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Craft Buddy: An AI companion empowering small business owners to launch quality e-Commerce storefronts

E-commerce merchants often lack the time and expertise to craft content for their online storefronts that effectively convert customers. Craftify AI assists them in building content quickly and substantially reduces the time it takes to go from running their online store to making their first sale.

Craft Buddy is an AI companion, that assists users in navigating and leveraging the Craftify AI suite of tools effectively.

Project Overview:

We identified the bottlenecks business owners and digital marketers encounter when building content for their online store using Craftify AI tools and then integrating it within their public-facing storefront.

Project Details:

  • Timeline: Aug 2023 through Oct 2023

  • My Role: UX Designer

  • Team: Project Manager, Developers, Senior UX designer, UX designers

  • Platform: Web app (Desktop & Mobile)

  • Estimated Reading Time: 8 minutes

Starting the Journey

Craftify AI

Depending on brand needs, customer segments, and the sheer amount of inventory online businesses are listing, it can take merchants weeks or longer to prepare the content for their storefronts. The longer a merchant takes to launch their store, the larger their opportunity cost and the higher the likelihood that their endeavors will come to a screeching halt. Building and managing this content can quickly escalate into a full-time position for many small merchants. Merchants with staff for building content don’t want to waste time building or integrating the tools to manage it before they can start.

The launch of Craftify AI aims to enable the building and integration of digital content for diverse marketing strategies. Craftify AI offers a comprehensive suite of AI-powered tools designed to streamline content creation and optimize marketing efforts.

Understanding the Why

Our user data showed a trend a significant portion of our users initiate tasks with one or multiple tools but do not follow through to completion. Many begin a task, leave it unfinished, or even utilize a couple of tools briefly, and subsequently delete their crafts after only a few days or weeks. This pattern suggests a lack of sustained user engagement, with users failing to see tasks through to their conclusion or retaining interest in the tools over time.

The design team took the lead in investigating the problem to devise a solution. Our approach began with user research aimed at identifying and comprehending these specific use cases.

User Research

Our journey began with a user research phase. We conducted quantitative research and interviews to understand users’ behavior and their underlying needs better.

Quantitative Research:

We identified a trend in a subset of users where they intended to build content within Craftify AI, but they didn’t complete the task. Many would create an initial entry only to delete it within a few days or weeks. Others would never create an entry to begin with. These trends gave us a great place to dig into.

Individual User Interviews:

We conducted individual interviews with some users who had incomplete crafts. The objective was to understand their initial intent and explore the pain points and challenges they encountered while creating content using our solutions.

Here are the pain points highlighted during these interviews:

  • "I require guidance on how to begin using the tools effectively."

  • "I aim to write a blog for my website, but I'm struggling to come up with a topic."

  • "I need assistance with the integration tool, but I can't find the related article in the help center."

  • "I attempted to use the social ad writer, but I'm uncertain about filling out the required fields."

These are some of the pain points that our interviewees mentioned

“I need guidance on where to start using the tools.” ”I want to write a blog for my website, but I don’t have any topic in my mind.”

“I want some help on the integration tool, but cannot find the article in the help center.”

“I tried to use the social ad writer, but didn’t know how to fill out the required fields.”

“I'm overwhelmed by the variety of options and features available, making it difficult to choose the most suitable ones for my task.”

“I need to ask chatGPT for help, while I want to fill out the required field on Craftify AI.”

"I require some assistance on my marketing strategies.”

User Insights

As a result of our research, we identified the following tasks as key areas where Craft Buddy could make a significant difference:

 

  • Streamlining the First-time Experience: Users often find leveraging new tools complex and time-consuming, leading to disengagement. Offering a seamless initiation process and guiding users through the initial steps is pivotal to ensure a smoother start and sustained usage.

  • Real-time Assistance: Users encountering challenges related to e-commerce and marketing need prompt and effective support. Providing instant solutions to their queries or issues is essential to avoid frustration and time wastage.

  • Tailored Guidance: Users seeking brand-specific advice struggle to find relevant guidance. Providing insights offering customized tips and best practices tailored to their brand challenges would greatly assist users.

