Simplicity smooths journey to service centres

Simplicity smooths journey to service centres

First Stop
from 2013 onwards
Image of First Stop interface

How do you optimize a complex and non-responsive portal, pending more fundamental changes? And how do you increase conversion - both on- and offline? With this question First Stop turned to us in 2013. In a staged quick win trajectory we simplified the site and redesigned it as a gateway to the First Stop service centres.

In 2013, European tyre fitting and automotive service provider First Stop was faced with a challenge. Their dated and overly complex portal was no longer up to delivering customers a satisfactory user experience. Increasingly more customers turned to the First Stop portal to get product information, book appointments and locate stores. But all too often, they would not find what they need, get lost in the navigation or reach dead ends. And as the site wasn’t responsive, people were unable to consult it where they needed it most: on the road.

Realising they missed important conversion opportunities, First Stop turned to us. We supported them with a quick win trajectory that would allow the necessary priority enhancements within a restricted budget: a major simplification of their site, allowing for greater offline conversion.

User needs drive e-shop concept

To determine the user needs and top tasks, we based ourselves on in-house marketing research available at First Stop. Two main customer insights surfaced:

  • Get to the dealer – New customers indicated proximity as their main reason to opt for First Stop, next to word-of-mouth recommendation and price.
  • Compare prices – Digital users cited price information as their main motive to visit the First Stop site, followed at a distance by their need to find suitable tyres, opening hours, online quotes, tyre availability and promotions.

Image of First Stop interface on desktop

Simplify to generate traffic

An online touchpoint should not be an island, but support corporate goals as well as real life user needs. At least, that is our conviction and experience. Following user insights, we recommended to position itself as a ROPO gateway (Research Online, Purchase Offline) to the company’s many service centres. This meant a rigorous optimization of the existing web store and a radical simplification of the navigation, adding clear entry points to other customer needs as well.

We broke this down into four main conceptual elements:

  • Simplifying to serve user top tasks –  The main navigation now reflects the 4 top tasks users turn to the First Stop portal for: finding a service, comparing tyres, viewing prices and promotions, and contacting First Stop.
  • Online gateway to real live service – Positioning the First Stop portal as a service-hatch, we focused on making the dealer locator and appointment tools prominent features, optimising their performance and usability, and call-to-action features.
  • Facilitating online choices  – By improving the online catalogue we streamlined the user decision process. Users now discover service costs at a glance and immediately consult availability information through the online stock tool.
  • Getting people to commit –  Increasing appointment rates being one of the main objectives, we integrated the various steps in the appointment funnel in a natural navigation flow, and replaced the mandatory user registration at the beginning by an optional one at the end of the flow.

For this first trajectory, we provided the UX concept, graphic design as well as its translation in the CSS code. Unic, the technical partner of First Stop for Hybris, took charge of the development.

Improving appointment flow

As the next step in the track we set out with Bridgestone-First Stop, we continued to improve the portal, making it fully responsive and refining the user-friendliness of the appointment flow. Today, we continue to focus on service visibility through the optimization of the search interface and online catalogue. Users now get the full picture, understanding that First Stop offers so much more than tyres and tyre fitting.

About First Stop

First Stop is the most important service network of renowned tyre manufacturer Bridgestone. They specialise in tyre fitting and car maintenance services, offering a wide range of brands such as Bridgestone, Michelin, Continental, Pirelli, Goodyear and Firestone. It currently operates about 2.000 service centres in 25 European countries and sells over 10 million tyres annually.