.

After a few months, we saw the % of boxes chosen by customers staying relatively flat (yay) but the % of boxes chosen by us (SimplyCook) dropping as the Back-up box % share started to increase. This was awesome news as we ultimately want to get more recipes in the hands of customers that they have chosen.


We plan on incorporating the feature natively within our recently redesigned app (case study here 👀) which should increase visibility and adoption going forward.

Some nice words

"What an excellent idea. I once forgot to choose & the selection that was sent was unfortunately not suitable, so having a back-up box is brilliant!"

Sarah

SimplyCook customer

"Love the back-up box idea!"

Ricky

SimplyCook customer

"A good idea as I would prefer to receive my favourite recipes if I forget to order."

Michelle

SimplyCook customer

Year

2022

Role

Product Designer

Company

SimplyCook

Simply-who now?

SimplyCook is a flexible recipe box subscription. They deliver kits that contain herbs, spices, sauces, rubs & pastes, to help you cook extraordinary meals at home.

Whilst not sending fresh ingredients (like your HelloFresh's) is a unique selling point that customers love, it can also be a weakness as there is no pressure to use the kits compared to competitors who provide all the fresh ingredients.

The challenge & a bit of background

As a product team we were tasked with improving retention - specifically around usage. There was a history of ideas and experiments in this area (I’ll talk more about one of these later) so whilst we wanted to take them on board, we were aware they could be a distraction early on and might lead us to creating solutions before we truly understood the problem. Rob, our Head of Product, and I, decided to start very broad, with lots of interviews and research around how people were using (or not using) the product.

My role

As the sole product designer at the time, I led the concepts, prototypes and visuals of the project. Rob and I also split all the interviews and research between us. We worked very closely.

Research & interviews & interviews

We gathered quantitive data from various places including post-cancel surveys and on-site metrics. We also conducted a lot of customer interviews. We used an Opportunity Solution Tree (OST) to synthesize our qualitative research and detect themes.

We knew that the main reason for customers to visit the site and app was to choose the recipes for their next box. As we delved deeper into the data and what people were saying, we noticed that lots of people were forgetting to choose their recipes and that resulted in frustration when they were sent recipes that they hadn't picked.

We had a data point from the post-cancel survey showing 17% of customers cited ‘boxes piling up’ as a reason for not wanting to continue their subscription. We hypothesized (using knowledge gained from interviews) that the accumulation of boxes in their cupboards was likely due to customers not choosing those recipes, resulting in a lack of appeal and ultimately a lack of cooking (usage).

📈 Cancel survey data

Analysis of cancellation data showed that 17% of customers cancelling their subscription directly mentioned “boxes building up”, “having a backlog” or “forgetting to choose”.

📣 Plus customer interviews

Dozens of customer interviews also suggested that this was probably the most common single cause of cancellation.

Back to 2021 (just for a sec…)

Context was key here in coming up with a solution.

The team had tried to tackle this problem before with various experiments based on reminding customers to choose their next recipes (the simplest, as an example, being a reminder email). However, when these were tested, the result was always the same: lost revenue. By reminding people that they had a box coming, some inevitably would end up canceling off the back of that reminder. The churn over time would ultimately outweigh any benefit gained from the reminder.

🚀 Interlude over, back to the present!

Concept, risk & the unexpected

We started to brainstorm solutions to how we could solve this problem of forgetting to choose & boxes piling up, without impacting revenue.

Our initial concept was an idea we called ‘the Queue’. This would allow customers to choose up to three boxes in advance, the idea being that when customers came to the site (on average once a month) they could queue up a few deliveries in a row, resulting in less boxes being sent that they hadn’t picked.

This would be complex to design and build, but also to fulfill operationally. We would need to re-structured how we managed stock to make sure recipes selected for future boxes stayed in stock until they were due to ship.

We needed to quickly validate this idea.

We used assumption mapping to analyze the potential journey and identify key areas, and categorized them under the headers of usability, desirability, feasibility, and viability. Specifically, we focused on areas that we believed were crucial for the feature's success, but lacked sufficient evidence (top right of the graph).

I then designed a few different versions of how it could work, created prototypes, and put the designs to customers in moderated interviews.

📌 Important to note

There were other problem areas we discovered whilst building out the OST. ‘Forgetting to choose’ was just the one we felt there was most evidence for, and the one that most directly linked to the goal of increasing usage.

Customers were receptive to the queue, but to our surprise, we found that a small part of the design was the thing that most excited people. The option to “Set a default box”. This would allow customers to set a ‘default box’ that we would send if they forgot to queue recipes. This turned out to be the most exciting part of the design for the customers we interviewed.

From our perspective, this idea offered lots of the benefits of the queue but with a lot less complexity, so I started designing for more user tests. We weren't sure what to call it, so I removed the title in the headers and on buttons and at the end of the interviews I’d ask users what they would call it. “Back-up box” was born - named by our users.

Launch, impact & next steps

After testing we saw an increase of 2 percentage points to our overall retention figure - which we were really pleased with - we rolled out to 100% of users.

A year later around 13% of all subscription boxes shipped are back-up boxes.

The feature has been praised by customers.

After a few months, we saw the % of boxes chosen by customers staying relatively flat (yay) but the % of boxes chosen by us (SimplyCook) dropping as the Back-up box % share started to increase. This was awesome news as we ultimately want to get more recipes in the hands of customers that they have chosen.


We plan on incorporating the feature natively within our recently redesigned app (case study here 👀) which should increase visibility and adoption going forward.

