Reece Group

Redefining what ‘business as usual’ means in B2B trade workflow

Category: B2BDesign SprintEcommerceTechnology
Scope of work: Design SprintDesign Strategy & ConsultationUser ResearchUX DesignPrototypingTesting & Validation
Product: Reece maX Mobile App
mobile phone showing app dashboard
Relab was approached by Reece Group to lead the redesign of one of its most important digital assets – the maX mobile app.

maX is a B2B online business management system that allows their customers to easily search for products, create quotes, place orders and track deliveries.

The user needs

The core of the business service trade customers like plumbers, builders and lanscapers. Although they can be both small or large businesses, the main audience for the maX mobile app are those small operators who get their hands dirty, time poor and have a very close relationship with their local Reece branch.

Tech adoption can be slow and sometimes intimidating for these demographics, so simplicity and ease-of-use are critical as part of the process in building trust with them. Based on research done on the previous version of the app, customers simply want to be guided throughout their journey and interaction. This includes having straightforward access to intuitive experiences in browsing history, product search, technical specifications, ordering, payments and delivery tracking.

The business needs

Reece Group is Australia’s leading and largest distributor of plumbing, bathroom products, waterworks, HVAC-R and irrigation. Its footprint covers Australia, New Zealand and the USA.

As an industry leader, Reece always looks for innovative and better ways for constant improvement in providing their offering to their customer. Aligning with the business’ value in creating customers for life through remarkable experiences, the maX B2B trade app was seen as one of the drivers to the success in achieving this business goal. Upon retrospective from the previous version of the maX app, the redesign aims for a transactional experience that is easy, accessible and transparent that ordering and interacting with the mobile app will eventually be so much easier than going into a physical branch or store.

Our Approach
We facilitated a 5-day Design Sprint workshop to deliver a high fidelity prototype that was relevant, specific and tested by real users.

To uncover customer pain points and build empathy in the project teams, various preliminary research were conducted including User Testing of the previous app, a review of analytics insights, ‘shadowing’ customer personas and reviews of the previous app workflows. Based on the findings, we recommended Reece to implement a Google Ventures methodology known as the Design Sprint, which is a process of rapid prototyping and user testing to validate ideas or solve problems as a team.

At the end of the session, the business saw high value insights, feedback and suggestions that informed the next steps of the project. A few smaller execution sprints were carried further to expand on the product design. Throughout the process, our design team at Relab worked closely with Reece Tech mobile engineering team to execute and produce both iOS and Android versions of the new maX mobile app.

Fast forward to launch, the result was a simple, intuitive design that offers complete visibility on every transactions. The Reece maX app is now seen as an industry benchmark, a reference point and an aspiration to many – renowned as one of the best B2B platforms in Australia.

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Product display page and image of man cutting pipes
Effortless browsing
Fast & Easy Product Browsing

Designed for Reece maX trade-specific audience. Smart and intuitive browsing recommendations that allow users to find products easily, access important product information and make quick purchase decisions.

Mobile screens showing dashboard and account preferences
User-tailored Experience

Personalised dashboard along with relevant user behaviour data that provides information on upcoming orders & deliveries, recently searched products and more.

Order tracking
Real-time Order Updates

When the stakes are as high as they are in the building and plumbing industries, users need the highest level of clarity on the status of their materials and when they’ll arrive.

Proof of concept & user validation in 2 weeks

The maX B2B trade app concept was designed and successfully validated by real customers in only 2 weeks time

Contributed to Reece’s significant increase in digital revenue

Within 2 years since launch, the new maX app had played an important role in the 500% increase in Reece Ecommerce revenue

Inspired a strong culture in innovation and human-centered design

The design thinking methods implemented in the maX project inspired future development and innovation initiatives within Reece

Relab was able to take us from customer research to a fully functional app design in five days. The design sprint process allowed us to test assumptions, learn from experts and trial our new design with customers which gives me confidence that our new design is going to resonate with customers.
Luisa Bradshaw-Wiley
Luisa Bradshaw-WileyProduct Manager (maX), Reece Group

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