- Stellantis U.K.’s brands use StoryStream to increase engagement and conversion and generate leads across their digital and social channels.
- The brands – Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Citroën, DS, Fiat, Jeep, Peugeot, and Vauxhall – leverage the StoryStream visual commerce platform from end-to-end: gaining rights for User-generated Content (UGC), curating owned and earned content (including Influencer-created content and reviews from important industry media titles), and then distributing content to galleries across key web pages.
- Over 80% of site visitors engage with StoryStream galleries (when galleries are present in their session), with 4.9% of users clicking on SmartGoals CTAs (e.g. “Book A Test Drive”, “Build and Price”, “Latest Offers” etc.).
- Engagement with a StoryStream SmartGoal CTA increases a visitor’s likelihood of completing a key action on a Stellantis brand site by 149%.
The Digital Forecourt
It’s no secret that digital is a key channel for automotive brands. And the numbers don’t lie: 8.1% of all digital media spend in the USA in 2021 came from automotive brands; and that number sits at 13.2% – an estimated £2 billion+ in digital ad spend – in the U.K (Insider Intelligence).
Yet to fully grasp how competitive the digital space can be for car brands, two further insights prove particularly useful.
95% of vehicle buyers use digital as a source of information. In fact, twice as many start their research online versus at a dealer (Think With Google).
The average in-market car buyer will view only 4.2 websites during their purchase consideration phase (Cox Automotive).
So while it’s true that the overwhelming majority of consumers turn to digital at some point in their purchase journey, it’s equally true that the number of sources they’ll consider is actually quite limited. The upshot for brands: making a great first impression – all while giving browsers the content they need to see to turn into buyers – really matters.
For Stellantis, whose iconic family of brands includes some of the world’s most beloved names in auto and mobility, creating a compelling digital experience – one that captures, nurtures, and converts buyer attention – is a key strategic imperative. And it’s from that perspective that the Stellantis U.K. team engaged StoryStream: to bring the brilliance of its vehicles to life through a dedicated social proof strategy.
Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Citroën, DS, Fiat, Jeep, Peugeot, and Vauxhall all leverage the StoryStream visual commerce platform to support their end-to-end social proof strategy in the U.K. market.
Social Proof Galleries
Since launching with StoryStream in 2022, brands within the Stellantis stable have implemented social proof galleries and hubs across a number of different page types (e.g. homepages, campaign pages, model pages). And the flexibility of StoryStream’s curation platform means that each gallery is not just truly unique – but is custom-created to suit the purpose of that moment in the customer’s journey.
Fiat’s U.K. homepage offers a fantastic example of the breadth and diversity of content being combined by the Stellantis team within a StoryStream gallery: equal amounts UGC and third-party-sourced social proof sitting alongside Influencer-created content to create an attention-grabbing social proof hub.
In other parts of Stellantis’ digital ecosystem – across a range of Vauxhall’s vehicle model pages, for instance – “promo tiles” advertising time-bound deals and offers have proven particularly useful additions to social proof galleries. Here, the combination of traditional, ultimately more direct advertising messages (think: “0% APR” style incentives) alongside attention-grabbing short-form videos and third-party validation (e.g. a five-star review from AutoTrader) is driving particularly high click-through rates on galleries: 35% of Vauxhall’s SmartGoal call to action (CTA) clicks in the month of February 2023 – a number in absolute terms in the multiple thousands – were on three strategically placed “promo tiles”.
The flexibility to combine different content formats (video, imagery) from a broad range of content sources (UGC on social media, Influencer-created content, third-party reviews, branded content, etc.) is driving real value for Stellantis.
Social Proof at Serious Scale
With over 55 galleries live on homepages, campaign pages and vehicle pages across eight brand domains – and each gallery comprising a unique mix of User-generated Content, Influencer-created content, brand-generated and third-party content (reviews, media mentions) – the huge scale at which Stellantis brands are leveraging StoryStream gifts ample scope for teasing out some truly compelling insights.
Taking the month of February 2023 as a snapshot, we see that a sample of 2.8 million page views across the brand sites has delivered close to half a million views of StoryStream gallery experiences. 82% of those gallery views are engaged views – i.e. the user spent at least five seconds on the gallery – with 21% of those engaged views opening a piece of content hosted within the gallery. From that 82% of engaged users, 4.9% click a SmartGoal CTA (e.g. “book a test drive” or “build and price your vehicle”).
According to Danielle Roden, Head of Digital & CRM at Stellantis U.K., “Customer-centricity is a core pillar of Stellantis’ strategic plan – and with StoryStream we’re able to bring customers into the very heart of our marketing. The galleries that we’re able to produce through the platform are certainly aesthetically pleasing – but to stand a chance of staying live on our sites they need to do more than just look good.
“At Stellantis we know that, at a certain point in their journey, car buyers really want to get a feel for the way that a vehicle would enhance their own lives – and that’s something authentic social proof can really help us deliver. ‘Trust’, in a word.”
Average Goal Completion
Within the context of Stellantis’ brand sites, a “goal” can refer to one of a number of key actions that, when undertaken by a visitor, indicate a gradual intensifying of their interest in a given vehicle. From a site visitor’s perspective, a goal ordinarily appears in the form of a CTA. While there are some nuances as to what constitutes a goal on a specific brand site, the two most common CTAs are “Book a Test Drive” and “Build and Price” (AKA a “car configurator).
Again using February 2023 as an example, we see that not only is StoryStream increasing the rate of website visitors starting goal tasks (e.g. commencing a car configurator), but also that users engaged by a StoryStream gallery experience tend to complete those goals (e.g. finalise their car configurator and move on to the next step of their purchase journey) at a significantly higher rate too.
Social proof is playing an active role in helping Stellantis’ brands convert a greater volume of site visitors – showing again that the breadth of content made available to a user within a content gallery can help to nurture lasting relationships with consumers at critical junctures of their purchase journey.
Average Session Duration
For further evidence of social proof’s usefulness in nurturing relationships, we can also look at the impact made by galleries on average session duration length.
Users that interact with StoryStream galleries spend an average of 271% more time in their browsing session on a Stellantis brand site than users that did not. And as we layer in interaction elements – engagement, content opens, and SmartGoal CTA clicks – that number continues to climb.
A user that has opened a piece of content – be it UGC, Influencer-created, brand-generated content or third-party sourced review – will spend an additional 524% longer on site than a user that has not; more than an additional four minutes in absolute terms.
Benefits Across the Board
Alongside those directly quantifiable performance upticks delivered by their multi-brand social proof strategy, Stellantis are also unlocking value in a number of other ways through its relationship with StoryStream.
By surfacing Influencer-created content on their web pages, the teams are able to derive additional value from their paid partnerships – extending the “half-life” (i.e. the period of time in which that content is displayed across the web) of that content many times over.
The brands are also able to elevate their customer communities, strengthening bonds with the most vocal and passionate of their customers in a way that encourages other owners to submit their own content too.
And as more and more of the social conversation shifts toward platforms like TikTok and parallel short-form video offerings from YouTube and Instagram (Shorts and Reels respectively), having a platform that’s ready to ingest and curate that content will give Stellantis’ brands an edge on their competition (read more about StoryStream’s Instagram Reels and TikTok integrations).
“We’re honoured to count Stellantis’ incredible mix of brands among our customers; their mission to transform the automotive and mobility industries through increased focus on sustainable technologies is so exciting – and StoryStream will be right there on the journey with them,” says Alex Vaidya, CEO of StoryStream.
Certainly, in a constrained attention economy like that of the digital automotive industry – Stellantis’ focus on surfacing moments of compelling social proof is helping them to stand out among the chasing pack.