Some nice words

"What an excellent idea. I once forgot to choose & the selection that was sent was unfortunately not suitable, so having a back-up box is brilliant!"

Sarah

SimplyCook customer

"Love the back-up box idea!"

Ricky

SimplyCook customer

"A good idea as I would prefer to receive my favourite recipes if I forget to order."

Michelle

SimplyCook customer

Year

2022

Role

Product Designer

Company

SimplyCook

Simply-who now?

SimplyCook is a flexible recipe box subscription. They deliver kits that contain herbs, spices, sauces, rubs & pastes, to help you cook extraordinary meals at home.

Whilst not sending fresh ingredients (like your HelloFresh's) is a unique selling point that customers love, it can also be a weakness as there is no pressure to use the kits compared to competitors who provide all the fresh ingredients.

The challenge & a bit of background

As a product team we were tasked with improving retention - specifically around usage. There was a history of ideas and experiments in this area (I’ll talk more about one of these later) so whilst we wanted to take them on board, we were aware they could be a distraction early on and might lead us to creating solutions before we truly understood the problem. Rob, our Head of Product, and I, decided to start very broad, with lots of interviews and research around how people were using (or not using) the product.

My role

As the sole product designer at the time, I led the concepts, prototypes and visuals of the project. Rob and I also split all the interviews and research between us. We worked very closely.

Research & interviews & interviews

We gathered quantitive data from various places including post-cancel surveys and on-site metrics. We also conducted a lot of customer interviews. We used an Opportunity Solution Tree (OST) to synthesize our qualitative research and detect themes.

We knew that the main reason for customers to visit the site and app was to choose the recipes for their next box. As we delved deeper into the data and what people were saying, we noticed that lots of people were forgetting to choose their recipes and that resulted in frustration when they were sent recipes that they hadn't picked.

We had a data point from the post-cancel survey showing 17% of customers cited ‘boxes piling up’ as a reason for not wanting to continue their subscription. We hypothesized (using knowledge gained from interviews) that the accumulation of boxes in their cupboards was likely due to customers not choosing those recipes, resulting in a lack of appeal and ultimately a lack of cooking (usage).

📈 Cancel survey data

Analysis of cancellation data showed that 17% of customers cancelling their subscription directly mentioned “boxes building up”, “having a backlog” or “forgetting to choose”.

📣 Plus customer interviews

Dozens of customer interviews also suggested that this was probably the most common single cause of cancellation.

Back to 2021 (just for a sec…)

Context was key here in coming up with a solution.

The team had tried to tackle this problem before with various experiments based on reminding customers to choose their next recipes (the simplest, as an example, being a reminder email). However, when these were tested, the result was always the same: lost revenue. By reminding people that they had a box coming, some inevitably would end up canceling off the back of that reminder. The churn over time would ultimately outweigh any benefit gained from the reminder.

🚀 Interlude over, back to the present!

Concept, risk & the unexpected

We started to brainstorm solutions to how we could solve this problem of forgetting to choose & boxes piling up, without impacting revenue.

Our initial concept was an idea we called ‘the Queue’. This would allow customers to choose up to three boxes in advance, the idea being that when customers came to the site (on average once a month) they could queue up a few deliveries in a row, resulting in less boxes being sent that they hadn’t picked.

This would be complex to design and build, but also to fulfill operationally. We would need to re-structured how we managed stock to make sure recipes selected for future boxes stayed in stock until they were due to ship.

We needed to quickly validate this idea.

We used assumption mapping to analyze the potential journey and identify key areas, and categorized them under the headers of usability, desirability, feasibility, and viability. Specifically, we focused on areas that we believed were crucial for the feature's success, but lacked sufficient evidence (top right of the graph).

I then designed a few different versions of how it could work, created prototypes, and put the designs to customers in moderated interviews.

📌 Important to note

There were other problem areas we discovered whilst building out the OST. ‘Forgetting to choose’ was just the one we felt there was most evidence for, and the one that most directly linked to the goal of increasing usage.

Customers were receptive to the queue, but to our surprise, we found that a small part of the design was the thing that most excited people. The option to “Set a default box”. This would allow customers to set a ‘default box’ that we would send if they forgot to queue recipes. This turned out to be the most exciting part of the design for the customers we interviewed.

From our perspective, this idea offered lots of the benefits of the queue but with a lot less complexity, so I started designing for more user tests. We weren't sure what to call it, so I removed the title in the headers and on buttons and at the end of the interviews I’d ask users what they would call it. “Back-up box” was born - named by our users.

Launch, impact & next steps

After testing we saw an increase of 2 percentage points to our overall retention figure - which we were really pleased with - we rolled out to 100% of users.

A year later around 13% of all subscription boxes shipped are back-up boxes.

The feature has been praised by customers.

After a few months, we saw the % of boxes chosen by customers staying relatively flat (yay) but the % of boxes chosen by us (SimplyCook) dropping as the Back-up box % share started to increase. This was awesome news as we ultimately want to get more recipes in the hands of customers that they have chosen.


We plan on incorporating the feature natively within our recently redesigned app (case study here 👀) which should increase visibility and adoption going forward.

Some nice words

"What an excellent idea. I once forgot to choose & the selection that was sent was unfortunately not suitable, so having a back-up box is brilliant!"

Sarah

SimplyCook customer

"Love the back-up box idea!"

Ricky

SimplyCook customer

"A good idea as I would prefer to receive my favourite recipes if I forget to order."

Michelle

SimplyCook customer

want

to work

together?

built by me! © 2024

want

to work

together?

built by me! © 2024