Optimised Design Drives 106% Boost in Conversions

Lotus Car Rental is a leading car rental company in Iceland. Founded in 2014, the company’s digital platform quickly grew, resulting in over 800 cars available in their fleet today and a dominant traffic share within the UK, their primary market.

The Challenge

Insurance is an important part of Lotus’ business model. They offer 3 insurance coverage options to customers; Silver, Gold, and Platinum. With Iceland’s harsh climate and weather conditions, Lotus Car Rental was keen to provide the best coverage for its customers via the Platinum insurance option.

Despite being the best package, the Gold and Silver options were more popular among customers with the number of Platinum members falling. With this challenge in mind, Lotus Car Rental sought to upsell its users to increase the conversion rate of its Platinum insurance coverage. They also wanted to increase their understanding of their customer base, and how they behave and engage with their website.

The Strategy

In an attempt to upsell customers to Platinum, the below banner was shown to those that had picked Gold or Silver. Of those, less than 1% converted.

Impression audited the current design that was in place as well as collected and analysed first-party data to help them better understand why only 1% upgraded to the Platinum option. The insights gathered shaped their next steps, directing them to focus on four psychological levers to drive a higher conversion rate.


Perceived Cost

Impression looked at how they could provide users with more clarity around the costs relating to an upgraded insurance plan. They highlighted the cost per day versus the insurance cost deductible if an accident were to happen. This way, not only was the price difference clear, but so was the financial benefit of upgrading.


Here they wanted to focus on choice. Even though the same 3 choices were present in the old design of the banner, the new design aimed to make it a lot easier to see what the other options are, beyond the plan they had selected. This would make it easy to compare their choice vs the others that were available.


Impression wanted to help users better understand each insurance product. In the new design, they included all of the benefits associated with each insurance product in a way that is clear, concise, and easy to understand and compare.


They wanted to give users one last nudge to encourage them to upgrade to Platinum insurance. In the copy leading up to the new banner design, Impression let users know that already about 50% of users pick the recommended insurance option to have a worry free trip. By doing this, they expected more users to want to make the same decision the majority of users already make by leveraging sociability and community.

To test their hypothesis and see if leveraging these four psychological levers will encourage more users to convert, Impression refreshed the design and a/b tested it against the current banner.

Impression conducted a control vs variable test with Control referring to the original version where no change is made. The Control is the base against which all your website test results are compared. Variation is the modified version of the website that you want to test against the Control.

The Results

By creating a design that is centred around Lotus’ user base and leveraging perceived cost, usability, motivation, and comprehension, they succeeded in encouraging users to take the right action and upgrade to the Platinum insurance option. Their variation test received the following results:

  • 106% more users upgraded to Platinum.
  • 99.9% statistical significance.
  • The new banner design was adopted by Lotus Car Rental and is currently getting developed to be displayed to 100% of their website visitors.
  • An increased understanding of Lotus’ user base and their behaviour.
  • Ideas on how they can improve and optimise other areas of the website leveraging the same psychological levers and focusing on other metrics and micro conversions.

About Impression

Impression is a multi-award winning, Digital Growth Agency. They define and deliver integrated digital strategies that transform their clients from market players to market leaders.