Improving Their Research

Canvas realized that traditional automotive owning and leasing options are not ideal for a broad swath of consumers, so they set out to create a viable alternative. Their service allows consumers to subscribe to a platform where they can access a variety of different vehicles with flexible terms, as well as swap cars as their needs change. By also packaging these subscriptions with comprehensive insurance and maintenance, Canvas has come up with a simple and flexible solution for consumers not interested in purchasing a car.

Although early positionings of their product were confusing for many of their customers, Canvas was still able to attract numerous consumer segments, including those fed up with the costs of ownership. However, in order to explore new ways of explaining the service and increase comprehension for new users, Canvas turned to Respondent.

Discovering essential insights with high-quality participants

Canvas has made user research a central aspect of their business. In addition to regular monthly coffee chats with existing customers, the company does extensive data analysis, finds potential new customers through focus groups and deep quantitative studies, learns how customers will react to different features through multivariate testing, and much more.

Because they place a high value on in-person conversations, Canvas began by sourcing all of their participants manually through Craigslist. While this was sufficient for the first iteration of their product, it quickly proved limiting: Canvas needed more robust capabilities to make research part of the ongoing workflow. To solve this, they began using Respondent to deepen their research.

We needed to establish a better communication channel with people who are not aware of us yet,” said Ben Erez, Product Manager at Canvas. “This would enable us to understand how to improve our service and position ourselves as a real long-term alternative to car ownership.

Using Respondent, Canvas was immediately able to eliminate the timely process of setting up Craigslist ads and manually filtering through inappropriate candidates. In its place, they could easily set up screeners, recruit, schedule, and pay their participants all in one place. Even more importantly, each participant met their exact criteria, giving them the valuable insights they needed.

Revolutionizing an industry with better research

With consistent access to better research participants, as well as a more streamlined research process, Canvas was able to reduce customer churn, elevate their value proposition, and offer a unique product that promises to upend the automotive industry. The research participants they sourced through Respondent also allowed them to clarify their pricing model and redesign their homepage, build a new pricing page, as well as develop customer personas that have helped them hone their marketing and improve their brand. As a result, Canvas has become one of the most exciting new companies in their industry.

We started having our internal ‘a-ha’ moment that Respondent was awesome after the first people started showing up in our dashboard. The first participants met all of our criteria. Morale skyrocketed. We saw it internally as magic. I still have no idea how you guys do it.

— Ben Erez, Product Manager at Canvas

Today, Canvas’s service areas include Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, but they hope to expand to new geographies in 2019. As they expand, they’ll be using Respondent to conduct continuous research into new customer markets and iterate to ensure the product evolves to match the needs of customers in an evolving space.

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