What if everything you assume about how people shop for your products turns out to be wrong?
When we set out to redesign HondaCertified.com, we knew that the website needed a fresh look and feel. What we didn’t know was what extensive research would teach us: that the certified preowned vehicle category has been missing the mark when it comes to designing a digital experience around the shopper.
Look at how most car-makers market their certified preowned vehicles, and you’ll find the same thing on website after website: a relentless focus on program benefits. Extended warranties, 135-point (or is it 136-point?) vehicle inspection checklists. “Trust” this, “peace of mind” that.
But when we talked to real people who shop for certified preowned vehicles, we realized they don’t care about that stuff as much as we might think. Rather, they care about finding a car to fall in love with — the right color, the right model, the interior and styling, the features and technology. Through extensive research, we learned an important lesson: whether people are shopping new or preowned, they approach the shopping journey the same way — by focusing on the vehicle itself, not the various guarantees and warranties and program perks that come with it.
This insight — that it’s all about being able to find the right car — was our anchor as we approached redesigning HondaCertified.com. It guided every aspect of an iterative, dynamic process, and gave every member of our cross-disciplinary redesign team a singular focus we would often return to through round after round of revision and development.
“It’s a careful balance of business goals, design goals, and user goals. Because we started from a place of data and research, we were able to meet user and business goals through design.”
– Aninya Ahluwalia, User Experience Architect, RPA
We realized that if finding the “right” vehicle is what matters, the most vital task must be creating a set of robust tools unprecedented in the category:
- Create an Alert: Be notified when the vehicle you want becomes available
- View Similar Vehicles: See suggestions for other vehicles you might be interested in
- View New Images and Videos: See the latest pics and video of your favorite Honda
- Share Favorite Vehicles: Show your family and friends what you’ve got your eye on
- Compare Vehicles: See how different vehicles stack up against each other
- Calculate Your Payment: Find the right vehicle that fits your budget
From vehicle alerts that would ping a user when the Honda they had in mind came on the market, to shareability functions that allowed shoppers to quickly and easily show friends and family the vehicle they had in mind, to a set of powerful filters that allowed shoppers to focus their search as broadly or narrowly as they liked, we built a site that gave people what they wanted in a category that had grown accustomed to telling people what they should want.
“This site does exactly the kinds of things I actually need when I’m shopping for vehicles.”
– Quote from user testing
"This is exactly what the category has always lacked: a website that makes comparisons simple, while providing an online shopping experience that makes finding a vehicle fun and easy."
– Dan Rodriguez, Manager of Auto Remarketing, Honda
HondaCertified.com: Vehicle Search Tool
HondaCertified.com: Results Page
What You See is What You Get
At a time when shopping certified preowned is more popular than ever, making it simpler than ever to search, locate, and share a vehicle solves a substantial category roadblock — and takes a giant step toward making car shopping as enjoyable as it should be, whether the vehicle you have in mind is brand new or just “like new.”Visit the new HondaCertified.com