Case Study

United Rentals: Used Equipment Sales

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Engage Awards 2021 Doers
43 %

YoY increase in used equipment sales leads

35 %

increase in conversion rate

116 %

increase in site entrances YoY

Highlights

Situation

United Rentals wanted to maximize revenue by selling its used equipment.

Challenge

The company’s existing site was hosted on a proprietary third-party platform, limiting content authoring capabilities.

Our Solution

Acquia Cloud Platform, Acquia Cloud Edge

Results

In just a few months after launch, United Rentals has already experienced impressive metrics:

  • A 43% year-over-year increase in used equipment sales leads
  • A 36% increase in the conversion rate
  • A 116% year-over-year increase in site entrances

The Client

Founded in 1997, United Rentals is the largest equipment rental company in the world, with a store network nearly three times the size of any other provider and locations in 49 states and 10 Canadian provinces.

The Situation

When United Rentals decides to retire a piece of equipment, the company either sends it to auction or sells it directly to its customers through the Used Equipment Sales (UES) program. But the UES program consistently generated millions more in revenue than auction activities, making it an extremely desirable channel for offloading old equipment.

With this in mind, United Rentals set a goal of increasing the number of used equipment sales leads generated from the website. In addition, the company wanted to increase the rate of lead conversions and increase the used equipment sales revenue from website leads.

The Challenge

Numerous challenges held United Rentals’ existing site back from increasing sales lead growth. 

  • The site was hosted on a proprietary third-party platform, with limited content authoring capabilities, at a separate subdomain from its Drupal e-commerce site. 
  • Equipment pages contained minimal photography, lacked important equipment specifications and suffered poor organic discoverability from their low SEO value. 
  • The site had limited analytics capabilities hindering customer behavior analysis.

 

At any given time, United Rentals has over 30,000 pieces of equipment for sale across the United States, with regular price adjustments being made throughout the day. This equipment data is stored in United Rentals’ on-premise ERP system, which serves as the backbone of United Rentals’ operations. The existing used equipment site relied on the exchange of flat files to update the used equipment catalog, a slow and cumbersome process. United Rentals wanted to automate the back-end ERP system’s data flow, ensuring customers viewed up-to-date equipment listings.

 

The Solution

United Rentals partnered with VMLY&R to transform the used equipment sales experience and bring it into the Drupal e-commerce site. By migrating used equipment to the Drupal site, the teams were immediately able to take advantage of Drupal's authoring system, giving content authors the power to build rich supporting content for the sales experience. Together, the teams optimized equipment pages for discoverability, adding equipment specifications and rich SEO-friendly content.

To automate the used equipment data feed, VMLY&R developed secured REST API services to manage equipment data on the Drupal site. United Rentals’ IT team leveraged an integration platform to monitor for equipment updates in its back-end ERP system, using the new Drupal REST services to add and update equipment as changes were detected. United Rentals also revamped its internal tools, developing a new mobile app to capture better photography and information at the branch location to improve sales content on the site.

It was important that the addition of used equipment didn't negatively impact the existing rental experience. Using Acquia Cloud allowed the teams to quickly scale up the e-commerce site to handle the increased traffic from used equipment customers as well as the data pipeline coming from United Rentals’ ERP system. Acquia's monitoring tools proactively warned the team when adjustments needed to be made before customers experienced issues.

The Results

In just a few months after launch, United Rentals has already experienced impressive metrics:

  • A 43% year-over-year increase in used equipment sales leads
  • A 36% increase in the conversion rate
  • A 116% year-over-year increase in site entrances

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