Enable buyers to engage sellers directly with an offer and speed-up the buying experience.
Ascending price auctions need competition to be successful. If there's not enough competitive traction to increase the price, no one will come close to the necessary seller reserve price. If this happens during multiple auctions, customers begin to have auction fatigue, as do the property sellers.
The primary goal was to design a new way to sell properties faster by reaching price realization, while also preventing customer auction fatigue in our traditional buying model.
I was the lead product design handling the end-to-end UX along with two product managers, content writer, nine developers, two QA analyst, product marketing, and business executive stakeholders.
I started by engaging our customer service team to hear first hand our customers frustrations with the pain points of our current auction model. This exercise provided me with the insights to empathize with our customer and gather data to collaborate with product managers to develop user stories and personas.
Early on in the design process we utilized the Value Proposition Canvas to strategize and align our ideas directly to customers pains and gains. Through this process we found alignment around our solution – Direct Offers. This would enable the buyer to send an offer directly to the seller and receive a response back. Our hypothesis was that this would significantly decrease the time in sale and reduce buyer fatigue.
With an outlined strategy in place we utilized Design Sprints to begin ideation and user testing. Our design sprints we so efficient we came away with months worth of tested ideas we could place into the product roadmap.
Our business stakeholders wanted to test the idea quickly and not wait several months for a full solution to be built for both buyers and sellers. It was time for an MVP approach that would only take developers two sprints to put into production. The product manager came up with a quick solution to utilize our existing auctions. When an auction ends and there is no winner above auction seller reserve price, we offer the customer a 24 hour opportunity to submit an offer. Would users engage and would this move the needle on sales enough to invest into our full product design solution?
• 83% of users engaged in submitting a post-auction offer
• 12% of the offers were accepted by sellers
The MVP solution did make enough of an impact for business to green light the entire project to move forward.
On this project, I was UX research lead, conducting both moderated and unmoderated user research sessions, to gather qualitative data that would drive our design feedback loop.
Through our user research efforts, we heard feedback that users didn't intuitively know what their offer amount should be. By providing customers with a suggested offer range and visual feedback of the winning probability, users knew upfront how much their offer should be and if the property fit their budget. Solving for this use case proved to be a deciding factor in the projects success. Once again, proving that user research is more affordable than the cost of bad design going to development.
After a few months of design and development, we released Direct Offers in February 2020. A success metric we saw in the first two months was a sales rate increase of 14% for bank-owned properties channel. Users were successfully submitting offers on more properties and reduce the amount of time versus a traditional auction with low competition.