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How auto parts online dealer Mister-Auto increased CTR and conversions with Algolia

Algolia provides us with a lot of value. It makes the listings of products easier. It’s also good for user behavior, because we can adapt the search bar to match their behavior. It’s even more important depending on the type of clients. We know on mobile it’s very important because they must rely on the search bar more often.

Coralie Sanchez

Product Owner @ Mister-Auto
Mister Auto
Use case

B2C Ecommerce

Headquarters

Villeurbanne, France

Customer since

since 2018

Feature usage

Search AI, Synonyms, A/B Testing

Key results
  • Fast search speed

  • Support for technical product

  • Strong search relevance

  • Improved customer experience

Key numbers
  • 1.5 million p roducts

  • 12% increase in conversions

  • 2 to 6% higher CTR

  • -65% to -80% “no results”

The challenges

  • 1.

    Need to support huge product database

  • 2.

    Very specific search attributes

  • 3.

    Had to meet precise product requirements

The solution

  • 1.

    More relevant search with faster results

  • 2.

    Support for massive product index

  • 3.

    A/B testing of user search behavior

  • 4.

    Website and mobile app support

The result

  • 1.

    Improved customer experience

  • 2.

    Fast indexing of multiple products and prices

  • 3.

    Improved Search relevance through AI Synonyms

  • 4.

    Greater CTR and conversions

Born in 2007 from the partnership between automotive part distribution professionals and Internet sales specialists, Mister-Auto brings to bear those areas of expertise to provide its customers the parts they need to maintain and repair cars to keep them on the road longer. 

Today the company — a subsidiary of the multinational automotive manufacturer the Stellantis Group — combines its relationships and agreements with leading auto distributors and suppliers, its e-commerce experience, and advanced IT and logistics infrastructure to provide excellence in customer satisfaction. 

Since launching its e-commerce site on New Year’s Day 2008, Mister-Auto has grown to offer a catalog of more than 1.5 million parts from different automotive vendors, over 160 employees, and a presence in countries across Europe, as well as in Argentina. It’s now 21 national websites boast 3 million unique visitors and carry 80 brands, as well as their own Bölk and Bproauto brands. 

The company’s e-commerce sites serve three distinct levels of customers, according to Coralie Sanchez, Website Product Owner for Mister-Auto: automotive professionals, semi-pros (frequent customers, experts and “passionates”), and the average Joe (“Monsieur Tout-le-monde”). 

In addition to dealing day-to-day with website functionality and performance, Sanchez is responsible for working with teams around search engine optimization and user interface and experience. With more than 3 million unique visitors, it’s serious work making sure they find just what they need. 

Improving UX with Search and A/B Testing

Supporting such an impressive number of technical and highly-specific products — whose price may change daily — and maintaining a positive experience means Mister-Auto needs to be able to help customers find exactly what they are looking for, and that demands a fast search experience. 

Since the company provides car parts, customers must be provided with precisely the right piece for their cars, making search relevance crucial but also the ability to hone in on what the customer is looking for is essential no matter what term they use or attribute they look for. 

“It’s very important we show customers the part that matches their car, because if a customer gets the wrong part, they’re just going to send it back to us — and we don’t want that,” Sanchez says. 

It implemented Algolia Search in 2018 and has since adopted Algolia for AI Synonyms and A/B Testing. To meet her user experience goals, Sanchez has been working with Algolia Search since taking on her role as product owner in June 2021, but she already had experience with the platform.

In her previous role as Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Manager she used Algolia A/B Testing around customer behavior after searching. The tests have proven to be very useful, she says. 

Similarly, Algolia’s AI Synonyms and the rich functionality of Algolia Search have proven to be significant benefits for Mister-Auto, especially given the uniqueness of both its product selection and customer behaviors. 

“The AI Synonym feature has been very good for us, because we have a lot of technical products that have different words for them,” Sanchez says. “But also, there are a lot of parts that are very close but are not synonyms, so this feature has been a good improvement for us.” 

She says the fact that Mister-Auto can choose various searchable attributes within the search bar has similarly been important, since it must account for a variety of different customer behaviors.

“Some people are searching for the name of the product, others with reference (numbers), others the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), so we have to support everything.”

Increased click-throughs and greater conversion

Mister-Auto has implemented Algolia across all 21 of its parts websites, as well as a dozen white label auto accessories websites, and mobile applications for 20 countries. 

“Algolia provides us with a lot of value. It makes the listings of products easier. It’s also good for user behavior, because we can adapt the search bar to match their behavior,” Sanchez says of the impact Algolia has had. “It’s even more important depending on the type of clients. We know on mobile it’s very important because they more often must rely on the search bar.” 

Mister auto image 1

In 2021, the company ran another test across several of its European sites and saw impressive results across the board, including: 

  • France: +2% click-through-rates (CTR); 80% reduction in “no results” pages.
  • Belgium: +3% CTR; 75% less “no results” pages.
  • Switzerland: +6% CTR; 65% fewer “no results” pages.
  • Italy: +2% CTR; 77% less “no results” pages.

A 2019 test of the ability of sort relevance and best sellers using Algolia (versus sort relevance alone) found that search provided a 12 percent boost in conversions — with customers clicking the “add to basket” button in the listing or product page. 

The company is currently continuing the ongoing process of enhancing search performance and providing easier maintenance through Algolia.

Mister auto image 2

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