Inchcape are the UK’s leading franchised vehicle retailer group, partnering with many of the world’s best brands including, Audi, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, and Volkswagen.
A FTSE 250 company, Inchcape is headquartered in Solihull and operates from over 100 centres throughout the UK.
“We’ve got big ambitions for the digital space and we’re delighted with the new Inchcape site Kagool has built. We’ve consolidated all our premium motor brands into one site. Plus, we’re able to use Sitecore marketing features such as testing and personalisation that were previously unavailable to our team through Sitecore. We’re already getting a better return from our investment in Sitecore and the work Kagool has done sets us up perfectly to deliver on our vision of offering an industry leading experience to our customers.” John Gaukroger, Head of Digital Marketing, Inchcape.
Inchcape’s market research had told them that increasingly, most touchpoints and experiences that customers have with the business, brand and product are digital. As a business committed to keeping the customer at the heart of everything they do, Inchcape were determined to make sure the digital experience they offer customers is market leading and uniquely their own.
Inchcape hired Kagool to help them deliver this vision.
Central to this would be redeveloping Inchcape’s website. There were several significant challenges to address:
- Inchcape had a corporate website and ten premium manufacturer branded sites. They wanted to consolidate these into one site, whilst still catering for the individual needs of the manufacturers.
- Outside of the industry there was a lack of awareness for the Inchcape brand. Inchcape wanted to change brand perception by providing a market leading customer experience both online and offline. This would help differentiate them from their main competitors such as Evans Halshaw, Sytner, Arnold Clark and Lookers. Dealer sites have traditionally been orientated around the make and model of car. Inchcape were looking to focus on the needs of the customer to lead them through their purchase journey with personalised recommendations, rather than just selling them a car.
- Inchcape were having technical issues with their current website implementation. Built on Sitecore 8.1, they couldn’t test or personalise content through Sitecore. They felt they weren’t getting the most from their investment in Sitecore’s platform.
“Our goal was to create an industry leading website that provides Inchcape with a platform to build a recognisable brand name, supporting our vision to become the most trusted automotive retailer in the UK and generating significant additional leads to the business, whilst giving the customer an easy, effective and enjoyable experience.” John Gaukroger, Head of Digital Marketing, Inchcape.
Addressing Existing Performance Issues
We carried out a comprehensive technical audit of Inchcape’s existing Sitecore installation. This identified issues that would need to be addressed for Inchcape to be able to use the Sitecore platform to its full potential. For example, large areas of the site were page based rather than object based. This was why Inchcape couldn’t test or personalise content through Sitecore.
Designing A New Industry Leading Sitecore Website
To consolidate Inchcape’s eleven sites into one new brand site, we ran a thorough prebuild process to gather business and user requirements based on joint persona and industry research.
Inchcape’s ten car manufacturer sites had featured very little Inchcape branding, to the extent that user testing showed some users thought they were on the manufacturers site. A key consideration was how best to introduce Inchcape branding while keeping the car manufacturer happy.
The requirements identified from prebuild allowed us to work through to a user tested visual design, backlog estimation & build schedule for the project.
Delivering A Personalised Website Offering A Great User Experience
We rebuilt sections of the site in Sitecore 8.2 to address previous performance issues.
Inchcape can use Sitecore features such as personalisation, A/B testing and multi-variate testing that they couldn’t before. This will let them offer a much better, personalised user experience for visitors.
Delivering a great online customer experience is key to Inchcape’s business strategy. We built some innovative functionality to help such as:
- A cross-brand car comparison tool. Built in React, it lets users compare multiple attributes from new cars and used cars such as acceleration, top speed, BHP, MPG, Co2 emissions, and price. Best of all it’s quick & fully configurable by Inchcape. The fact users can compare multiple makes and models in one screen rather than having to go to multiple websites makes Inchcape’s site unique in the market. https://www.inchcape.co.uk/compare-cars/
- An offers rules engine. This lets Inchcape select the attributes of a used car and display an online offer to customers. This can be applied to an individual car or a selection of cars based on make, model or status.
- A fully configurable “needs based” search. This is a car search based on the users’ needs e.g. lifestyle, budget, body style. This is helpful for customers who are undecided on which car they should buy. They can prioritise the features and benefits that are important to them and receive a recommendation of the best make and models.
We worked closely with Inchcape’s existing SEO agency to make sure that SEO was considered properly. This was particularly important as we were rolling ten manufacturer sites into one and didn’t want to suffer a major loss in organic rankings and website traffic.
Once development and testing were wrapped up Inchcape were ready to launch their new site. Further phases are planned to
Summary And Next Steps
Ninety-five per cent of the Inchcape website can now be personalised. We set up custom rules to personalise content based on the used car that they’re viewing. This is part of a wider strategy to start tracking ROI on personalisation
Phase two development will focus on further user experience improvements and personalisation work around the lifestyle aspects of buying a car. This fits with Inchcape’s goal of being thought of earlier in the customer journey and not just the purchase end-point.
The Inchcape site went live in February. In the short time since, we’ve seen some impressive results.
Since launch key site metrics are up year on year with increased traffic, greater engagement and more conversions:
- Sessions are up 50 per cent
- Pages per session are up 43 per cent
- Bounce rate is down 11 per cent
- Page views up 115 per cent
- Session duration is up 39 per cent
- Goal completions are up 170 per cent
- Goal conversion rate is up 79 per cent.
Site performance is much improved with faster page speeds offering a better user experience:
- The site (homepage) loads in 1.1 seconds on Google’s servers compared to 1.6 seconds for https://www.inchcape-volkswagen.co.uk/
- We are also scoring much better, with the older sites scoring 32/100 for optimisation and the new sites 69/100
- The new homepage is 2.2MB in page weight compared to 4MB for Volkswagen
- The new search page is also 1.6MB smaller than the old site’s and is loading 1 second faster.
The site is more secure with defined user roles. Previously all of Inchcape’s website editors had admin access so we implemented user roles and permissions. This will make it much easier for Inchcape to manage workflow.