Enabling 2X growth in online sales for Mid-west Retailer with seamless omnichannel experience
SkillNet streamlines auto-parts lookup and appointment scheduling for highly successful regional retail chain. Customers can now order tires and schedule appointments for tire change in a single transaction on their phones. The improved customer experience has resulted in doubling the growth in online sales for the Tires & Automotive division.
About the client
The client is a privately held company, operating 45 large format stores in the US mid-west. Since 1955, it has been the go-to store for hunting and fishing equipment and licenses, small appliances, housewares, automotive goods, apparel, hardware, lawn and garden supplies, paint, pet supplies, sporting goods, tools, and farm supplies.
From the beginning the client has been committed to honesty, integrity and value. Its stores are an intrinsic part of the local community.
Challenge | Uneven customer experience on auto services web pages
Most of the Client’s locations have a tire center, convenience store, and car wash. As part of the services of the Tires and Automotive department, customers could order tires and make an appointment for a car wash and tire servicing online.
Many of the customers were unable to complete the transactions due to various challenges in the ordering process. Customers who were able to schedule their appointments received their confirmation by phone. This meant that there was a time lag in the entire process.
The Client team realized that the uneven customer experience could impact their value commitment to customers. They decided to partner with SkillNet to review the online ordering process and redesign the web site to enable a seamless customer experience.
Solution | Integrating parts/tire lookup and service scheduling into auto services web page redesign
The SkillNet team had to consider a number of issues while designing the new online experience for tire ordering and appointment scheduling. The first was that none of the other functionality on the live site could be impacted, even though data had to be consolidated and fetched from external sources. Secondly, the main reason for the uneven experience was the lack of information regarding the availability of parts and tires when scheduling the servicing. Thirdly, this was atypical of an eCommerce order flow – “without shopping cart payment”, the site could not combine the process of tire purchase and other item purchases.
Given that more than 50% of the transactions were made from mobile phones, the SkillNet team proposed a solution with a Mobile first approach. The solution also recommended the integration of appointment scheduling system and Year Make Model Engine (YMME) system into the retailer’s website. The process of lookup, quote, and appointment process was also seamlessly merged and they were able to do away with the call center since confirmation was available as part of the web site transaction. This resulted in a simpler business process.
Results | Seamless omnichannel experience enables growth in online auto services
With the new solution, there was a dramatic reduction in bounce rates, 30% increase in the time customers spent on the website and 60% reduction in the number of people leaving the site without making appointments. The entire process of making and confirming appointments for tire selection and car washing was now a seamless experience on the Client’s website.
The availability of real-time inventory lookup also enables client to dropship tires to customers, thereby reinforcing their value commitment.