Because our product will be delivered primarily via the web, the website is an extremely important thing to get right.
With that in mind, we sent private links to what we have so far in our Bel-Cantik website and asked those with the link for their feedback. Using the customer Empathy Map, Emily made hypothesis on what customers would like and dislike from our website prototype.
We thought people would like the interaction of information popping up when the user hovers their mouse over it, but people mostly found that confusing. We asked how well they understood the product after using our website. We thought people would wish the process was a little bit easier, but would understand the product itself. Every user got the gist of it, but we didn’t emphasize the all-natural ingredients as well as we should have. With that feedback in mind, we are going to continue simplifying and clarifying the product website, as well as emphasizing the benefits to Bel-Cantik shampoo.
Another “experiment” we conducted was the scent tests. People tended to like the more floral scents over the fruit scent we concocted. With that in mind, we are going to change the fruit scent, and make a few different iterations of the floral scent.
The final experiment we conducted involved reading through reviews of our closest competitor’s products. We wanted to see if they failed in any ways that Bel-Cantik improves upon. Sure enough, many customers shopping at Function of Beauty complained of chemical smells and their hair being left with a crunchy, greasy, film after washing. They also commented that Function of Beauty claims to have a ‘chemist’ available for consultation 24/7, but it’s actually just a computer. Some complained that the scent was too strong. From our tests, our shampoos and conditioners don’t leave any film because of their all natural ingredients. Because we use essential oils instead of artificial scents, they aren’t overwhelming. However, we think it would be beneficial to use extremely responsive consultation (not 24/7) about customer’s questions and concerns when creating their shampoo through a “contact us” section in our website.
Emily began considering pivoting toward a predominately African-American market, and visited websites to look at their advice for DIY all natural shampoos and conditioners target toward African-American hair. The websites she visited were: Three Easy Homemade Shampoos for Dry Natural Hair and Coconut Milk Shampoo DIY. By reading the comments, she discovered that many potential customers wanted to try this out, but commented questions on where to get the ingredients. This is valuable information for Bel-Cantik because it shows that natural shampoo is important to our customers, but the obstacle between what she needs is a lack of enthusiasm about the time commitment and materials-gathering for making DIY products. The ingredients are often sold in bulk, so that might be a risk she fears taking.
Emily also researched what ingredients to avoid when catering to African-American hair, from sources like Reading the Label: 10 Ingredients to Avoid When Shopping for “Natural” Hair Products and 5 Warning Signs of Bad Natural Hair Products. From that, she learned about ingredients not to add, and to keep the ingredient list simple. Emily tried to imagine the emotions of a woman buying a product claiming to be for her natural hair, and have it not work. With that in mind, she wants to really emphasize the fact that they’ll know what they’re getting, and how it will effect their hair with Bel-Cantik’s simple, customize-able guide.
This week has been extremely productive in terms of solidifying our product, and we feel that we are moving forward in the right direction.