Jumbotail is an early stage startup with the vision to organize the food and grocery ecosystem in India. The company is currently building an online marketplace for food and grocery, targeted at wholesale buyers. I was one of the core team members at the startup, the first designer and set up most of the design processes and culture for the organization. Here I worked on multiple products end to end including the customer app, last mile app, warehousing and inventory portal, customer delight portal as well as the corporate website.
Understanding the context
Over a period of 1 year and 8 months at Jumbotail, I interacted with 200+ kirana shop owners and multiple wholesale sellers both on the field as well as by inviting them over to our office and conducting research sessions with them. Here are some of the interesting observations from the field to establish context on the nature of the target audience and their context.
AT THE CENTRAL MARKET
Kirana store owners who travel to the central markets to procure agricultural produce, often end up having to manage their own transportation.
The central markets are often crowded with goods trucks occupying most of the space making it difficult for smaller shop owners to move their goods.
CHOOSING PRODUCTS AND QUANTITIES
A ₹1 hair oil pocket that can be bought only in entire strips of 108 pockets in each strip.
Oil pouches that typically are bought in boxes but can also be bought in loose.
25-50kg rice bags that can be bought in any number as per their requirement.
TRACKING ORDERS AND PAYMENTS
Most kirana store owners maintain multiple notebooks for taking orders from their customers, tracking credit given and owed and tracking when to restock.
Local languages mixed with English was most commonly used.
COMPLEXITIES IN CHOOSING PRODUCTS
Local brands that look extremely similar to more popular brands but are lower priced and have higher margins for the store owners.
Quality of rice is generally understood by the shop owners based on how it cooks, amount of water required and the texture and color of the cooked rice.
Understanding perceived groups for information hierarchy
Card sorting exercises were conducted with the kirana store owners in their own contexts at their stores to better understand how they perceived the different groups of products and brands that they usually buy. To initiate it as a continuous process, I personally visited 11 different stores to conduct these card sorting activities while also training some of the folks from the cataloguing team to conduct this independently in order to scale the process.
Categories for product discovery
Based on the above research learnings, following are some of the categories and their respective labels that emerged for product discovery on the app.
Conducted multiple co-creation, brainstorming and design thinking sessions for the team to capture and explore multiple ideas quickly.
Wireframes and sketches for initial ideas
Initial ideas and wireframes were mostly hand drawn in order to move fast, get feedback and narrow down on the right set of concepts.