Case study #1: inclusion of social media interactions (reviews, suggestions and images) to the user's application.
Disclaimer: I have no relation with Rappi. This is a case challenge that has been presented to me as a PM exercise. All the decisions, opinions and designs are strictly my own and are not affiliated with Rappi.
Rappi is considering adding social features and/or user-generated restaurant reviews to the user application.
How would you determine if this is a good idea or not?
“While Facebook might be the undisputed leader in social media, Alibaba is adding several social features to its marketplace mobile app “Taobao” to keep users hooked. In its Q1 2017 results call, Alibaba’s Chief Executive Daniel Zhang stated that social features are extending the visiting frequency of users, to the extent that Taobao is more like a social commerce app rather than a market place. As per our estimates, average active buyers and average spend per active buyer are two key metrics which drive the valuation of Alibaba’s most valuable segment, in our estimation, the China Retail Online Marketing segment. Taobao’s social features are attracting more users to the app and increasing their engagement, which is leading to higher user spend on the app. This strategy will drive revenues for Alibaba over the longer term, allowing the company to retain its competitive advantage.”
The article above is enough evidence that adding social features to the product has a reasonable potential to bring more user engagement and revenue if done correctly. However, by itself, it’s not enough to drive the decision to follow the same direction as Alibaba. It’s important to back this decision with a consistent amount of data, for many aspects may influence the success or failure of these features (execution, market culture, timing, etc). To find out whether or not this is a good idea, I would first start with a hypothesis, then proceed to research the subject in-depth
"Adding social features and/or UGC to restaurant reviews to the user application will increase the number of active buyers and average spend per active buyer."
Define & Prioritize
Plan of action
Risks & Trade-offs
Before working towards a solution, we first need a clear picture of the problem. Are we working towards business goals, consumer goals, or both?
Conduct interviews with users to learn what are their thoughts on adding such features to our apps, offering incentives to trigger users to participate. Identify our top competitors, analyze and compare the content of their apps. Look into non-competitor products that use features based on a similar hypothesis to ours. How do they compare? Do they achieve the purpose?
Define & Prioritize
Use the collected results to create a validated user persona, covering their needs, goals and motivations as related to our product. Create stories engaging the designated tasks to be performed by the user and their outcomes ("Jobs To Be Done" framework).
Prioritize the tasks that are most important to our users, accordingly to the added value identified in our research vs. development effort necessary to implement
Articulate how the problem can be solved by our product in a concrete, tangible and feasible way, defining the guiding principles & framework to which decisions will be made. Establishing the desired metrics and KPI targets that we are looking to achieve.
Evaluate internal & external risks, along with potential trade-offs
Internal risks: do we have the right team to perform this task? Are dependent or reliant on other projects to complete this one? Is the executive team on board?
External risks: Will customers engage in our new features? Will competitors launch competing features?
After the research and going through the considerations above, we will have enough information to attest the feasibility of the project. This information will guide our feature development;
Making the assumptions necessary, explain what features you would develop and why.
We believe that by adding social features and/or UGC to restaurant reviews to the user application, existing users will engage more often and attract new users to the platform, therefore increasing acquisition and active users. This will increase the average spend per user and, consequently, their lifetime value
What follows below is a list of features prioritized according to added value vs. effort necessary to develop and implement, according to the following criteria:
Value: 1 to 5, being 1 of low value and 5 is a high value
Effort: 1 to 5, being 1 a high effort and 5 a low effort (inverse order)
Total score: value x effort
i.e.: High-value/low-effort features score higher totals;
MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
Following the list above, I would pick the top three features to produce my MVP, considering it contains just enough features to test and validate our hypotheses, handing it to our users to be tested. The resulting feedback will be used to update our assumptions and improve the product.
Links that I used in my research