Backstory and Requirements
We were approached by the ColoradoDrives.com development team to conduct testing to help optimize the conversion funnel. Colorado Drives is an external site owned by the Denver Post that lists both retail and private-party automobiles for sale. Site revenue is based off advertisers, who receive leads generated by a contact form that users fill out when interested in a specific automobile. When the site is not able to produce enough leads, the company must purchase leads to fulfill their promise to advertisers, greatly reducing the profit margin. The team requested that we test both consumers and people that work in the auto industry to help determine ways to improve the conversion funnel.
We completed two days of testing, with a total of 8 participants tested. Participants were recruited using the Denver Post social media channels. Five of the participants had searched for or purchased an automobile in the last six months. The remaining three worked for dealerships or acted as independent auto brokers. All sessions were recorded and streamed online for team members to watch remotely if needed.
Tasks focused on participants ability to search for an automobile to purchase, list an automobile that they would like to sell, and research information about the autos market and auto dealerships. During each test session, a moderator sat with the participant to facilitate the tasks and ask follow up questions, while other UX team members observed and took notes.
Observations and Outcomes
Participants reacted favorably to the home and search results pages of the site. They liked that the search form was easy to use, and that it was in a prevalent spot on the homepage. When looking at the search results page, participants commented that it seemed “typical” and “easy to understand. They were also content with the amount of information provided.
However, when they reached the contact form page, the majority of participants stated that instead of using the form they would go directly to the dealership website. Some of the reasons stated for this included thinking that the dealership site possessed more up-to-date information and concern that Colorado Drives might sell this information to other companies.
Through discussions with the development and sales teams, we were able to recommend that they change the site to a cost-per-click model, whereby advertisers would pay when users click through from our pages to their website. By doing this, Colorado Drives eliminates the need to purchase leads to fulfill their contracts, and is able to collect revenue using a conversion funnel that is more natural for users.