A Deep Dive Into CreditUnionDeals.com
A client based out of Tuscaloosa Alabama noticed how banks are often disposing of their repossessed cars at auction for dramatically lower than book value and taking huge losses. And those that tried to sell the cars at the bank had parking lots full of cars for sale. There’s got to be a better way.
Website development, experience design and strategy.
They wanted to build an online marketplace and assist these banks in selling cars for more than what they would get at auction.
- Timeline: 4 weeks
- Objective: Build a website to facilitate online transactions as well as a strategy for developing relationships with financial institutions
- My Role: UX/UI Design and Development
- Tools: WordPress, Photoshop, Woo-Commerce, Sketch
Understanding The Opportunity
I had certainly bought cars before, but the process of repossession, resale and auction life was new to me. I was asked not only to take a leading role in the project but to also determine if the idea was viable. We held meetings with local credit unions, attended auto auctions, and studied lots of data around car sales under different circumstances. They had tons of information because they had been buying cars from auction and selling them for over 30 years!
A statement by one of the branch managers never left my mind.
Understanding the Car Buyer
This client was in a great place because they owned a dealership. They had access to car buyers everyday! These are some carefully selected questions I choose to give their customers. These answers, particularly #1 and #7, helped us dramatically in shaping the product and deciding to move forward.
- Are you aware that local banks have used cars for sale?
- Did you visit any car listing websites?
Top answers –> Cars.com and Facebook Marketplace
- What search terms did you use when looking for a car?
Top answers –> “cars for sale Tuscaloosa” “buy car”
- Do you ever negotiate the price of a car?
- Would you feel comfortable purchasing a car online?
- Would you feel comfortable purchasing a car you have not seen personally?
- Would you trust buying a car more from a dealership or a bank?
Structuring One Website for Two Very Different Users
The bankers, on the other hand, are in a much more complex situation. They’ve made a mistake in a car loan, and have a mess to clean up. We want to help both these users on the same website.
We decided to cookie first-time visitors and send them to different landing pages based on if they are are a shopper of or a bank representative. We also had some changes to the primary navigation based on their answer.
Minimizing A Loss
Ending a failed business transaction is never a fun thing to do. But decisions have to be made. Do you sell quick for a loss? Or put the work into making a sale for top dollar?
He basically has two options. He can sell at auction, or sell to an individual. We don’t want the car to go to auction! Let’s dive into the decision-making process of a banker in a bad spot.
Blending An On-Site And Off-Site Buying Process
Eliminate the Pain Points
We want these banks to stop selling their cars at auction. To do that, we really needed to address the benefits of selling at auction as well as the pain points involved in selling to an individual on-site.
We decided we could help them sell cars faster by getting a dealer’s license for Credit Union Deals. This allowed listings to be distributed across many websites such as Cars.com and AutoTrader.com.
One way we would like to help these banks sell cars faster is by encouraging the negotiation process for buyers on the website. After pre-populating the offer field with an offer below the listing price we noticed a nice uptick in leads coming in! Below is an early wireframe of that.
Making The Most Of Our Partnerships
Partnerships with these banks would be personal. Initially, we reached out only to the local area. We made connections with banks and credit unions with representatives who visited and gained valuable insight into their experiences with repossessions, selling cars, and auctions.
Once partnerships were made we wanted a way to connect their website to ours in some way. This would help establish trust, send more visitors to our website, create brand recognition, and be a boost for SEO with the backlinks!
Each embed code was personalized for each bank to match their brand colors. People generally trust banks, we want to use this trust.
These listing modules were worded to encourage making an offer also.