The big idea
When we first began our engagement with CarHagg, their overall vision was clear — to create an online car buying website and platform that would allow consumers to purchase or lease cars without the hassle of going into a dealership and haggling with a salesperson. Anyone who has bought a car knows how dreadful the process can be. CarHagg changes that and makes buying a car fun again.
To kick the project off, we spent weeks working on a lengthly and very detailed technical requirements document that examined and outlined every aspect of the buying process. This included how we would connect to Edmonds.com for the car data, using their API, and what the technical aspects would entail.
Creating a brand
When the planning, requirements, and specifications for CarHagg were complete, we started creating a brand. The concept for the site called for a fun, relaxed, energetic, and bubbly atmosphere. With those qualities in mind, we started sketching ideas for the logo. We sketched and illustrated several versions of a car, but ultimately settled on a car that resembled the feelings we wanted to evoke on the website.
The logo features a car that is smiling (energetic) and slightly tilted (fun). It has retro features such as a single wiper and larger mirrors (relaxed). Additionally, it’s driving in a cloud of smoke (bubbly). The font choice is also fun and energetic and we use orange as the primary color for the brand due to it’s associated meanings of joy, sunshine, enthusiasm, creativity, happiness, fun, and enjoyment.
Simplifying the buying process
One of the most important aspects of this website is allowing a consumer to quickly and easily build the car of their dreams. We use the Edmonds.com API to get all the features and specs of each car build and allow the user to literally build their car by selecting everything they want. That’s step one.
After the car is built and the user joins or logs in, they are asked to select between 2 and 10 dealerships to send this build to. Those selected dealerships will then compete for the consumers business, bidding against each other so the consumer gets the best possible price without any haggling.
Once the dealerships are selected and the fee is paid, the user confirms their build and submits it to the selected dealerships to start the bidding process. Within 72 hours, the consumer will have multiple offers for their exact car and can select the best one.
Getting dealers involved
Having consumers build a car is the first step, but getting auto dealers involved in the process — from sign up, to bidding, to sale is critical to the success of CarHagg. As such, we spent a considerable amount of time working on the dealer portion of the site. We worked with auto industry veterans to fully learn about the process of buying a car from the dealers perspective. Then we crafted a bidding process with the correct terminology and fields for dealers that would ensure success.
We allow dealers to create profiles and specify the other types of services they offer, which are sometimes critical in the bidding process.
Finally, when a bid is accepted, the final sales process is utterly important, as it will leave a lasting impression with both the dealer and the consumer. We designed and built a printable certificate so there is no haggling needed at the time of purchase, and the latest version of this certificate even has the ability to specify who will be on the title, as well as select a time/date for the purchase.
Responsive and engaging
The site was built in responsive HTML5 and CSS3 so that consumers can shop and find cars on all their devices. We used a PHP framework for the underlying technology and built a custom CMS to manage dealers, consumers, and sales.