Shopping for a used car is exhausting work. Shift wanted to improve the experience for customers when researching used vehicles in our online inventory by targeting the product detail page for cars (a.k.a. the "vehicle detail page").
Pricing confusion: Some customers didn't understand the total cost of ownership (taxes and fees included) until too late in the shopping process, wasting time and energy for everyone involved.
Poor findability and cross-comparison shopping: Car shoppers have vastly different needs and considerations. The page length and density made it hard for customers to easily find or compare car details that were important to them.
Unclear value proposition: New site visitors didn't know about Shift's unique service benefits like no-obligation test drives delivered to their door.
The challenge was to provide easy access to all car details, without overwhelming or distracting customers with information they weren't interested in.
We surveyed used car buyers and used existing analytics to create an outline of top customer priorities to guide the page's information hierarchy. I drew inspiration from best-in-class ecommerce sites like Canada Goose, Bellroy, and Airbnb.
The first round of usability testing revealed that simply making information accessible through jumplinks was still too confusing for users to sift through the huge amount of text on the page.
Snippets of user feedback from round 1 of usability testing:
This section is a waste of space.
This seems like it's for someone farther down the funnel.
This information isn't helpful to me at this time.
Simply rearranging or giving faster access to information didn't solve the problems of (A) highlighting core details or (B) decreasing energy spent interpreting them.
Instead, these goals were best accomplished by exploring a new page layout that consolidated key car details into clickable tabs.
Samples of user feedback after 2nd round of usability testing:
The details area is very helpful. Standard for what I'd expect to see about a car.
On [the old page], there's a lot of scrolling. This [new one] keeps all information in one area. I know where to go when I need to look for something. It’s organized in a way that it’s easy to find.
This is a lot more transparency than I got with the [car dealership].
You bring the car to me -- that's nice!
Within a few months, the new page had increased clicks into test drive bookings (+20%) and decreased customer questions about the cars submitted.
Real online reviews (March 2018) that reference the site:
I continued perusing their site ... marveling at the lack of "buy right now" bullsh*t you see from other places. Their approach is simple. Direct. It's like you're buying a car from a friend you've known for years.
[Shift's] website is near perfect. Finding the car is nice because you're not being persuaded ... they have everything you need to know on each car's profile page.
Check out the design (and shop available inventory) at www.shift.com.