Automotive, Retail & E-commerce

cinch + UserTesting

How Cinch enabled customers to make split payments online, dramatically increasing sales and reducing errors on their website
Industry: Automotive, Retail & E-commerce
Company Size: Large
Role: Executive, Marketer
Customer Type: B2C

About cinch

cinch takes the faff out of finding and buying used cars online, with dedicated customer service and free home delivery. As a division of Constellation Automobile Group, cinch manages online auctions, vehicle refurbishment, marketing, and transportation to the homes of customers within days.

cinch achieved

Estimated revenue added during year 1 based on split payments
Increase in ongoing sales with split payment option
Elimination of calls to Customer Support related to payment processing


Less than a year after successfully launching their business, cinch noticed a growing problem for a platform selling large-scale items. Customers would move through more than 90% of the process to lease or finance a car, only to have the system show them an error message because their payment account was restricted to daily spending limits. cinch was losing sales. People were calling Customer Support and sounding embarrassed. Or, worse yet, many of these potential customers simply abandoned their purchases and opted to buy cars from a competitor. 

The answer was split payments, the option for customers to purchase a vehicle across multiple debit or credit cards. But how could cinch develop this important and rarely-used functionality? According to Daryn Hobden, Acting Director of Design and Research, “Analysts believe we were losing 10% of our potential sales based on the absence of a split payment option. Our online payment processor even advertised that they could achieve this, but it was easier said than done.” 

cinch’s executives worried that revamping the payment process could affect every single sale because adding a split payment option could make the checkout process appear unnecessarily complicated. The website’s payment options needed to work—and to look and function beautifully. And that’s where human insight from UserTesting could help.


First, cinch’s design team built a low-fidelity prototype. They wanted to see if customers could work through the previously identified friction points caused by payment issues. Then the team conducted moderated tests to understand how contributors purchase a car online, and ran unmoderated tests (focusing on usability) to understand how to build the best online experience. These insights helped engineers to build a curated experience for customers.

Hobden explains, “UserTesting was part of a very iterative process for us. Running tests, fixing things, then rerunning tests based on our adjusted prototypes. A few times we thought we nailed it, then we realized we didn’t have it exactly right. But then the ‘aha’ moment comes, when we know we have it right—because the customers themselves confirm it for us.”


The project was a massive success. After cinch launched the new split payment system, they saw a 10% increase in sales the first week, another increase of 10% in the second week, and then 10% again during the third week. This change led to more than a 25% increase in ongoing sales - with the added revenue from split payments during year one conservatively estimated at £25 million pounds. 

And cinch achieved operational savings, too. The customer support team reports that they no longer encounter calls related to daily spending limits or split payments. Sales drop-offs of this type no longer occur and customers get the cars they need—a winning combination for UK drivers.

"UserTesting is a great platform to find usable insights. In former roles, I would set up labs in various cities. It cost a fortune. UserTesting renders that type of work obsolete."
Daryn Hobden
Acting Director of Design and Research, cinch
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