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UserTesting success story: How Autotrader improves the car buying experience

| March 29, 2018
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With 14 million qualified buyers visiting their site each month, Autotrader is constantly looking for new ways to improve the online researching and car buying experience. However, unlike other businesses, Autotrader doesn’t have a go-to customer list for collecting feedback. In order to regularly gather insights from a wide spectrum of consumers (since car buying is an activity that cuts across nearly all ages and socioeconomic groups), they lean on the UserTesting human insight platform.

Insightful conversations

Autotrader was an early user of Live Conversation, a solution that helps companies quickly and easily schedule and conduct live interviews. By speaking one-on-one with a diverse group of consumers across the U.S., Autotrader was able to make major discoveries about the customer journey and used those insights to guide teams towards creating impactful, customer-centric product improvements.

The team realized that customers were not navigating to the Autotrader homepage and conducting searches from there. Instead, as with any other situation where consumers are seeking an answer or solution, they were starting with a search engine, like Google. Bradley Miller, Senior User Experience Researcher at, said:

Realizing that they are starting with a search engine and could be dropped onto any page of our site challenges the notion that car buying follows a set sequential process. This is important because when we are designing pages, we have to ensure that each part of the experience draws them further into the website.

Using Live Conversation, Miller and the Autotrader UX team were able to conduct journey mapping interviews and persona type work that were otherwise prohibitively high in cost and time consuming. In fact, Autotrader achieved an 80 percent decrease in time investment: what would normally take weeks now took just a few days to schedule and complete.

The interviews also confirmed the value that Autotrader brings to car buyers. Miller added,

Everyone I spoke with—from people who were buying their first cars to experienced buyers who had purchased numerous cars throughout their lives—described the process as ‘exhausting.’

By making the car buying experience easy and fun, Autotrader empowers consumers and gives them the information and tools they need to find and buy the car of their dreams.

To learn more about how Autotrader gained real-time human insights from a diverse customer base to make targeted product improvements, read our case study or download our Live Conversation whitepaper.

Want to learn more?

If you’d like to learn more about how UserTesting can help you understand your customers through real-time human insights, contact us here.