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Dec 19, 2018
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Bill
So I've been playing around with my website trying to get it set up how I would like and to try to get it as user-friendly as possible and I've come to the realization that, truth be told, I just want a whole new website. And before all the web providers tied to the foot of the OEMs start messaging me telling me how they can help, please stop. You can't. Because all of your websites are all the same. And it's not your fault. It's what most dealers and, obviously, the OEMs want. But it's not what I want. I'm tired of all of these cookie-cutter sites. I looked at about 20 and they are all redressed up carbon copies of each other. Lipstick on a pig, as they say. It's no wonder that Carvana and hgreg.com just kicked everyone to the curb and had their own sites made. So who have you guys seen that is actually making a modern, customer-centric dealer website that isn't just some code that is basically a copy-and-paste job? Is there such a thing or are we just stuck with this?
 
Lucky for you, dealer websites don't have to be garbage! OEM websites are governed by strict rules the big marketing departments make up specifically designed for OEMs. But truthfully, most ID website providers ARE cookie cutters that do juuuust enough to keep up with the market. A few things to keep in mind while searching for one...

1. Websites can be EXPENSIVE... but they shouldn't break the bank.
2. Conversion optimization MATTERS. If your provider isn't focused on converting visitors into callers, don't waste your time.
3. AUTHENTICITY. It is crucial to have real pictures of your location, staff, and vehicles on your site.
3. SEO is a ongoing process that consistently needs refinement, not a one time deal. Anyone who tells you otherwise is bonkers.

Here's an example of a website we built for a local Colorado dealer that you can use to compare.
 
@BillKVMotorCo funny you mention this but I'll be sharing a new concept and building out in the open soon. The goals:

1. Better search and merchandising
2. "Bridged Commerce" - an effort to streamline the online to offline buying process
3. Modern Personalization / Recommendations
4. More Real-time features

All in all, I'm looking to cut through a lot of the cruft we see today and offer a way for customers looking for vehicles to build trust and facilitate an easy delivery.
 
Hey Bill - the biggest challenge is in the inventory display and service scheduler (most of those are iFrames anyway). The rest of the website is nothing more than any other website on the Internet. If you can find an inventory display you like, then building a website is super easy.

You'll want an inventory display that is willing to work with compliance issues. Compliance will be more burdensome as you're going to make it very challenging for those compliance folks clicking around something they don't recognize.
 
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Hey Bill - the biggest challenge is in the inventory display and service scheduler (most of those are iFrames anyway). The rest of the website is nothing more than any other website on the Internet. If you can find an inventory display you like, then building a website is super easy.

You'll want an inventory display that is willing to work with compliance issues. Compliance will be more burdensome as you're going to make it very challenging for those compliance folks clicking around something they don't recognize.
This makes sense, though, I'm not exactly sure how one finds an inventory display. Ha.
 
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@BillKVMotorCo, I'm eyeballs deep in improving our startup, but plz feel free to call me anytime. Few ppl are as experienced in indie dealer websites as I am AND I've got nothing to sell.

While I was CMO for @Todd Caputo at UsedCarKing.com, Todd commissioned me to build our own site. Jesse Biter CEO of HomeNet knew me and saw our vision and volunteered to build our indie site. What we built was so unique that @Alex Snyder showed Dealer.com CEO Rick Gibbs what we were doing and Rick and Alex brought me over as Sr Dir of Innovation (proud of 2 patents there ).

IMPORTANT INFO TO SHARE: Web Developer Leaders need to be on the sales floor.
Bill, this is the reason Joe Chura's DI kicked ass. Joe was a dealer and he was bringing feedback right from the floor (& BDC) right back into the UI. If you go indie, you need a technical middle man that understands your world and developer's world.

What's really promising is our entire dealer base shares the same struggles as you... SO, if you can find an indie with TIGHT TIGHT TIGHT dealer connections, and IF that dealer's KPIs align with yours, then that indie can make what you want.

HTH
Joe
 
@BillKVMotorCo funny you mention this but I'll be sharing a new concept and building out in the open soon. The goals:

1. Better search and merchandising
2. "Bridged Commerce" - an effort to streamline the online to offline buying process
3. Modern Personalization / Recommendations
4. More Real-time features

All in all, I'm looking to cut through a lot of the cruft we see today and offer a way for customers looking for vehicles to build trust and facilitate an easy delivery.
Let's connect on this!
 
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Also starting down the redo path for our own main group site. So much has changed past couple years and have paid most attention to backend.. and building out our US side as well.

We have much integration with our DMS so plan on booking 'real time' appts, pushing actual deals etc directly in the dms from the site to avoid double keying and of course adding some AI capabilities to the mix.