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Dick Hannah Dealerships: Revamp of On-Site Vehicle Search 

GRAYBOX worked with Dick Han­nah Car Deal­er­ship on a vehi­cle search relat­ed project begin­ning the lat­ter half of 2017. The project was to ensure user search was opti­mized for search­ing any detail of the desired car. GRAYBOX was able to ensure the accu­ra­cy of the search by con­duct­ing series of tests reflect­ing the data integration.

Overall Outcome

GRAYBOX was able to recre­ate an on-site vehi­cle search that was effi­cient and effective.

The Results

Dick Han­nah Deal­er­ship had a search sys­tem that increased their on-site ses­sions sig­nif­i­cant­ly and decreased their bounce rate overall.

  • 68%
    Increase in Site Search Sessions
  • 66%
    Increase in Goal Conversions
  • 13%
    Decrease in Bounce Rate

The Overall Problem

Dick Hannah Dealerships was founded in 1949 and now is known regionally as one of the largest privately owned car dealerships for individuals seeking a new or used vehicle.

By analyzing user and analytics data from their websites, Dick Hannah understood that improving on-site searches for vehicles would likely have a big impact to improving usability and, ultimately, increasing traffic to their dealerships. To allow their consumers to search for their cars more efficiently, Dick Hannah needed to improve the way users navigated through their database of available vehicles, provide more intuitive ways of searching, and improve the listing of results a user would see after running a search. However, the site’s existing search functionality had evolved in number ways over the years, with logic specific to each dealership, and was reliant on data from an external data source without control of the format.

On-site search is a tough nut to crack. It’s even more chal­leng­ing when you’re depen­dent on data from an exter­nal source and you don’t con­trol the for­mat. By real­ly deeply under­stand­ing the Part­ner needs, work­ing with the right tech, and col­lab­o­ra­tive­ly test­ing the out­puts, GRAYBOX and Dick Han­nah were able to craft a real­ly effec­tive solu­tion to search focused on the way cus­tomers want­ed to search, and result­ed in a great­ly improved experience.

Jon Love, Principal / Director of Sales at GRAYBOX

Our Solution

1. User Search Optimization

GRAYBOX worked with the Dick Hannah marketing team to build a deep understanding of their goals for improving search on their site and the challenges their users were encountering. As a company known for offering a wide variety of makes, models, and features, it was important that the solution for Search incorporate not just the breadth of options, but also make it intuitive and easy for users to expand or narrow their criteria to quickly arrive at a list of vehicles that matched their preferences. The GRAYBOX team worked iteratively with the Dick Hannah team on multiple user experience flows and user interface mockups until we collectively decided on an approach. The finished design strategy was optimized for both mobile and desktop, provided clearer calls to action throughout the site to engage the user in the search process, and presented the user with a new series of search faceting options so they would be able to easily adjust the parameters of their search to narrow the results.

2. Search Implementation & Technology

In order to execute on the new search design and strategy, GRAYBOX first had to address the ways in which the previous search tools had been incorporated into the site. Unwinding and re-architecting the rules for search allowed GRAYBOX to ensure each of the multiple search touch points in the site would be consistent, and would allow the users to flow seamlessly into the new experience. In addition, GRAYBOX researched various technology options to serve as the engine behind the new site search. After an in depth technical evaluation, GRAYBOX recommended using Algolia as the foundation for search. Algolia was a 3rd party search software that allowed our team easily incorporate existing data structures into the revamped search design. Leveraging this approach, the GRAYBOX team was able to focus our time on design and execution rather than reinventing a solution to a problem that had already been solved.

3. Vehicle Data Integration Testing

The nature of vehicle data means that a database of vehicles will be very large and complicated. Dick Hannah additionally needed a single consolidated place where all data for all dealerships would live, while still allowing results for individual dealerships to be easily searched and presented. In addition, the rules for display for different dealerships might be different for the same vehicle. To ensure the newly launched search would work flawlessly, after incorporating the data flows into the revised search engine and design GRAYBOX worked collaboratively with the Dick Hannah team to test hundreds of permutations of data to ensure the results presented to a user would be accurate.

OUR SERVICES

GRAYBOX utilized their design, research, and strategic expertise to develop a tool that allowed Dich Hannah to accomplish their business needs.

Our Results

Dick Hannah, one of the most well-known dealerships, had an easy to use search system that significantly improved user experience.

When the new search tool went live on the Dick Hannah site, it represented an immediate improvement to site usability. By starting with an in depth planning phase, GRAYBOX was able to ensure all parties were paddling forward toward the same goal. Leveraging Algolia for the search engine, we were also able to focus our time on the business needs rather than the tools needed to accomplish them. The completed product was a great improvement to the usability of the site, and helped extend the life of the current site.

  • 68%
    Increase in Site Search Sessions
  • 66%
    Increase in Goal Conversions
  • 13%
    Decrease in Bounce Rate