Car Next Door Reduces Cart Abandonment and Boosts Engagement

Car Next Door, an Australian car-sharing company, wanted to improve engagement from car owners and car-share users. By learning more about customer behavior—such as why users abandoned their trip bookings—the company doubled conversions for badges and saw a 20% uplift in trip booking completions.

Car Next Door launched in Sydney, Australia in 2013 with 20 cars for sharing, and 60 people looking to borrow cars. As of 2021, Car Next Door has grown to over 4,000 cars and has expanded beyond Sydney to cover the whole of Australia; they’ve also partnered with Hyundai to allow users to share and borrow eco-friendly hybrid and fully electric cars. From the company’s perspective, every share car can take up to 10 other cars off the road, which goes a long way toward reducing Australia's carbon footprint.

While Car Next Door has grown enormously, the company has a two-sided marketing challenge. There’s the supply side—that is, the people who offer their cars up for sharing—and the demand side, which features people who want to book cars. Both groups need to be fully engaged with the Car Next Door platform for the company to build on its success. By partnering with Braze, Car Next Door reached both audiences with encouraging messages and prompts that inspired engagement, increased confirmed bookings, and improved efficiency for their engineering team.

Studying User Behavior Helps to Fine-Tune Messages

To try to reach both car owners and borrowers, Car Next Door originally used a smaller marketing platform that didn’t integrate with other technologies or allow for easy analysis of campaigns. These drawbacks hurt Car Next Door’s ability to experiment with new channels, test variables, or connect with other systems to maximize their data. After evaluating several platforms, Car Next Door settled on Braze since it checked all of the company’s “must-have” boxes, including tools for connecting a user with content relating to multiple car listings and addressing the abandoned-cart problem among car borrowers, and features for highlighting a vehicle’s appeal on behalf of those who shared their cars.

To address abandoned carts, Car Next Door first had to dig into why users would leave their trip bookings incomplete. In many cases, users abandoned purchases after they’d already chosen cars, but before they’d verified their IDs—an important step before being allowed to drive the shared cars. Car Next Door used Braze Alloys partner Mixpanel to determine the median time it took for people to progress through this step. If users haven’t finished the verification step within this specified time, Car Next Door sends reminders via push notification, and follows up with emails reminding users to book the car they had selected.

To boost engagement from the supply side (those who shared vehicles), Car Next Door created triggers to identify when users started to list their cars but didn’t engage further. A series of messages—using channels such as in-app messages, email, and push notifications—explained how the platform works and addressed key objections. Once cars were listed, onboarding flows powered by the Braze Canvas customer journey feature reminded users to take the steps needed to showcase their cars and increase bookings, like obtaining badges showing that their cars were serviced and trustworthy. The messages were built into an onboarding journey and a triggered campaign.

For both the supply-side and demand-side campaigns, Car Next Door used the Braze Currents high-volume data export feature for seamless data transfer and leveraged customer data platform (CDP) and Braze Alloys partner Segment, which sits in the middle of the company’s tech stack, to move customer data to Braze and Mixpanel. With Braze Alloys partner Looker, Car Next Door can tag users based on details that are not stored as custom attributes on that user, such as the performance and earnings of the cars they have listed. Looker also helps the company create detailed segments, and identify users within Braze.

“We’ve found that Braze lets us design, execute and manage hundreds of marketing tests and transactional campaigns, with a small team of three people,” says Kate Trumbull, Head of Communications and Corporate Affairs at Car Next Door. “Braze has really accelerated the productivity of our messaging team.”

Car Next Door Results: Higher Purchase Completion, Double Conversion for Badging

By encouraging customers to complete bookings, Car Next Door saw 20% more users go on to complete purchases after receiving messages. The company also doubled conversions for those sharing their cars and obtaining badges, increasing their conversion rate from 5-8% to 16%. The improved efficiency and engineering value of Braze and its Alloys technology partners also allowed Car Next Door to run marketing and transactional campaigns with just two people, instead of hiring an extra two people to keep up with the company’s rapid growth In addition, the company has reduced the time needed to launch campaigns from 24 hours to just one hour.

Final Thoughts

Marketers can guess at why customers abandon carts or stop engaging with a platform or product—or, they can apply technology to the challenge of understanding customer behavior. Using science, mixed in with the art of crafting campaign messages, companies like Car Next Door have been able to better learn what drives behavior and how to encourage key actions that drive their business forward.

To learn more about the value of Braze Alloy partners, read check out our in-depth look at the Six Pillars of Braze Alloys.