car buying experience
Redesign and rebuild of Suzuki cars website brings an uplift in test drive and brochure requests, and a future-proofed toolkit for digital product development.
With over 50 years’ experience in the UK market, Suzuki know how to sell cars. But, like many automotive brands, their digital offering had grown organically resulting in a suite of sites which didn’t adequately meet new customer buying and decision-making behaviours.
Nearly 70% of people who test drive a Suzuki car go on to buy, so there was a huge commercial opportunity if we could increase test drive bookings through digital. Making the digital-to-dealership transition easier was the focus of our work.
Using research to understand the consumer and inform design decisions, Foolproof delivered a fully-responsive experience resulting in a 24% increase in test drive requests and a 66% increase in brochure requests.
Suzuki initially asked Foolproof to look at just the car-buying experience, but the work was so successful that the scope was expanded to include Motorcycles, Marine and ATV. This resulted in the creation of a single set of customer experience principles, design guidelines and digital assets for administering all products on a single platform.
Formative research, Proof-of-concept, Customer journey mapping, Information architecture, Visual design, Experience design sprints, Evaluative research, Collaboration on front-end development
Using a variety of user research methods with Suzuki customers, dealers and staff we identified features that really helped customers understand their choices and make more confident steps down the path to sale.
For example, we noticed that distinguishing how big a vehicle is in relation to another vehicle was an important early factor in understanding the Suzuki range. By using easily comparable images, with the right additional information, we found that customers could much more quickly narrow down their choices.
Online shoppers also find it difficult to understand the value of buying a more expensive version of their chosen car. Most websites display this information over multiple pages, or complex feature lists. Side-by-side comparisons visually differentiate which features become available as the price increases.
We also solved the design challenge that many car sites have, which is over-complicated car configurators that aren’t linked in any way to the next step in the sales process. By adding a “Send to Dealer” button Suzuki customers can send their tailored choice of car to a local dealer and to also arrange a meeting, creating a seamless customer journey from online to offline.
By increasing the scope to include the other divisions Suzuki has also been able to create a more unified presence online. The addition of experience design principles and design guidelines has given Suzuki the ability to deploy new pages across all sites with consumer-tested components.
It has helped Suzuki gain a better understanding of how their customers carry out research online and adapt the sales journey accordingly. At a broader level, the project helped Suzuki establish new working practices in digital design, particularly how user insight can be used to drive design decision-making.
“Never have I had so many positive comments about how fantastic our new website looks and works. The end product is beyond our expectations and offers our consumers the ultimate website experience. The continual test, learn and collaborative working approach has given us a new way of thinking about our customers and tools for developing the website further in the future.” Kate Palmer, Suzuki Digital Manager, Automobile Division