Bringing the local market to the customer's doorstep
In a timeframe of two months, we set up our own startup to offer local Dutch market vendors new ways to sell their goods during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As more people started visiting the market due to new COVID-19 rules, our solution became less relevant. We decided to end our initiative.
Validated problem; validated solution; proof of purchase intent
We went from problem to pilot in two weeks, followed by 4 weeks of growth hacking.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the world to rapidly create digital alternatives to many existing products and services. Most industries were affected by it, to some extent. Local market vendors were losing customers as well. To offer them a helping hand, we started www.demarktbezorgt.nl: an online platform and home delivery and pickup service that connects market vendors and visitors.
How can we help local market vendors sell their goods during the corona crisis?
Which problem did we focus on?
We used the jobs-to-be-done method and interviewed several market vendors to map their problems in greater detail. We also interviewed market visitors, since our customer segment was twofold. We found out that regular market visitors still wanted to buy fresh goods from the market, but they didn’t want to visit the market due to the social distancing measures. Meanwhile, most market vendors didn’t have any alternative sales channels, so they were stuck at an empty market square with a decreasing number of visitors.
What solutions did we think of?
We came up with the so-called ‘Marktbox’ service: a box filled with fresh products from the market in Utrecht that gets delivered to people’s homes. We created different versions of the Marktbox and tested them through interviews with market visitors. We used these insights to design the final version of the Marktbox concept.
How did the test with our MVP turn out?
Because we knew our solution might be time-sensitive we decided to skip the simulation and start a pilot straight away. During the pilot, we asked ourselves if we could actually ‘build’ a viable and sustainable solution. We started selling the Marktbox online. Together with the market vendors and our bike courier partner ‘De Fietskoerier Utrecht’ we took care of the operations. We also set targets, conducted interviews, sent out questionnaires, and made a business case to see whether this was a viable idea at all. Furthermore, we kept doing tests regarding the desirability of our service to further improve the concept.
How far did our experiments get us?
In order to keep growing towards the 40% – the percentage of people that say that your product has become indispensable in their daily lives – we set up multiple experiments. Every week we came up with new experiments such as social sharing campaigns, a refinement of our positioning, and giveaway campaigns to find room for growth. However, due to the fact that the COVID-19 measures started to ease up again, the number of market visitors started to go up as well. This also meant that our solution would slowly became less relevant, which is why we eventually decided to end our initiative.
Jan-Willem van Beek