UX/UI design refers to “user experience” and “user interface” design respectively. UX/UI designer roles are much more and more commonplace today and for good reason as the role of user experience is both an SEO ranking factor and a big factor impacting whether visitors buy from you. While we often consider the role of UX designers in building effective websites, these professionals are tasked with considering every element of not only how useful a product or service is to targeted consumers, but how it’s delivered and how to optimize movement through the conversion funnel leading to a sale. In today’s world where consumers want everything yesterday, your choice of delivery method greatly impacts your bottom line and is something these designers must consider when they build your interface with consumers.
Examples of a good delivery method
So, let’s consider a good example to illustrate this point that your delivery method matters. When you purchase an iPhone, the packaging is sleek, simple, and streamlined. As you open the case, the phone is presented first, proudly. Then the simple cables needed for charging are tied neatly underneath to avoid detracting from the sleek product design with mundane technical aspects of the product. The Apple logo is clearly visible and it’s all the branding you need to know who created the product. As befits a product with such a high cost, the Apple iMac spares no expense on packing that protects the product and provides support that the buyer made the right decision before they even power up the computer. The company, since its early days, embodied the notion that utility and technical aspects of the product were less important to buyers than the “coolness” factor you see in the intuitive use of the product and its attractive design; something that set it apart from its competitors who were less visually appealing and, in some cases, offered superior performance. An example is the Zune which lost heavily to the iPod.
That’s good UX. The package was easy to open, provided a sense of excitement, and displayed the strongest quality of the product first and foremost. Put simply – the delivery method of your product is so essential to consider beyond just getting products to customers quickly and in good condition. Craft memories like this, and customers tend to return time after time to buy your product, recommend it to their friends, and become fierce advocates of your brand.
But how can we achieve that going forward? In this post, we’ll discuss all of that and more.
Ensuring a good delivery method
As mentioned earlier, a good delivery method protects the product, speeds its delivery, reaches customers as quickly as possible, and thus, helps not only encourage purchases but promotes repeat purchases of the product. Obviously, this extends beyond UX/UI to include logistics, product design, and other marketing functions. Below, we delve into each aspect of delivery.
Consumers buy products to solve problems and consumers face different problems as well as find different ways to solve the problem. A successful company is one that offers many variations of its solutions to meet these diverse needs by offering different price points, colors, and features. Overengineering products to deliver more than a customer needs may seem like the way to go but it adds cost (that might make your product unaffordable for a large segment of your target marketing) or provide the impression (or even the reality) that more complex products are harder to use and break down more frequently.
For instance, supplement companies sometimes find it prudent to case their ingredients in a simple swallowable tab. But more and more, gummy molds provide an excellent taste and chewing experience while also allowing you to deliver the same product in a form that’s more palatable for some consumers. In the growing CBD market, even sprays are becoming more popular because they are easily ingested and deliver a measured dose. After several tampering incidences, Tylenol discovered new formats for their pills that appealed to skeptical consumers who feared additional tampering efforts.
In fashion, we find similar products offered at various price points with similar designs. By switching to less expensive fabrics and using automated production techniques, haute couture fashion houses deliver more affordable versions of their products to price-conscious consumers. Often sold under different labels, these options also deliver to the company’s bottom line.
Product variations also add more utility to the products your customers purchase. For instance, offering a product designed for large families as well as smaller versions for small households ensures you deliver maximum utility. In today’s world where mass customization is possible, more and more companies allow for one-on-one marketing of unique products to consumers with different tastes, needs, and economic resources.
Some companies worry about cannibalization, where a product cuts into the profits of another product. However, there are ways to avoid product cannibalization, while capturing profits from both products and allowing less space for competitors to capture your market or part of it.
The air of legitimacy
It’s essential to focus on creating an air of legitimacy that official branding and packaging can provide; especially if your product is at risk of being counterfeited. We see this in the fast fashion market, as well as for high-end designer brands despite intensive efforts by the companies and federal regulators to stop the practice. Securing your brand in the global marketplace is the first step in protecting your brand from these counterfeiting efforts, although not all countries support the protection of intellectual property. For instance, some SE Asian countries aren’t signatories to the most recent GATT (general agreement on trade and tariffs) that provides these protections.
Creating a strong brand, both visually and through product differentiation, also helps protect the legitimacy of your brand, although companies are still the first line in the enforcement of protections. Hence, companies must use technology to detect copyright and patent infringement as well as allocate resources for their protection.
Depending on the product you make, you may provide thousands of units to suppliers, retailers, and private buyers through various delivery methods including rail, ships, and the postal service, each with its own cost structure and speed. This means that logistics is a key element in your product strategy.
Logistics involves the storage, transportation, and product handling necessary to get a physical product from your factory to an end user. Logistics requires a systems approach involving creating a process that optimizes your ability to deliver the right product, at the right time, for the right price at a place chosen by your customer. Each element in this system incurs cost and requires time but you can’t work to optimize any one element involved in the process but must ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible by eliminating cost and friction on the process. And, the type of product is the most significant factor determining most decisions involved in logistics.
The logistics process starts with packaging finished products in a manner that protects your product; ensuring it reaches the customer in peak condition. For perishable products, that means packaging fresh products in an unripe state so they arrive unspoiled. It also means getting products to market as quickly as possible. For fragile products, protective packaging is critical. Hence the reason potato chips are shipped in bags containing inert gas to protect the chips from crushing in the delivery process, not as a means to fool consumers into believing the quantity is larger than it appears.
Next, materials handling equipment greatly impacts logistics efficiency. By utilizing your storage facility effectively, you store more in less space and can quickly find any needed product quickly. By storing frequently used products together and near a convenient loading point you save time. The less you handle each piece of material, the lower your cost and faster you can deliver. Locating your storage facilities in the right place, near transportation hubs and close to your customers, also represents savings in time and money. Using the appropriate technology improves efficiency and lowers costs.
Finally, you must get the product to the end users, whether directly or through one or more intermediaries, such as retailers. New forms of transportation can really help reduce time when you’re delivering to customers. For instance, Amazon and other e-tailers are testing using drones to deliver products more quickly to consumers, as well as delivering into consumers’ garages or vehicles as a means to secure products from porch bandits.
Shortening delivery times to retailers is also important, as a retail stockout can result in consumers switching to products that are in stock.
With this advice, you’re certain to see why the delivery method for your product is so important going forward. The more you apply that logic, the more value you can bring to everyone who buys or utilizes your product.
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