The AutoWeb story
With multiple websites including Cars.com, the first search engine for cars, AutoWeb was one of the first internet companies in the automotive industry. The company strives to continuously drive the future of automotive retail.
Despite this, the technology used back then was not up to the task of delivering a modern digital experience. AutoWeb has therefore taken on the challenge of modernizing its content offerings and improving its digital user experience.
Starting mid 2021, AutoWeb turned its focus to developing all of its websites using an upgraded technology stack to increase velocity and flexibility. Part of this project entailed migrating from an in-house CMS solution that was developed in the 90s over to a modern content hosting platform, as well as migrating from the old stack over to a Jamstack approach.
Rigid backend that hinders organic growth
A major source of monetization for AutoWeb sites is organic business. Prior to the change, organic traffic performed well, but the old stack did not allow the team to take a leap. Furthermore, the nature of organic business rests in the tech stack, which impacts the core indexing of web vitals. In conjunction with other changes they are making during the migration, updating the content solution was essential.
Little velocity flexibility that limits user experience
With the old stack, AutoWeb was unable to produce and release digital content in the way they needed, the organic traffic that they receive on the sites is all covered by old content formats. Having a rigid backend made creating different templates and other content difficult, as well as modifying the frontend. As a result, they were not able to provide users with a refreshing navigation experience and keep them longer on the site.
A modernised tech stack for exceptional organic visibility
To boost the digital retailer experience, AutoWeb needed to migrate the system to a modenised stack that get the URLs indexed on the publishers faster. They were looking for a solution that allow them to customize content as they want, while reaching more people with a better organic performance.
A flexible way to edit content for better velocity
To improve user experience, AutoWeb needed to increase the velocity at which content is published, making it easier for them to publish updated content and experiment with new features. They needed a solution to be able to change the schemas with flexibility, therefore enabling an efficient editor experience.
After testing some new technology, AutoWeb took the leap. They have chosen Hygraph for its ability to change the schemas and the level of customization it offered. They migrated to a Jamstack infrastructure and Hygraph at once. They monitored the system performance for some time to make sure everything was working and it turned out to exceed expectations. The new tech stack helped significantly the core web vitals indexing.
The frontend development team at AutoWeb can now change the schemas and customize the editing experience with ease. With the UI extensions, they can integrate the endpoints for any content.
The editors love how simple it is to update the content compared to the troublesome process they had with the old system. Selecting assets is now a matter of a few taps.
The current setup
Hygraph is used by AutoWeb to roll out its content strategies, namely for text, metadata, and other content-related tasks.
In the current setup, Hygraph is integrated with React.js as the frontend framework, as well as a number of APIs for managing internal assets, car inventories, leads, and other activities.
With Hygraph, AutoWeb can now optimise the user experience with ease. By improving velocity and flexibility, the development team now spends days instead of weeks or months on new components, templates, or any content initiatives. This allows AutoWeb to launch a site in half the time it used to.
As a result of improving the editor experience, it helps reduce costs by saving technical resources.
The upgraded organic capability has enabled AutoWeb to generate more clicks, and pageviews, resulting in more users.
The updated content strategy and upgraded stack allowed AutoWeb to make use of React.js in conjunction with Hygraph to manage the cadence of content updates. As a result, they increased overall monetization on their website, with the most significant increase being a 20% increase on one of their websites.