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@Market App

OVERVIEW

For wholesale buyers, attending seasonal markets is undoubtedly one of the most exciting aspects of their job. It offers a chance to connect with new vendors, strengthen existing relationships, network with buyers from all corners of the world, and discover new products and trends.

However, despite the excitement, the experience can also be overwhelming. Buyers must plan in advance and have a clear idea of which showrooms they want to visit. During market, they must keep track of a large amount of information, including products, sales reps, and market specials.

The most daunting part of the process comes after the market, when buyers spend days or weeks sifting through hundreds or even thousands of photos and notes to make informed purchasing decisions and plan their inventory. Our goal was to transform the wholesale buying experience by designing a mobile app that streamlines the process, making it more efficient, organized, and enjoyable.

HIGH LEVEL TIMELINE

April 2022-March 2024

MAKE OF THE TEAM

Lead Product Design-Myself
UX Research- Luna Felo

KEY GOAL

Provide a solution to the pain points before, during, and after markets for our buyers.

MY ROLE

For this app, I owned the product from conception to launch and all iterations between. I worked in lockstep with our product team, business leaders, and our users to provide a solution that alleviates pain points with a beautiful, delightful experience. 

We launched the first beta release of the app to a group of buyers in the January 2023 market season, carried out beta research and usability testing and have taken the app from mvp to a full-fledged app used by thousands of buyers. 

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UNDERSTANDING THE USER

The aim of our research was to gain a comprehensive understanding of the whole buyer journey at market. Our focus was on identifying the different stages involved in the process, including registration, vendor discovery, planning, attendance, gathering vendor and product information, synthesizing information, and placing orders. By conducting this research, we aimed to uncover pain points to address and identify opportunities to serve as a foundation for solution design.

Some of the questions that guided our exploration

🔎 How do buyers currently plan and attend the market?
🔎 How do buyers collect vendor and product information?
🔎 What challenges do buyers face during the market experience?
🔎 What do buyers do after market?
🔎 How do buyers make purchasing decisions?

To achieve our research objectives, we employed a multi-method approach that included 24 in-depth interviews, 7 buyer shadowing sessions, and synthesis of secondary sources.

THESE WERE SOME MAJOR INSIGHTS WE FOUND

Insight #1: 
Planning for Market

1) Many buyers plan for market by setting up appointments with vendors.

2) The market exhibitor list makes it difficult to discover relevant vendors.

3) Mapping out appointments and showroom visits by location.

4) Buyers add vendors to their market list to visit without an appointment, and also leave free time on their calendar to discover new vendor.

Insight #2:
Keeping Track of Products Seen in Showroom

At showrooms, buyers capture photos of products they like and then organize these photos later, but feel that the process is tedious.
 

Insight #3:
Navigating Market

Navigating market can be challenging for buyers as they try to arrive on time for their appointments and visit all the showrooms they planned to. This is made even more difficult due to the sheer number of showrooms present at the market, making it hard to navigate smoothly.

Insight #4:
Organizing After Market

When buyers return from market, they spend days and sometimes weeks organizing all the photos captured, notes and sales reps’ contact info collected to begin making buying decisions with their team.

BUYER JOURNEY + USER FLOWS

After conducting a thorough analysis of the buyer journey, we were able to create a comprehensive map of the various steps, touchpoints, and main actions that buyers take.
As we delved into this process, it became clear that in the past, these steps were often fragmented and disconnected, making it challenging to provide a seamless experience for customers.

However, by understanding the buyer journey and identifying these gaps, we were able to uncover clear opportunities for integration. This allowed us to create a more cohesive and satisfying experience for our customers.
 

Through extensive collaboration with each team member, we were able to create a detailed user flow that captures the journey a buyer might take through our app. The process involved each team member creating their own version of the user flow, which we then combined to create a comprehensive view. As we continued to refine the user flow, it evolved and changed over time to ensure that the final product would be feasible for our MVP release. With this user flow as our guide, we were able to start shaping design.
 

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TITLE OF THE CALLOUT BLOCK

DESIGN + HANDOFF

As the lead designer for this project, I played a critical role in shaping the overall design strategy.
I created low-to-mid fidelity designs in Sketch, informed by the user flows, buyer journey, and prioritized features. Once the general flows were designed, I reworked the frames to production quality, taking into consideration the design system, UI elements, spacing, typography, and interaction design.

I was involved in regular design reviews and validated the frames throughout the process. We underwent several cycles of testing, which informed several rounds of rework.

From there, the PMs worked to break down the epics into stories, each accompanied by production flows that outlined happy paths, edge cases, and error states.

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ITERATIONS +
REBRANDING

We have come a long way from the initial launch of this app. With continuous discovery research, we have made many changes to the usability and layout of the app. 

Along with the ongoing usability updates, our company rebranded from IMC/Juniper to ANDMORE. With that came a completely new look and feel to all of our digital products. This was a huge design lift to create and maintain a consistent look and feel across all customer touchpoints. 

REBRANDED SCREENS

Implementing the new ANDMORE Style Guide

LESSONS LEARNED

This app has come a long way and we have big plans ahead for it to continue to grow in the way it serves our customers. 

Throughout this process, I have grown immensely in my mobile design experience and in research practices. 
We are continuing to iterate and implement changes in the app, always striving to serve our users in ways that improve their workflows and lives. 

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