Amazon Flex: Impact of Delivery Partner Lifestyles on Scheduling Experience

About

This study was my signature project while interning at Amazon. It aimed to understand and address a key pain point for Amazon Flex drivers. This study resulted in a foundational framework that helped us understand our delivery partners (DP) through their lifestyles, and additional key insights on how lifestyles impacted their scheduling experience. 

I cannot publish the findings and insights of this study due to the confidentiality of this study. However, I've provided a summary of the research process and methods below.

My Role

Lead UX Researcher -- designed the study, engaged stakeholders, conducted interviews, performed qualitative and quantitative data analysis, produced a full research report, and presented the insights to key stakeholders and leaders in the organization. 

Process

We first engaged internal stakeholders from business and design, and worked together to identify key research questions for this project. 

  • What motivates a DP to work for Amazon Flex?
  • What are the factors that influence a DP’s schedule, generally?
  • What is the concept of flexibility with Amazon Flex from a DP perspective?
  • What are the pain points DPs face on a day to day basis with scheduling in all aspects of their lives?
  • How do DPs make decisions when it comes to managing offers in Amazon Flex?
  • How do DPs understand scheduling in Amazon Flex? How do they use it, and when does the “actual scheduling” (with Amazon Flex) take place?

Next, we recruited tenured DPs to participate in the study. Initially, email communication was sent out to a handful of DPs who had previously participated in other studies. However, due to a lack of responses, I printed out fliers and posted them up at three delivery stations in the Seattle area. 40 DPs expressed interest in participating, but only 8 were chosen for this study, with representation from both Amazon Flex programs: Amazon.com (AMZL) or Prime Now (PN). 

Each interview was an hour long, and was designed to understand the DP's life circumstances, their motivations to work for Amazon Flex, and how they approached scheduling holistically, as well as with Amazon Flex. These interviews also included conversations around feedback they had for the Amazon Flex app and program, and their opinions on new design concepts.

After the interviews were complete, we synthesized and analyzed the qualitative data to identify key insights and patterns in lifestyles, motivations, needs, and scheduling behavior. These insights warranted further analysis with a larger sample of DPs, particularly to validate and illustrate the makeup of our DP pool based on the themes identified in lifestyles. The method used to achieve this was a survey. To prevent the dissemination of too many surveys to DPs, the lifestyle question was added to another related survey. Out of 2000 DPs, we received 528 responses. This was further broken down based on DPs who delivered for Prime Now (283 responses) and DPs who delivered Amazon.com packages (AMZL) (245 responses). 

The qualitative data from the interviews and the quantitative data from the survey painted a clearer picture of our DP makeup and scheduling needs based on the lifestyle themes identified in our analysis. 

Impact and Next Steps

This research resulted in a new way of understanding our DPs, and its potential impact to scheduling. The next step is to scale this study across different locations and program levels to validate whether these insights are generalizable to the wider DP population.