Creating a new revenue stream for an established FTSE 250 business
British Car Auctions (BCA), one of Europe’s largest automotive marketplaces, came to us to design, develop and launch their first-ever B2C digital venture. Their vision was clear: they wanted to make car buying easier. There was a visible gap in the market, with other traditional sites filled with over-complicated technical language and misleading figures that lead to user frustration. It was time to do things better. Our goal was to create a user-friendly, market-leading car-buying platform that would reinvent selling and buying cars. And so our journey started.
Changing cars is much trickier than it should be. It’s full of faff, hold-ups and frustrations that add unnecessary stress to the experience. As more and more drivers are turning to digital when buying and selling cars, there’s a clear need for solutions that not just replicate the cumbersome physical journey – but reinvent it to deliver frictionless experiences that add value and save time. Solutions that simply know what drivers want.
The challenge lies in the complexity of creating a completely new digital business – and everything that goes with it. From initial product conception to brand language, associated design system and technology stack, all built from scratch and delivered in just six months.
From a business perspective, BCA needed to create an industry-first solution that delivers a radical differentiation from offerings currently available on the market, while leveraging their long-standing expertise in the automotive sector. Understanding and solving customer pain points were key, and so was the right technical approach, to build a scalable, user-friendly and innovative product customers were waiting for. A product that unlocks a new way to buy cars without the faff.
Our rapid, agile, iterative approach empowered us to make quick decisions, so we could deliver this completely new digital venture in just 6 months – covering everything from an initial idea to big, national launch.
Built in response to strong market demand, cinch is rooted in deep customer research that fed into the product development process. We kicked off with an initial workshop exploring BCA’s core competencies and analysing key differentiation points to boost cinch’s competitive advantage.
To better understand existing inefficiencies and users’ pain points in the car-buying journey, we ran numerous research studies and focus groups with various audiences. Armed with customer insight, we then scoped, designed and developed cinch.co.uk – testing outputs from each sprint to tweak the product and maximise its impact. We migrated the cinch platform to AWS using AWS Lambda, DynamoDB, API Gateway, and S3.
The end result? A consumer-facing progressive web application and a B2B website for car dealers. Quick, easy, personalised and splendidly hassle-free experience.
Since its launch, this digital venture created a considerable new revenue stream for BCA, achieving significant growth and rapid return on investment. It has witnessed well over 1 million visits to the site in the first three months after launch, and has set a new precedent for the automotive industry.
cinch empowers customers to search, buy and sell cars the way they want, putting them in touch with trusted dealer networks and car supermarkets. This, in turn, passes on higher quality leads to dealers, increasing conversion rates and removing inefficiencies. A win–win–win type of scenario.
What the client said
“We wanted to create an online service that makes car buying as easy as possible for the consumer. With the help of Somo, we were able to scope, design, develop and launch cinch.co.uk in just six months. We recognised that both speed to market and quality were key, and through agile delivery we’ve been able to achieve this”.