Partners Special Offers
One of the main pain points for our Beneficiaries is the lack of availability or the slow response from partners for booking request. One of the main reasons for this problem is that partners don’t have availability during high season or their prices are too high to offer rooms for Smartbox.
From research done with partners, we found out that our Stay Partners wanted to increase booking volumes during quiet periods to help with the availability problem, but they were unable to incentivise beneficiaries to book during these periods if they didn’t have anything different or attractive to offer. From a beneficiary perspective, they are not encouraged to book during quiet periods because relevant offers are not displayed at the time of booking.
How can we incentivise Smartbox Beneficiaries to book during weekdays or quiet periods?
A research was conducted by the beneficiary team. The question they wanted to get answer was:
What would make a beneficiary change their booking dates to book on a quiet period?
The results showed that customers are willing to change their choice of booking during the weekend to book on quiet periods if they were offered a discounted on the price of the room, a free dinner with booking, room upgrade and a discounted extra night.
The perceived value of the offer has to be high (min 20% of the value of the booking). This will help to change their decision to book from the weekends to the less busy periods.
- Time is our primary constraint. An “MVP” is the first solution for this function since the deadline is December 2018.
- The initial solution for the Special Offer will be that the partner enters a description of their SO which will be submitted for approval of our Account Managers, this is because of the lack of standardisation in the current partners' offers.
- Special Offer creation will be available at the beginning for Desktop because 90% of our users use desktop against 7% mobile. The second reason for choosing to do the Special Offer creation is that most of the users using mobile are activities and restaurants so they are not our main target users for this function.
- No landing page where we can explain extensively about this new functionality. Since is an MVP we will be learning on the beta to understand if it’s clear for users what a Special Offer is and how to create it.
- The initial version of this solution won’t have some functionalities: edition of the Special Offer, more than 1 special offer per experience active at the same time.
Summary of goals for the Special Offer solution:
- Help improve booking volume for partners during quiet periods
- Allow partners to easily create and manage special offers in PMP
- The Special Offer feature will allow the partner to incentivise beneficiaries to book on the partners’ preferred days.
Stay partners: big hotels, medium size, rural hotels. Targeting mostly the “commercial” who is in charge of the contracts and negotiation with Smartbox.
Use cases for an MVP
- Create Special Offer
- View Special Offers created
- Activate Special Offers
- Deactivate Special Offers
- Delete Special Offers
Discussion with developers.
Discussion with developers.
Onboarding to the new functionality
Creating a Special Offer
Initial feedback has been done:
Questions/Assumptions: Questions we would like to get answered:
- Partners don’t need from day one to create more than 1 special offer (Assumption)
- We assumed that partners will prefer to activate the special offers once is approve and not to have the SO published straight away. (Assumption)
- How easy is for the partner to use this functionality?
- How easy is for the partner to create a new Special Offer?
- Is it clear for users what a Special Offer it is? Benefits?
- How to deactivate and activate a Special Offer?
- How to create a new Special Offer when they have an active one?
The results from the feedback collected allowed us to understand that as a first-time functionality people don’t want to waste their time activating the Special Offer, they would like to have that published straight away, but some kind of “review” needs to be in place.
Is inconclusive the need for creating more than one Special Offers.
Initially with 50 Spanish partners — learn from their experiences.
Testing will be conducted remotely with Spanish partners. We would like to test different flows: create, review, activate, deactivate, delete, create a Special Offer while an offer is active.
1 product owner, 1 project manager, 1 remote Engineering building front-end, Engineers from different teams involved during the whole process, Stakeholders, Operations, CEO, Beneficiary team.
- This project was conceived in 1 year and built in 4 months.
- I worked remotely with the engineer in charge of the front-end to be sure the design was implemented as intended.
- Design QA has been performed in every sprint.
UX design, UI Design, prototyping, testing.
Conclusion / Next Steps
Wait for the release to be completed to start learning from the 50 partners we are going to test this as a beta.