Defining Features

Based on the data and insights available at this stage and the technological feasibility, we've decided to introduce an AI companion to assist our users.

This AI companion is designed to cater to user needs, functioning like a professional available around the clock, providing two primary types of assistance:

  • Proactive Assistance: This feature triggers related suggestions or help based on user interactions. It's optional, allowing users to turn it off at their discretion.

  • Reactive Engagement: The companion responds to user queries on any subject, offering answers and assistance upon user request.

Guiding Principles

Craft Buddy offers an optional, streamlined set of features integrated into existing Craftify AI. The UX must be highly contextual, flexible, and lightweight. Craft Buddy generates recommendations based on user input, allowing merchants to accept or discard them.

  • Bringing Suggestions with Smart Defaults: Craft Buddy generates recommendations based on business input, allowing users to accept or discard them.

  • Maintaining Flexibility Without Losing Familiarity: Craft Buddy ensures seamless integration across diverse implementations while providing a consistent, cohesive experience. Users quickly grasp interaction patterns and intuitively understand functionality, streamlining workflow and maximizing efficiency.

  • Keeping a Light Touch: Craft Buddy adopts a soft touch, introducing novel capabilities without fundamentally changing established workflows for users not interested in using these new features.

Craft Buddy

In this stage, we designed our AI companion, offering various levels of assistance to users through a chat-based format.

Proactive Assistance

This assistance would be triggered by users’ activity for the following purposes

  • First User Experience:

First user experience is key to user engagement. Our team aimed to simplify this process of introducing the tools. We acknowledged that not all users of Craftify AI would utilize every available tool. Some may prefer a single tool, like the blog writer, for content creation, while others might want to explore multiple tools for brand establishment and integration with various platforms. As a result, we decided to design separate onboarding experiences for those interested in setting up their brand with Craftify AI.

We limited the initial experience in Craft Buddy to these specific stages:

  1. When the user visits any page for the first time

  2. When the user lands on a workflow for the first time

  3. When the flow completes promoting the next step

  4. When the user navigates through each field in the workflow

  • Tips and Insights:

Our academy page includes several useful articles about e-commerce, marketing, and more. Our team identified an opportunity to provide users with tips and marketing insights aligned with their workflow and brand requirements from the academy.

We acknowledged that some users might find Craft Buddy's consistent tips and support potentially bothersome. While we decided to activate the additional assistance by default, users should have the ability to easily close it if they prefer to focus solely on their workflow.

Another challenge was deciding where to place the Craft buddy on Mobile, and how to implement proactive assistance. We wanted to ensure a consistent and seamless experience for Mobile users as well, comprising more than half of our user base.

I found a solution by displaying Craft Buddy in an overlay format. While users navigate the workflow, Craft Buddy's icon changes to a different color to indicate proactive suggestions, ensuring that mobile users are aware when Craft Buddy has relevant information to share. This method allows for additional guidance without disrupting the user's workflow.

Reactive Engagement

This form of assistance arises when users inquire directly to Craft Buddy.

Through our interviews, we identified an opportunity to seamlessly integrate ChatGPT into the Craft Buddy experience. This integration aims to prevent users from having to navigate to a separate page to ask questions, thereby streamlining their workflow. Given Craft Buddy's understanding of its brand, users won't need to repeatedly define it when posing inquiries to ChatGPT.

A challenge was determining whether to restrict user inquiries to workflow and e-commerce-related questions or allow broader inquiries.

After evaluating different scenarios and reviewing competitor approaches, we chose to keep it open for the time being. However, we made the decision not to actively promote Craft Buddy for this purpose.

Our approach involves observing user behavior with Craft Buddy to make a more informed decision later on.

Beta Testing

Feedback from beta users and early adopters indicates that Craft Buddy addresses critical pain points for users, simplifies their workflow, and reduces the time and effort required to learn the suite of tools. The team plans to launch Craft Buddy globally within the next few months.

Related links:

Carftify website

Craft buddy page

Craftify academy

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