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Hemmings Turbocharges Its Classified Ad CRO with Round Barn Labs

October 26, 2021

Conversion Rate Optimization
Tye DeGrange

For decades, Hemmings has been among the most trusted names in classic cars. They’ve developed a leading online/offline destination for classic car enthusiasts, and built out classifieds, an online marketplace and an auction site for millions of car lovers looking for classic vehicles from Detroit’s Golden Age.

Recent changes to the user experience for the creation and sale of classified ads had negatively impacted Hemmings’ numbers as users adjusted to the new system. In a highly competitive market, Hemmings couldn’t afford to wait patiently for numbers to tick back upward. They needed to act fast, enlisting the growth experts at Round Barn Labs to boost classified ad sales numbers, guiding more customers toward conversion.

Key Results

Hemmings’ UX Updates Disrupt Sales of Classic Car Classified Ads

Change is crucial for e-commerce businesses looking to stay competitive, but it inevitably comes with a period of adjustment that can affect the flow of business and the bottom line. Recently, Hemmings made updates to their vehicle classified ads set-up process that significantly impacted the rate at which users were creating and purchasing for sale ads. The slowed pace of ad sales meant less revenue and began to represent a threat to the classified ad business. Hemmings needed to act quickly, and they realized that the size of the challenge and the ambitious timeline for addressing the issue meant they needed to look outside the organization for help assessing user experience gaps, and to identify landing page optimization opportunities.

RBL Creates and Tests Powerful Landing Page Variations

Hemmings enlisted Round Barn Labs to build out a program for assessing and optimizing user experience (UX) in its online sales process for classified ads – from search to landing page to conversion. RBL staffed a team of experts including a product engineering and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) lead, a UX and Design lead, a UX and design manager, and a team of development and landing page pros that could audit, build and set up experiments in Google Optimize.

The team established a 5-month test period and a cadence that included a weekly call, weekly sprint schedules and weekly reports. RBL experts developed ideas to test, designed landing page variations for review in Figma, and A/B-tested approaches for driving more conversions – including charts, checklists and varying messaging structure. The team reviewed key metrics and discussed how the approaches ranked as to Impact, Cost and Effort; and made recommendations for conversion rate optimization (CRO) that would ensure progress toward Hemmings’ revenue goals.

CRO Program Drives a Lot More Classified-Ad Checkouts

On the other end of the 5-month program, Hemmings has seen promising results across the board. Across 5 approaches tested, Hemmings saw increases in conversion rate of up to 27%, with the ‘Classified v. Auction’ chart design and moving Vehicle Description further up the landing page yielding the greatest increases in checkout completion rate. Other approaches also helped move users along in the process at higher rates, providing valuable intelligence for Hemmings in what motivates its classified ad-buying audience. Not only did the program help guide Hemmings through a difficult transition period, it gave the company a deeper understanding of its customer.

“We are firing on all cylinders with RBL.” — Rob Einaudi, Head of Marketing, Hemmings


Hemmings, control UI


Hemmings, Treatment UI - version 1
Variation 1

Hemmings, Treatment UI - version 2
Variation 2

Checklist for the Onboarding flow:

Hemmings, Checklist , onboarding

To find out more about how Round Barn Labs can help you better understand consumer behavior and increase conversions, contact us today.

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