In 2017, Singapore has disposed of 763,400 tonnes of plastic, according to Reuters. With Singaporeans disposing of 13 plastic bags on average yearly, this adds up to 72.8 million plastic bags being disposed of in a year. In other words, Singapore has an environmental problem to think about.
The challenge presented was to show how a seemingly un-related product and service can be combined into a new one that solves a real-world problem. I hence amalgamated tote bags and rental services to address Singapore's issue of excess plastic use.
I started with defining the personas, by speaking to people who visit supermarkets often. As supermarkets are one of the main places where plastic bags are supplied to Singaporeans, this is an area where most impact can be made.
In doing so, I gathered that there are two different kinds of personas - housewives and teenagers. While these two personas visit supermarkets for different reasons, one noticeable trend is that both personas are from middle-class incomes and have sufficient free time to make physical trips to supermarkets. In other words, these personas are relatively price sensitive and hesitant to engage online delivery apps.
In view of their behaviours, these are the user needs the product needs to address:
1. Zero delivery fees
2. Lower price points, or sufficient price-related incentives to encourage frequent use of product
3. Equally convenient, or more convenient, way to bag groceries compared to plastic bags
The proposed idea is:
1. Book tote bag any time before checking out groceries
2. Complete refund if bag is returned in good condition
3. Receive points when return or reuse tote bag
4. Points can be redeemed for vouchers with partner supermarkets
5. Users can only borrow one tote at a time
The rationale behind this is as follows:
1. To reduce the hassle of needing to bring a tote bag by renting one on-the-go via an app
2. To discourage abuse of tote bags, like in the case of OFO bike abuse
3. To encourage reusing of tote bags, or returning of tote bags (one can drop them off conveniently by passing by a supermarket in the neighbourhood) via price incentives
4. To enhance brand-user experience and benefit partner supermarkets, which can increase customer loyalty via campaigns or vouchers that can be exchanged from points (for example, 50 points might allow an user to be eligible for a 1-for-1 deal, thus allowing partner supermarkets to plan and position campaigns that suit their needs).
Tote bags that can be rented are also made of recycled plastic so as to prevent potential tote bag waste, which only adds to the environmental wastage issue Singapore faces.
After onboarding, first-time users can filter by supermarkets, should they have preferred supermarkets. The map below shows the distance of the filtered supermarkets from the user's house, to enable the user to plan which supermarket to visit.
Users can swipe the supermarkets to decide which one to visit. Upon selection, the next button will appear to prompt the user to the next step.
After selecting the supermarket, users can browse from the library of totes to decide which one to rent. Both images and description are provided to inform users on what kind of bag would be suitable for their grocery needs, as well as whether the tote is trendy enough, which is a consideration for the teenager persona.
Upon selection of tote, user can show this screen when checking out their groceries at the counter for the cashier to scan.
Users will also be charged a relatively high rental fee to discourage hoarding and misplacing of tote bag.
Upon scanning the bar code, users will be awarded points for renting the tote. These points can be exchanged for vouchers, or even deals (like 1-for-1). This encourages repeat use as the personas are price sensitive, and allows partner supermarkets to hold campaigns to increase customer loyalty.
For repeat users who have not dropped their totes off, and are instead reusing it, scanning a bar code on the tote will also yield points.
Should a user try to book more than one tote at a time, a reminder will pop up to encourage users to reuse the tote bag instead.
Tapping on "I lost my borrowed tote" will deduct points from the user to penalise them. This is to prevent the situation where tote production might have to increase to meet lost-tote demand, which does not solve Singapore's plastic issue.