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Define A BETTER Dealership website...

Discussion in 'Websites, SEO, SEM, Display, Social, Marketing' started by Jeff Kershner, Oct 6, 2014.

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  1. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner
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    Let's agree - most dealership websites (contrary to what we think) are NOT that good. Whether it's the platform, the service, or the fact that most dealers don't give their website the attention it needs to perform. Let's move past all the gripes.

    I want to know WHAT DEFINES a BETTER dealership website?

    Don't over think it either. And don't only define it from your position at the dealership.

    What SHOULD your dealership website ultimately achieve??

    game on...



    Side Note: Please keep your responses relevant by answering the question and sticking to the topic. Vendor promoting themselves and any derailing of the conversation will be deleted.
     
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  3. eddyshaf

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    Top three thoughts:

    The quick, not thinking it over answer is that our dealership website should produce leads for all profit centers.

    What defines a better website for me is the ability to get to relevant content with a few clicks as possible.

    In addition I would love to see a website that had a truly "Amazon.com" experience with inventory display.

    :thumbup: Thanks for posting - looking forward to reading the responses :)
     
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  4. craigh

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    I agree almost entirely with Edward - took the words right out of my mouth.

    For me, a BETTER website also needs to think outside of the box. Whether that means treating it like it belongs in another industry (ie: the Amazon or eBay approach) or simply pushing the envelope, I am tired of seeing the same old sites over and over again.

    Even when I look at some of my favorite dealers sites (ie: Carvana), it's not the site that does it for me.. it's always inventory integration or photos. I want to see the whole package looked after, not just Basic Website + Inventory Tool + Leads Forms + Contact Page.
     
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  5. Chris Cachor

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    The better dealer sites I’ve seen do a great job selling their dealership. Some of the things I come to expect from a “better" dealer site:



    • Why Buy From Us messaging


    • 90+% photo coverage
    • Highlighted vehicle features
    • Market priced vehicles
    • Non-intrusive promotional offers (not popups galore)
    • Photos of your store
    • Simple and clear navigation
    • Responsive layout
    • Social proof


    Things I’m not a fan of:



    • Stock photos
    • Generic lead forms (Schedule a Test Drive, Make an Offer, etc.)
    • Popups galore
    • Non-priced vehicles
    • SEO optimized text, etc that has nothing to do with me


    I recently moved and checked out the local Chevy dealer’s website. Stock photos, unpriced vehicles, and their service is booked 4 weeks out. To me, it’s a signal that they are not competitive.


    Call me crazy but I’m looking for another local Chevy dealer...
     
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  6. Dave Erickson

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    Great stuff in here. I also think Edward hit the nail on the head regarding all profit centers and relevant content as quickly as possible.
    To try to drill down little:
    1. Real photos and at the very least match the colors listed if stock. Today I looked at 15 VW dealer Cobalt sites (including mine). Only 11 had pictures that matched new car stock photos on new cars. I think photos are critical for new and used cars.
    2. 3rd party reference on VDP, crisp and clear descriptions. Personalized is great, but not over the top. I'd rather see the case for why it's priced the way it is rather than what the model name means and the positioning of the solar system at any given moment.
    3. Testimonial videos at every level possible.
    4. I love staff pages.
    5. Quick and easy service appointment scheduling.
    It's getting late. Perhaps some more after my morning coffee.
     
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  7. LINGsCARS

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    "What SHOULD your dealership website ultimately achieve??"

    ...

    It's so easy!

    The website should MAKE MONEY.

    I lease brand new cars in the UK and many people know my website, LINGsCARS. I have no other route to market and have no physical sales pitch, just an office. I don't sell over the phone, I do it all online.

    This year, I will make gross profit (before overheads and tax) of well over $1m. All from my website with pictures of new cars... I stock no real new cars in the metal.

    It is all about trust with the visitor, so if people trust you, they will transact.

    But (in the UK) most car dealer websites are shiny advertisments, they are not bread and butter transactional websites at all. So, what on earth do dealers try and achieve from these websites?? In my view, the best that can be acheived is people searching your phone number, opening hours, directions, and possibly (if you keep it up to date - which customers disbelieve) they may flick through your stock.

    It's really sad.

    But the answer to the question is that a website should MAKE MONEY.

    Hope that helps.

    Ling.
     
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  8. yagoparamo

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    Ling,

    Even better--the website MUST make money for the business, or else that should be reason to change it.

    ---Explanation: You should truly know and understand how much business your website drives and holds from other media (funnel).

    The VDP, SRP, color, functionality, 3rd party integration, etc argument is pointless. Work with a flexible system.

    ---Explanation: To each dealer a different need and combination of features that will make it successful.

    Basics is what matters, to begin with a solid-expandable-platform. Then to build according to the audience, product, etc.

    ---Explanation: Be courageous, explore different settings and ideas with your website. Seek advice from your website provider.
     
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  9. Bill Simmons

    Bill Simmons
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    Everything previously mentioned is vitally important, number and quality of pictures, custom content, etc. I do feel however in the age of mobile we need to look at a "less is more" proposition, especially on the home page of our mobile sites. Customers come to a car dealers website to look for a new or used car or to look at service coupons and to schedule an appointment. So on our mobile sites lets make it easier for them do those things from the homepage. Yes, we can be a bit more creative on the desktop versions of our sites but I believe that the mobile sites needs to get them where they want to go as quickly as possible.
     
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  10. craigh

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    Agreed 100%. This is one of the reasons I support separate mobile websites, not just responsive websites.
    It's great when it's responsive the first time it's setup, but end users can't setup mobile detection and "only show on desktop" elements. A mobile site should be service, inventory and contact/location.
     
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  11. Emilie Benn

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    Establish trust with the consumers: who we are, our core values, why and how we do it with honesty.
     
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