carwow

Launching and optimising the Sell Your Car product in a new European market

Icon of a triangle with an exclamation mark in the middle

Challenge

Leverage the existing successful UK business model to launch their Sell Your Car service in Germany

Icon of a location marker with five dashes coming out from the top

Outcomes

Successful launch and technical documentation for research, design, data structure mapping, and future roadmap

carwow Sell Your Car welcome screen

An image showing the carwow Sell Your Car welcome screen on mobile and web

Situation

Expanding a successful car buying and selling product

carwow, founded in the UK, offers a free and convenient way for drivers to buy a car and sell their old one through a network of partner dealers using their Sell Your Car functionality.

Challenge

Growing the carwow audience in Europe

carwow wanted to leverage their existing successful UK business model to launch their Sell Your Car service in Germany. This enhancement of their offering would allow them to reach a larger audience and therefore grow their European footprint, which was a key business goal.

However, replicating the existing UK service wasn't going to be straightforward, as it included several workflows for customers, sellers, and admins to browse, list, and manage purchases. All of these would likely have different requirements in a new territory, and primary concerns to investigate included understanding differing consumer behaviour patterns, and obtaining accurate vehicle information from sellers as access to a central vehicle checking database is not available in Germany as it is in the UK via the DVLA.

Solution

Research and integrations to meet needs of the German market

In order to successfully scale the Sell Your Car functionality into the additional market, we had to determine:

  • How we would get the car information either via VIN or the user inputting the car details?
  • How we would map the car (derivative) information to our data structure?

Through user and market research, and technical feasibility work, the product manager, designer, and developers worked together to uncover a few more requirements for the German product that differed from the existing UK experience. With this knowledge, we outlined the updates needing to be made across the board in a way that ensured a streamlined, consistent UI/UX across all markets.

Now that we had collected the necessary information for each market, the product was ready for a localisation effort to support the audience's native language successfully.

Behind the scenes, the new solution was integrated into an admin system that allows internal carwow staff to manage listings, and successfully support workflows that include critical third-party products like ZenDesk Sell and Direct Affinity.

Screens showing carwow Sell Your Car functionality

Two mobile phones showing screens from the seller input steps of the carwow Sell Your Car product

Outcomes

Bringing Sell Your Car to a new market and leaving guidance for future improvements

Working with numerous stakeholders across both UK and Germany operations, and with the support of many carwow team members, we delivered the Sell Your Car functionality successfully in our indicated timeline. In terms of product handoff, thoughtbot produced technical documentation clarifying how car information is mapped to the underlying data structure. The designs themselves were outlined in a Gantt chart in the Epic write-up template used by the carwow team for future reference.

All the research we completed was outlined in the form of experimentation documents (including problem, hypothesis, risks etc.). They highlighted why certain decisions were made, but also provided insight for the wider business, and included recommendations for a future product strategy with suggested initiatives to enhance the solution in-house as and when needed.