Agency: Webtrends

Europcar increases online conversions by 15 per cent: Webtrends Optimize helps global car rental giant drive up online bookings and sales of extras

The customer

Europcar is a Paris-based car rental company founded in 1949. Europcar today operates a fleet of over 200,000 vehicles at 2,825 locations in 143 different countries covering Europe, USA, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean and Asia Pacific.

The brand is best recognised in the larger European economies, particularly Germany, France, Spain and the UK. Their core markets are in leisure and corporate rentals.

The challenge

With a large majority of bookings coming via its website, Europcar wanted to make sure it got as much value as possible from online sales by increasing conversions (the primary goal of the campaign), increasing basket value and driving the up sell of extras and add-ons at checkout.

The solution

Europcar selected Webtrends, the global leader in digital marketing optimisation and relevance through real-time, unified analytics and customer intelligence, for its Optimize expertise and platform: a testing and targeting solution that uncovers the best combination of content that drives the highest rates of customer response.

Optimize combines a complete selection of test types, including A/B and multivariate tests. Advanced segmentation enables companies to identify and target their most valuable audience with customised campaigns, offering the most relevant content in real-time, thus increasing conversions.

The Webtrends Optimize team worked closely with Europcar to identify the areas, from landing page through to purchase process, presenting the largest opportunity for increased conversions. Recommendations were then made with regard to areas to test, and the Optimize platform then took all test ideas and presented multiple digital variations to subset visitors, thereby gathering statistical proof about how the audience was reacting to the content.

Webtrends then introduced ‘segmentation’, during which tests were conducted across multiple regions, ultimately segmenting Europcar’s target audience to identify further revenue opportunities.

The results

Europcar worked alongside optimisation experts from Webtrends to create, run and analyse the tests. The landing page and book-and-pay page were identified as the core focus of the campaign. The .com website receives the largest traffic, so Europcar wanted to explore the cultural differences between the ways consumers in Europe engaged with the website compared to those in the USA.

By running tests on both sides of the Atlantic, Europcar and Webtrends found that there was a huge difference in the preferences of European visitors to their US counterparts. This led the team on to exploring the European audience in more detail and running tests in multiple languages across the UK, Germany, Spain and France. The results highlighted the importance of colours and the impact they had on different nationalities. Subtle changes such as the colour of action buttons, which were traditionally green, showed significant returns.

To achieve the goals of increasing basket value, Europcar set about trying to answer the question: should optional extras, such as a Sat Nav, be visible with every car by default or be hidden with a link to expand them if desired by the user? The team set about testing and the results showed an increase in the average basket value, but a decrease in conversion. This data helped answer the question without causing any loss in sales.

Other tests carried out included displaying discount information, reorganising the personal details form, changing the way extras and add-ons were collected, and making changes to symbols and words on action buttons.

Europcar experienced a 15 per cent increase in online car bookings and a 12 per cent increase in the sale of extras and add-ons thanks to Webtrends Optimize testing and targeting.

“This entire optimisation process has been a real team effort from both parties. The guys at Webtrends are like an extension of my internal team here at Europcar. The quality of our relationship and this collaborative approach has been the key to delivering a successful testing strategy,” said Catrena Blanco, Head of User Experience, Europcar. “To see an uplift of 15 per cent in conversions and a 12 per cent rise in add-ons is more than we had expected when we started optimisation. It’s proof that A/B and multivariate testing works and delivers a healthy ROI for online sales. We look forward to continuing to work with Webtrends and running further testing campaigns to improve the Europcar websites and the experience of our online customers.”

“Working with an international brand like Europcar, with thousands of online customers, has been an exciting project for Webtrends,” said Nick Sharp, Vice-President & General Manager EMEA, Webtrends. “Europcar, like so many global brands, recognise the need for optimisation, targeting and testing across their online platforms, not only to help drive an increase in revenue, but more importantly to ensure the customer experience is as friendly and streamlined as possible. We look forward to running further optimisation campaigns with Europcar in the future.”