E-commerce to Recommerce: Spearheading the changing landscape of refurbished electronics in India.

This is the story of how we helped design the game-changer in the refurbished electronics marketplace in India.

Refurbished electronics in India are typically sold in grey markets with transactions based on an exchange of trust between local vendors and customers. Online marketplaces for refurbished products have cropped up in recent times but with little success. No single entity has been able to capture the market in the past few years. This market for electronics is slated to grow by ~27% in the next year.

2GUD is an m-site for refurbished products launched in 2018. It is a Flipkart venture in the process of expanding, and the idea for it emerged when Flipkart acquired the Indian operations of eBay in August 2017.  2GUD aims to make the process of buying refurbished goods ‘cleaner’. It brings quality assurances, warranties and easy returns. Flipkart has acquired F1 Info Solutions to help with fragmented supply chains and reverse logistics in order to get hold of products from customers for refurbishing. 2GUD streamlines transactions with the assistance of various companies that handle key touch points like product pick-up from a customer’s home and quality testing.

We began work on this project at the nascent stage of product design. This was the first time a company was trying to streamline the refurbished electronics space with such a singular business focus.

Our first Sprint focused on developing a base-level prototype for the product. We intended on creating a platform with a distinct appearance that was separate from Flipkart. Designing the platform to be user-first, we included guidance for users on the upsides of using 2GUD, including information on the various grades of refurbished products.

We created the initial prototype on cards and tested it on a user group. We garnered some important insights. Users wanted:

  • High-resolution images of the product to identify flaws and the condition of the product.
  • To understand ‘grades’ and what each grade means.
  • Clarity on buyback and return policies.
  • A clear understanding of all reviews (positive or negative).

We also noticed that users prefer buying ‘Refurbished’ over any other grade because of lower price points and the strict testing products undergo.

We narrowed our questions to three broad How Might We  (HMW) questions at the end of the Sprint.

  • HMW communicate the quality and condition of these refurbished products?
  • HMW justify the price advantage of refurbished goods over new goods?
  • HMW create a distinct relationship between the Flipkart and 2GUD experience?

Shaping the journey

In the next phase, we worked on visual elements for the web app. We decided to create a separate visual identity for 2GUD, which would be the first step for distinct user experience.

We created an interactive and tabular representation that explained various grades of products for users to consult. Users could sign in to the app using their Flipkart credentials, eliminating the need for another password to remember. Reviews were to be reflected in a pie-chart to assist in quick assessments of products.

A persistent navigation key was introduced for easy navigation between categories, with filters for ‘colour’ and ‘grade’. Comprehensive information about specs, video graphics and detailed ‘2GUD Assurance’ information was added to the Product Detail Page (PDP).

On each Friday of the Sprint process, we found pedestrians around our office and ask them to use the product. Without revealing many details, we were able to create a non-biased user-testing scenario for a solid ground for new measures and improvements.

User Journey Mapping

Users typically arrive at the home page of 2GUD through a search engine recommendation. The page is completely unlike its parent company Flipkart in appearance. This visual identity is distinct. The type, colours, logo and everything else are different. The mobile site allows for horizontal scrolling, has a search button and hamburger menu for easy navigation.

Keeping in mind our visual-first approach, we placed Educational cards that explain the differences in grades, policies, and available variants in prominent places across the website. These cards include videos, infographics and text and list the advantages of buying refurbished products.

The shopping experience includes a hierarchy in the information. The first level includes product information followed by grade information in tabular form. We put in secondary actions such as ‘Add to Wishlist’ and ‘Social Share’. We gave weight to features like ‘Buy-Back Promise’ and ‘Extended Warranty’ with a prominent widget that displays policy details, a feature reiterated at the final interaction at check-out.

Conclusion

On completing the product design, we learnt that we are going to be using the same code and design stack as Flipkart had used. This was a complication. New features and changes would affect the parent app. Working with this constraint, we made new designs and changed the way the app looks.

With seven years worth of A/B testing, Flipkart was confident about the strength of their code. Changing it entirely was a risk that would require more engineers. We adapted the visual identity in view of this limitation.

The product that was launched now has 100,000+ downloads and a 4.0 rating on the Play store.

Innovation and functionality delivered. Let’s talk over how we bring these two together constantly at hello@obvious.in.