A freight broker company that connects people and businesses with local pickup trucks, minivans, and cargo vans for moving large items, with same day service and upfront pricing.
How might we provide local large vehicles to consumers to safely transport bulk items from one place to another, with same-day service and upfront pricing?
Currently, there are two points of sale: retailers that have delivery options (direct or third-party), and resellers such as Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji or Karrot that don’t have delivery services.
Customers can wait a few days to get large items delivered for the former or contact a friend or find movers’ quotes online for the latter. However, 60% of survey respondents preferred not having to wait for a delivery and rather, getting their items immediately.
From those surveyed, 100% tried fitting large items in their car. Of those, 80% mentioned it was difficult to fit items, and when it did “fit”, 70% reported a driving risk with either the trunk remaining open, doors not fully closing, items loaded on top of cars, or items too close to windows. This poses a serious risk to the mover and surrounding drivers.
Additionally, an interviewee expressed fear of “getting home safely without being pulled over” due to moving a 12 ft construction beam extending out of their passenger window. No red flags, as legally required, were attached and instead, a Home Depot bag was covering it.
Other drivers have tried fitting: an Ikea bed, camera cranes, a wardrobe, a dresser, a stove, and a piano. With access to larger vehicles, we can stop such dangerous transports on our roads.
Lastly, for those who were unable to fit items in their car, 40% chose U-Haul or a Home Depot truck rental as the next option. However, 30% customers also reported being “somewhat comfortable” with driving large rental vehicles with 20% being “somewhat uncomfortable”. If shipping isn’t available in some cases (i.e., Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji) what options do we have for safer transports?
User Pain Points
- Using Reddit and Quora forms, we identified a lack of transportation resources for moving large items. When purchasing bulk items from online resellers or friends, users look online for moving company recommendations.
- From our survey, 0% users asked stores for third-party movers or searched online for moving companies, since gathering quotes is time-consuming, and moving companies are pricey.
- When large items didn’t fit in their vehicles, 40% of survey users reported considering U-Haul as an alternative. However, students or recent immigrants may not have a driver's license to qualify for such rentals.
- Other users reported finding a friend with a truck (20%) or canceling their items (20%)
- Our preliminary user research to validate this problem found that if users require a large vehicle to move their items, the most important features to implement are: Upfront Pricing (80%) and Immediate Availability of Vehicles (80%)
Landing on the Solution
Allow users to book large vehicles from local drivers with trucks or minivans, and list professional movers for bigger service requirements.
Explanation of Solution
By providing access to local vehicles, it will allow drivers of large vehicles to earn a part-time income, while giving customers immediate access to bigger vehicles. For bigger moving services, customers can view a list of moving companies rather than calling multiple businesses and comparing quotes.
Customers want a service with upfront pricing and immediate availability. Future steps involve digging further into price ranges, types of availability, and specific steps that will make bookings easy. Additionally, having insurance and liability coverage for drivers, vehicles and items is a critical step that needs to be further explored.
Product Manager Learnings:
- Co.Lab taught me the importance of staying in the problem space rather than running to solutions. As Theodore Levitt said: “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole.”
- Conducting surveys and user interviews were practical steps in digging deeper into the problem space. The biggest lesson here was asking the right questions. You won’t get it right the first time, so drafting side questions as you explore your problem space is a helpful trick.
- The solution space is a collaborative task! PM’s don’t have to solve everything. We just ask the right questions to determine the real problem and value the designers’ and engineers’ input to work towards a viable solution.