The 4x4 Guys Case Study

I’m pleased to report that the team at Convermax has not only met my requirements, they have exceeded them many times over. The indexed search capabilities work wonderfully and efficiently.
— Bob Kirk, President of The4x4Guys.com

The company

The 4x4 Guys has a website with multiple brands of aftermarket parts and over 35,000 SKU’s and 75,000 images, focusing solely on Jeep Wranglers. When The 4x4 Guys first reached out to us for help, the store was just starting out with nearly 5 brands and just a few thousand products. At that time, they ran their website on Shopify with a custom-made widget for Year/Make/Model fitment search. However, this functionality wasn’t enough for a proper workflow since the Jeep brand has multiple submodels. For instance, a part that perfectly fits a 2010 Wrangler JK Rubicon doesn’t necessarily fit a 2010 Wrangler JK Sahara.  As a result, when a customer ordered a part online, a shopping consultant would need to verify the submodel over the phone or email. If an order wasn’t verified, a shopper could accidentally buy a wrong part, which resulted in a return.

The challenge

Automotive part retail offers such a variety of products that it’s important to create an accurate search experience for customers. In this industry, users may look for a range of make/model/year combinations, including the submodel. Whether you have a two-door or four-door car, can also make a difference in the ordering decision.  The customized search solution that The 4x4 Guys were using didn’t allow the shopper to specify a particular Jeep submodel. Additionally, the website didn’t have a feature to mark some parts as universally fitting all vehicles.

Before we started working with The 4x4 Guys, they were inputting all product data to their website manually with spreadsheets. Our partner Data Here-To-There helped The 4 x4 Guys setup a fully automatic data processing pipeline to import streamlined product descriptions, prices, images, and map categories into a uniform category tree.

The process

In December 2017, we started the development and integration work on their Shopify platform and kept improving website search effectiveness. But, in May 2018, The 4x4 Guys were compelled to move to WooCommerce given the complexity of automotive data, and we redesigned several facets again. The WooCommerce platform also didn't have an integrated Year/Make/Model fitment search feature and “My Garage” option, so we created one. When we were designing the new interface, we used such e-retailers websites as https://realtruck.com/ and https://www.carid.com/ as references.

Now, when customers search for some goods inside the category like “Engine components”, they can narrow down results by indicating Year/Make/Model, and by submodel, which significantly improved the user experience overall.

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“Garage” is another feature that made an instant difference in the way customers interact with the website. When a visitor chooses to add a specific vehicle into their garage, the search function automatically displays only the relevant auto parts.

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We also made buttons «Change a vehicle» and «Clear selection» larger and more prominent for the customers' convenience. This allows customers to search for products for other Jeep models easily without restarting a page or need to apply filters again.

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The last change we instituted was a Year/Make/Model widget inside the shopping cart. It allows customers to check again that all selected auto parts fit their vehicles before submitting an order and passes this fitment information onto the store for their records.

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The result

After all improvements were made, The 4x4 Guys let website customers be in control of their own shopping experience. With the advanced facets Convermax created, the ability to apply filters within categories, and product recommendations inside the search box, shoppers can find exactly what they need, regardless of how they prefer to search for a product.

Thanks to the new search widget, the number of incorrect orders and returns both declined, and the amount of manual work for The 4x4 Guys reduced. Optimized search can handle both the quantity of the product and the complexity of automotive products. It provides a user-friendly experience to all Jeep owners no matter what model they drive.

Regardless of my question or request, I’ve never heard “we can’t do that” instead I hear “we will do that, or “let us think about it, we’ll come up with a solution”. I no longer think of Convermax as our vendor, I think of them as a partner in our business.
— Bob Kirk, President of The4x4Guys.com