*Disclaimer: To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I’ve replaced the company name with “The Company” and the product name with “B2B payment product” both in the text and the representative assets. All images and files within this case were recreated by me to represent the assets I created during this study.
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Seven product team members (product manager), three researchers.
Junior Researcher. I also designed wireframes and created the prototype for usability testing.
Increase adoption of suppliers for B2B payment solution; vendors and suppliers
The Company product team launched a B2B payment product which enabled businesses to access capital to pay other businesses. The Company served as the intermediary by verifying the payee banking and business information and made payments on behalf of the business up to the limit of the businesses’ approved capital.
During the product’s initial launch, the product and development teams created a landing page, “Invite a Vendor”, so that businesses could add the payees’ information to send payments. Within this landing page, the product team created an “add a vendor” checkbox, which allowed businesses to store business and payment information for future use. This feature aimed to streamline payments to vendors, as businesses could look up existing vendor information within the database for repeat payments.
The B2B Payment Product team engaged our research team to learn more about their customer segment in order to increase engagement on the “Invite a Vendor” platform. Our research team conducted stakeholder interviews and experience sampling with the B2B Payment Product team members to set the research objectives for a new study. Key assumptions and findings that emerged from the stakeholder interviews were:
Using insights from previous research studies and new stakeholder research, our team began the second phase of the research project: exploring suppliers as a new customer segment.
I led a research ideation session with our product partner to develop the research objectives and the methodology we would use to answer the research questions.
Based on this business need, we developed the following research objectives:
We developed questions for the discussion guide to explore the research objectives using qualitative interviews and qualitative usability testing for the e-mail template, landing page, and value proposition based on the following primary questions:
During the time of this study, my team was also exploring ways to provide product managers with faster research results for critical timelines. This meant that we modified our usual 10-12 customer interviews to 5 for this particular study, based on Norman Neilson guidance of running more iterative design processes.
Due to the supplier segment being a niche population, I worked with the product manager and account management teams to recruit 5 customers from multiple industries who worked within payment departments within their companies (ex. accounts receivable, electronic payments, cash management, customer payments).
We conducted 1-hour sessions in two parts: first, by asking general questions about customers’ operational behaviors and preferences within their companies and then by conducting qualitative usability sessions.
*Discussion guide questions are not displayed due to my non-disclosure agreement.
We derived themes from the analysis and synthesis of interviews and explored these themes and sub-topics in thematic analysis to provide richer context for customers’ underlying behaviors, needs, and motivations.
We recorded customer points and topics within a tracker that enabled us to develop themes based on patterns within the interviews. I created a color-coded sheet to record individual observations during the usability testing.
We organized thematic data into quotes, laddering up to points, topics, and 4 themes, written in the voice of the customer. This provided valuable insight into why customers reacted the way they did in usability tests.
*Detailed data from the thematic analysis is not displayed due to my non-disclosure agreement.
The following themes emerged from the qualitative interviews:
Based on results from the thematic analysis and usability testing, our research team provided the following recommendations for phase 2 development of the e-mail, landing page, and value proposition:
Our team’s research was well received by the B2B product team, which led us to partner with another product team in order to present the research findings. One surprising result of the research was the resulting discussion around our recommendation to eliminate the language around “supplier” from product collateral as customer feedback showed they were confused by the term; were they the suppliers or were their “vendors”? This provided an important discussion about naming conventions within the product, as these involved multiple departments (i.e. marketing, compliance) to think about the ramifications of changing the names on marketing materials and finding a name that would be approved by compliance departments.
One key next step for research and product strategy would be to explore the experience beyond the email and landing page. What does the customer experience once they submit the vendor information into the database? How will they create a unified payment system where customers can both view and reference invoices more readily? How will the B2B Payment Product be integrated into other business payment systems to provide a more streamlined B2B experience for customers? Perhaps the next phase of recent can explore the product customer journey across many related products in order to answers those questions.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 2020.