Product Case Study: 3 Ways OLX Autos Has Improved the Car Trading Experience
How the OLX Team Uses Smart Listing Design, a Driver App, and AI Question Clouds to Revolutionize Online Car Dealing
“We want to become a one-stop solution for sellers and dealers and consumer buyers,” states Jasjit, Associate Director of Product, Dealer Experience at OLX Autos.
“This way, users can buy or sell their car in a standardized way and through a simple checkout process. To do this, we have to understand the key pain points.”
As Jasjit notes, there’s a lot to tackle. Buyers may not trust the car or think the price isn’t right. Dealers may have capital problems and selling may take too long.
We not only need to solve these challenges for OLX Autos users, but we also need to scale our solutions. After all, OLX Autos is a global marketplace that aims to transform the car industry.
Our OLX Group team has been working hard to solve such key issues. And we’ve made great progress in improving the platform for both buyers and sellers.
Here, we’ll discuss what we’ve done to improve the OLX platform and the car trading industry. We’ll go over the core challenge, our approach, the results, and how the solution is helping us fulfill our mission to shape the future of online car trade.
The challenges & our approaches: Solving the key issues with online car buying and selling
With 5,000+ employees and 500+ inspection centers across the Americas, Asia, and Africa, OLX Autos manages a truly global car marketplace. To transform the auto industry for the better, we need our solutions to scale while still catering to the unique needs of our users and team members, from Indonesia to Nigeria to Mexico.
That’s why we focus on identifying and eliminating bottlenecks, complexities, mistrust, and other problems. We want to bring a frictionless, comfortable experience to the auto industry (a sector notorious for a poor buying and selling experience).
“We’re building a holistic experience and delivering peace of mind. This requires a mix of technology and a human touch. We want the app to feel like you’re doing business over a cup of tea or coffee,” says Jasjit.
Driven by our mission to revolutionize the car selling process, we set out to build solutions. For each challenge, we focused on leveraging better technology, design, and processes to elevate the user experience.
Challenge #1: Buyer-seller interactions are inefficient
Margins can get thin in the used-car business. On OLX platforms, dealers and sellers have too many questions to answer, making it hard to prioritize leads. Since dealers and sellers are busy, buyers have to wait too long to get answers to questions. Simply put, communication takes up too much time and resources.
Optimize buyer-seller interactions to ensure buyers as well as dealers and sellers can operate more efficiently. This will increase seller profitability, improve the used-car trading experience, and create an overall more harmonious and prosperous ecosystem.
Reposition the chat on OLX as a facilitator that helps transactions move from product and price negotiations to agreements and deals.
“The goal is to reposition the chat on OLX as a facilitator that helps transactions move from product and price negotiations to agreements and deals. The chat uses milestone-driven activity and makes it easier for consumers to go through the journey,” describes Nishant, Technical Architect and iOS Chapter Lead at OLX.
Build tools to streamline and automate buyer-seller interactions. Those interactions will include Negotiations before the final deal is closed. For Sellers — Negotiations are a great way to dispose products and drive sales. For Buyers — Negotiations meet multiple needs: Rewarding them with a sense of fulfilment, monetary benefits, affiliation etc.
To help the seller, the OLX team created a text analysis AI model to help sellers respond easily to repetitive questions and even auto-respond to factual questions.
To help the buyer, the OLX team created an ‘AI cloud of questions model.’ The model includes advice so buyers can ask sellers the right questions and move towards deal closure and also help with price suggestions.
Thanks to the AI cloud questions model, sellers can prioritize leads and close deals in a fraction of the time it took before. Car shoppers only need a fraction of the time they needed before to get the necessary details and find the right vehicle. On an average, question cloud usage is at 20% at conversational level( all exchanges). As conversation becomes more richer(more exchanges) the usage also increases.
Challenge #2: Car ad listings are too complex
400 decision making points are involved in buying a car. This presents a design challenge, especially with inspection reports. Inspection reports are part of an ad listing. However, Inspection reports can be difficult to read over and understand for the typical buyer of a used car.
Ensure car ads display information in an easily digestible way. This will improve the car shopping experience, ensure buyers find the car that best suits their needs, and boost conversion rates for sellers.
“We wanted to help users analyze and compare cars quickly. On average, there are 400 decision points involved in buying a car, which presents a design challenge. We started by analyzing inspection reports that contain hundreds of data points about the status of the car. Most of them are not understandable by the buyer. Only certain visual and major repair points are required to make a decision. We started curating data points which a buyer really wanted to see,” details Bhavik, Senior UX Designer at OLX Group.
Previously, OLX Autos car ads consisted of a main classifier, secondary classifier, and decision helper. The issue was, unless you knew a ton about cars or had time to sort through the information, it took too much time to understand all the essential car details.
So, Bhavik and his team designed a cleaner ad structure for better information consumption. The new ads included: 1) A Main Summary which includes a gallery, information sections (prices, services, etc), and other vehicle. information OLX confirms for the user.
2) A Visual Mapping Widget that shows dents, scratches, repaired parts and more via an easily navigable car map and decreases complexities by simplifying information and focusing on user needs.
A Binary Information Widget which makes the inspection report understandable for non-technical users, simplifies the technical report with ‘OK’ and ‘Not OK’ responses for questions and categorizes major parts of the cars, such as engine condition, interior condition, brake condition, etc.
This is how we allow non technical car buyers to have a better understanding of the car status, compare cars and take an informed decision based on data translated into clear insights.
Challenge #3: The car moving process has too many bottlenecks
Moving cars from A to B (and C), from our warehouses to OLX Autos locations and to customers required too much manual effort via phone calls, messaging app communication, spreadsheet data entry, printing out paper and more. It’s super hard to scale and takes up precious work hours for our purchase center managers (owns the car handover process), warehouse managers (owns inventory management), and drivers (moves cars from OLX Autos locations to customers).
Streamline the entire car transit process by improving the efficiency and visibility of our driver network. Ultimately, we want to get cars to market faster.
Our solution rested on building a driver app, enabling smarter job allocation, improving navigation, implementing a digital handshake for handover, and maximizing visibility.
We created an app called Transfr that does the following: Enables our drivers to choose their next job from a schedule, eliminates paperwork, with driver contracts signed digitally, automates system updates by scanning QR codes and Ensures all items are collected via a digital checklist.
Transit simplified the toolset and actions required to complete a successful, safe, and legally compliant car transit and removed many of the headaches felt by our purchase center managers, warehouse managers, and drivers.
Following further user feedback, Transfr became Transit. Further iterations added live chat to improve communications and we created features to submit damages, expenses, and other documents paper-free. We also rebuilt the real app for Android.
The Transit app is live in six markets and has helped us complete 7,000 transits. Currently, the app is averaging 10% growth per quarter.
Watch the whole video on how we digitized the driving experience here.
The results: Building a better future for the auto industry
Our hard work has benefited all users on OLX Autos. The numbers speak for themselves.
All of this has made OLX Autos a preferred destination for used cars. Demand and supply for used cars have grown by 133% and 120% respectively since early 2020.
Going forward, we’ll continue to solve key challenges the automotive industry faces. Because we believe car buying and selling should be safe, convenient, easy, and guarantee peace of mind.
Powered by such an amazing team, we’re taking the auto industry to a better future. We’re moving and growing fast too. As more great talents hop along for the ride, there’s no telling how far we’ll go.