Experience is the new battleground for digital commerce companies
Over price and positioning, an ideal customer experience is what separates leading brands from the ones that are rapidly falling behind.
“Customers make decisions based on the salience and value of experiences — and firms simply have no choice but to win at CX.” — The Future of CX, Forrester 2019
Operationalizing CX improvements isn’t easy. In fact, “getting a holistic view of the customer” and “ensuring consistent experience throughout the customer lifecycle” were listed as top challenges for organizations in a recent report from Econsultancy.
Delivering perfect customer experience requires a shared, nuanced understanding of your customers: their needs, frustrations, and motivations. But that’s not enough. Your organization also needs to determine where to focus and prioritize efforts based on potential impact; you need a way to measure and manage experiences across your entire customer base.
To fully understand how customers experience your digital brand and take action on that understanding, you need to employ both qualitative and quantitative methods. Unfortunately, few teams have all of the skills, tools, and infrastructure needed to generate the big picture without losing sight of the customer at the center of it all.
What if yours did? In a new case study, we explore how TrueCar extracts qualitative and quantitative insights from FullStory to drive digital experience improvements.
How TrueCar operationalizes digital experience with FullStory
As a digital automotive marketplace, TrueCar is obsessed with providing a more perfect digital customer experience. With a network of over 16,000 dealerships, TrueCar currently informs the car-buying process for over one third of all new car buyers—that’s hundreds of thousands of people.
The company needed to enable their product team to quickly identify what is and isn’t working for TrueCar’s shoppers (the what)—and take action (addressing the why). They needed an engine that would power quick, evidence-driven decisions around experience improvements.
They struggled to make this ideal a reality. The product team was hitting a wall using existing tools and product managers weren’t able to unearth actionable insights. They needed a tool that would be:
Intuitive to use, facilitating program management
A supplement to their existing tech stack, amplifying existing capabilities
A source of both quantitative and qualitative insights about the digital experience
This led them to FullStory.
TrueCar generates 3,000 additional monthly conversions and increases engagement in a key customer journey by 50%
The product team at TrueCar uses FullStory for its quantitative and qualitative capabilities. They can analyze user interactions with the product in aggregate, similar to traditional web analytics. And with session replay, the team can delve deeper to observe directly what people do as they interact with the digital experience.
They are able to identify and quantify the magnitude of an issue and illuminate the why at the heart of it.
Example: TrueCar builds a business case for new search functionality resulting in a successful rollout and increased conversions
A year ago, search on TrueCar was siloed. Shoppers first had to choose “new” or “used” cars. Then they could search by high level criteria—such as best match or lowest price—and filter down on a specific set of vehicles that fit their needs. These filtered search results were all new cars or they were all used cars. What if a customer wanted to evaluate all the options across both categories?
The product team wanted to give shoppers more control over their search experience. They proposed a new search functionality that would allow shoppers to view both new and used cars that fit their other search criteria.
Before rolling this new functionality out to their entire user base, they wanted to know whether it would actually have a positive impact on the digital shopping experience. So they released the feature to a subset of their users and used FullStory to capture experience data.
The team wanted to understand how users were interacting with the new search functionality and, of course, they were hoping to see an incremental increase in conversions. After several weeks, FullStory data had revealed a few key insights:
Many TrueCar shoppers entering the site via search were interested in viewing both new and used cars, validating the initial idea behind the updated search
Users seemed to understand the new search functionality: They were able to search only new or used cars, depending on preference
A major UX bug was proving very frustrating to users, resulting in over 4,000 Dead Clicks—the team was able to quickly prioritize this fix
Most importantly, the new search functionality was delivering that incremental increase in conversions. The team had only shipped this functionality on one digital property and they were able to deliver over 3,000 incremental monthly prospects.
Example: TrueCar increases engagement by 50% in one of their most valuable customer journeys
TrueCar’s configurator flow is a journey wherein a shopper can build their ideal virtual vehicle step by step: style, color, add-ons, etc. Once built, they can search to see if this vehicle, or one that is a close match, is available at a dealership nearby.
The product team has been running experiments to increase engagement within this flow, with the ultimate goal of helping users find a close match to the vehicle of their dreams. This is an extremely valuable journey for TrueCar as shoppers who use the configurator flow are more likely to buy a car.
The team uses different tools, such as LaunchDarkly and Optimizely, to A/B test changes to the configurator flow to try to increase engagement. Using heatmaps in FullStory, they can explore how users are engaging with each A/B test variant to understand why one might be performing better or worse.
This feature provides a visual overlay of aggregate, page-level statistics for any page or screen within a user session. This is technically quantitative data—you can see absolute clicks and percentages. But in visualizing this aggregate data, the team can see and imagine where users are engaging, how they are interacting; they can get closer to that individual experience.
Using FullStory in combination with these A/B testing tools, TrueCar has been able to iterate on the configurator flow in a high-impact way, increasing engagement by over 50% over the past 3 months.