Online B2B Supply Service

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Raees Group, mostly known as Raees Coffee in Iran, has been a well-known coffee provider since 2000. Thanks to its up-to-date specialists, Raees Coffee handles the whole supply chain all by itself, from sourcing and procurement to production and distribution of coffee.

After 18 years of brick-and-mortar coffee sales, the founders of Raees Coffee decided it is the time to expand to the online world, as well. For this matter, they defined a great scope: to supply all the required materials, equipment, and experience to the Hotels, Restaurants, and Cafes – a.k.a. HoReCa.



The ultimate goal was to outline, define, and design the structure of the online service for HoReCa’s supply. For this matter, we applied user research as the core of the process.



The problem and research question were to extract and prioritize the needs of the hotels, cafes, and restaurants in supplying their required items. Based on these requirements, we designed service blueprints and system maps at the end of phase one.



Since the scope was too broad, it needed to break down into several phases. We had to assess each phase regarding feasibility, market research, business goals, and ultimate user needs.

The project was B2B, so recruiting users to interview was another huge challenge. Despite being clear and transparent on the goal of the interview, some cafes refused to participate in the interview process as they would think we want to copy or even steal their managerial secrets.



Design process


Client Interview

Regarding the time limit and the scale of the project, it was critical to find the fundamental insights, thus prioritizing the phases.
For this matter, we interviewed the client. The answers defined the phases and the objectives of each phase which resulted in the design brief.

  • Who are your target users? (Vision)
  • How do you plan to deliver the orders/supplies? Do you have the resources for dedicated logistics? What are the resource limitations?
  • What do you think is your competitive advantage?
  • What is the scope of supplies you provide? 
  • Besides tangible products and supplies, what services can you provide? What are the opportunities and your strength?
  • What is your plan for warehouse management?

Brief and Phases

To establish the leading online product and equipment supplier and service provider for cafes, hotels, and restaurants in Iran.

Project phases



Since Raees Coffee was new to the eCommerce industry, it was necessary to show the opportunities and threats of this sector to the client. Besides, this helped the design team to form a holistic and detailed perspective towards the project.

Several well-known eCommerce websites, esp. in the FMCG sector, were selected and studied as benchmarks. The study included the whole concepts of the companies, the features unique to each company, and the message delivered by every company – USPs and VPs.

The websites evaluated included:



The study indicated that we should design three types of features:

  1. Must-Have Features: Schedule shopping / Re-ordering / Ordering Refills / Return / Refund
  2. Should-Have Features: Trial period/samples (less expensive or free) / product bundle
  3. Nice-To-Have Features: Shopping wizard / tailored questions in the registration process to enrich the database



Ordering Process

We benchmarked and evaluated the core of the platform, ordering and returning/refunding processes, in several FMCG e-retailers and marketplaces.

Benchmarks and the proposed process

User Research

To understand the needs of the cafe managers, the core users of this service, we designed and conducted a semi-structured interview.

Since the project was confidential till the launching day, finding cafes that would take part in and answer the interview – honestly – was a real challenge and reduced the number of overall interviewees.

We shortlisted the cafes based on several criteria. Firstly, we segmented them into three categories based on their scale: Small, Big, and Chain Cafes. The second criterium was the theme of the cafe. Some cafes were chosen because of their cozy, artistic atmosphere, while others were mainly business-type cafes. The factor of location played an important role in finding suitable ones to interview, as well.

Considering these criteria, and the fact that only a few cafes accepted to interview, led to the overall number of 12 interviews. The questions covered several main ideas and some other minor concerns. We gained insights into the mental models of cafe managers in buying for the cafe, recruiting, and training human resources.

We also covered some areas like menu development and renewal to know more about the personality of the cafe managers and the fact that how open they are to new ideas.

After the interviews, we organized the replies into an affinity diagram which played a critical role in persona creation.


Persona Creation

Upon the development of the affinity diagram along with the interview insights, we implemented the data into the persona creation process.

The method used in this project for creating personas was clustering. In the beginning, we defined the main criteria and placed each of them at the two ends of a scale. Then we evaluated each interviewee based on these criteria and put them on the scale – each number represents a unique cafe. We went through this process as a team to minimize personal preferences.

After placing all the cafes on the scale, patterns emerged, and we clustered them on each scale. We managed to create meaningful and believable personas by linking the clusters on all the scales together, developing different aspects of the personas.

In the end, we used two diagrams to demonstrate the different aspects of persona personality and cafe attitude and behavior towards the emerging service of Raees Coffee.

We created and developed a total of three persona profiles: Arash, Mahsa, and Arian.



The clustered interview results

Persona Profiles

Personas created during the user research process


System Map

Since it was Raees Group’s first step in the eCommerce sector, they were to consider and make changes in the processes, partnerships, and interactions of any kind: from finance to supply to human resources.

To gain a holistic point of view on these interactions between the stakeholders and to show these changes to the client, it was necessary to develop a system map and demonstrate the changes through it.

In the system map, we took phases one and two into account to ideate.


Proposed System Map

Service Blueprint

After ideation and finalizing the stakeholders’ relations, we stepped into developing customers and business interactions. The service blueprint was an ideal tool for demonstrating the concepts thoroughly to the client.

We designed and defined front-stage activities, back-stage activities, and the support processes based on the customer journey steps.


Proposed service blueprint

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Project Info


  • Client:Raees Coffee
  • Categories:
  • Skills:
    • Service Design
    • UX Research
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