Ring-Ring is a cycling tracking app making commuting a healthy experience.
Ring-Ring is a social enterprise that works at the intersection of technology, behavioral change, and sustainable mobility. The Ring-Ring product consists of an app dedicated to end-users who cycle as a means of transport either for daily commutes to work or leisure and shopping. The current business model is consisting of a service fee perceived for gathering data about a community of cyclists under a group of Ring Ringers. These groups are the paid component of the service provided to cities and companies. In the B2G segment, Ring-Ring is benchmarking in the cycling app market in 2017. However, the B2B sector is rather unexplored so far.
How does it work?
A city like Amsterdam can decide to pay for a group where all riders in Amsterdam will be automatically recorded and tracked together under an anonymous layer of privacy so that individual routes are not tracked back to end-users. The benefits for the community are obvious in the CO2 reduction impact and also by collecting routes of users in the city and as such helping urban planners come up with a better strategy for infrastructure based on real user needs. The more active users on Ring-Ring a city has ( out of the existing cyclists or newly introduced to cycling users), the better and more relevant the data gets. As such, the most important key activity of Ring-Ring after setting up the tracking technology and making sure the app is user friendly is to attract the users with communication channels that reach them and communicate the message and benefits for the individual for using it. The communication is sold separately from the technology as part of the strategy of traction of users for a paying city.
The key metric for a city is the user base relative to the city inhabitants and cycling infrastructure existing together with the percentage of trips estimated by previous research.
However, a more relevant future metric can become the number of new cyclists in the city enabled through the incentive system provided by Ring-Ring and increasing the number of trips done by bike as part of overall journeys done daily.
The current business model works for 3 years in the Dutch and Belgian market for over 14000 users and 8 governmental clients. The B2G segment in Europe is a limited space to operate in and can reduce the impact of Ring-Ring once the market is saturated and there are few new paying clients in this area for the company. As such, a new market segment is needed to boost the revenue but also in creating new channels for user adoption at a lower cost. Current communication channels to reach out to the end-user based have turned out to be very costly and with little return on the revenue stream of the company. The strategies in marketing can easily become obsolete in front of such a challenge. As such, exploring outside of this are for improving this chapter of the business model canvas can turn out to be a real asset for Ring-Ring.
The founder of Ring-Ring contracted me for business development and business model consulting to help her pivot the business from B2G to B2B. Throughout our collaboration, the services expanded to the service design of a new product dedicated to B2B.
The aim of the company was structured into 2 major challenges:
The newly identified customer segment for Ring-Ring is the corporate sector with over 500 employees in one or multiple headquarters. These employers would then qualify to become the distribution channel for the app among end-users who get to user Ring-Ring for free under the group of the employer they have.
The reason for selecting this type of client is connected to the impact level that Ring-Ring can have on such a market segment. The go-to-market strategy implies identifying which companies could benefit from green commuting by reducing corporate tax. Those companies that are in Europe and work with the Sustainability Development Goals connected to climate impact and cities like SDG 3,11 or 13.
On the other hand, the end-user base is the most relevant metric for the companies Ring-Ring wants to sell the product to. Creating an incentive system that works well on the individual level increases the chances of adoption rate once the UX of the app was also improved so that it generates less drop-down in the onboarding process. However, keeping the users on the app makes it a challenge for Ring-Ring. This ultimately became an independent project financed by and European Grant.
The new customer segment would need a structured process to gain traction in the corporate market. The product itself serves well the governmental section and the end-user. However, in order to determine the corporates to pay for their employees to use Ring-Ring, the relevant metrics that can be represented by the Ring-Ring technology in tracking cyclists need a new dashboard and system to access the data in order to make the most of it. Finding out which data is relevant for the corporate was one of the main goals and as such, determined our research methodology in 2 ways:
As such, the result was a calibrated effort of balancing business goals with climate impact goals of Ring-Ring as a social enterprise.
Research of Ring-Ring App
The goal of the project is to provide a well-structured business package to companies. In the studies made we aimed at creating a business dashboard that includes various important metrics including tax deduction rate, CO2 emission rate, and employers’ biking performance. However, to successfully connect the company’s side and end-users’ side, it is also important to investigate the Ring-Ring app which is designed for end-user. Therefore, we set up another research to investigate the potential needs and feedback from users.
New cycling tracking apps are constantly flooding the market. Whether you want to record your ride performance, monitor your training, or explore your city, there’s always an app for that. In this regard, this investigation of the Ring-Ring app focused on two separate parts:
After setting two goals of the study, we used four ways to collect both qualitative and quantitative data.
At the beginning of the study, we tried to conduct a simple comparative product analysis to gain a comparison among the Ring-Ring app with other cycling tracking apps to verify the pros and cons.
By means of a survey, interviews can be held with many people at the same time, without the need for one on one contact with researchers. In our case, we focused on participants who have previous experience with the cycling tracking app before. Plus, the survey also investigated commuting preference, evaluation of the cycling tracking app, and preference of the functionalities in-app. These provide general information while preparing for the following interview.
Interview& App testing
In the interview, participants were questioned about their interaction with Ring-Ring, such that possible problems or needs can be detected. We combined both interviews with prototyping testing, participants trying to achieve two tasks:
The last but not least, after they finish two tasks, we conduct a short interview to find out how participants perceive the Ring-Ring app.
The first 2 screens are a representation of the onboarding scenario while screens 3 and 4 are specifically looking at retention of municipalities and paying companies starting the challenges in the app.
A think-aloud study provides insights into the way people think about their interaction with the Ring-Ring app. There is some overlap with an observation study, but the way information is retrieved differently. Instead of looking at behaviors, participants are asked to say out loud anything they are thinking while going through tasks, and these thoughts are the researcher’s input.
Such a study may show the parts of an interface that need more cognition than other parts. Though a user might succeed in reaching his or her goal, it may be possible to improve the experience by reducing the required cognitive load. This way, it may be possible to make the Ring-Ring more efficient and satisfactory.
Delivered user journey maps, product features for development of a new service, go to market strategy, and sales pitch decks