A brilliantly designed car dealership website is so much more than just a digital brochure
Did you know it takes, on average, 4 years to design a new car and get it from drawing board to dealership?1
That gives just a small indication of the time and effort – and attention to detail – which goes into even the boxiest, most basic new model.
Now, we’re not suggesting that a car dealership should spend that long obsessing over their website design. But effective, compelling design work isn’t something that can be knocked out in a couple of hours.
And the time invested in it is time well-spent.
Because a brilliantly designed car dealership website is so much more than just a digital brochure; it can be a powerful business tool. A way to start building a relationship with new customers or cement one with existing clients. A way to extend a business’ reach and influence. And, ultimately, a way to simply sell more cars.
Late in 2015, over 1000 car owners were asked a simple question in research.2
‘Imagine you were buying a new car for yourself. Who would you consult for ideas?’
19% chose the trade press. A further 19% would go straight to the dealership and ask for their professional opinion.
But a whopping 43% said they’d use a car dealership’s website for inspiration.
And, even more importantly, 63% of these potential customers claimed to use a car dealership’s website for their initial search and information gathering.
In other words, right at the very start of the buying process, you can either engage or switch off more than 6 out of 10 buyers!
Obviously design is a subjective topic. And this piece isn’t about the virtues of a particular type face or photographic style.
Good design, in this case, describes a website which is truly fit-for-purpose. A website which is effortless, ideally even a pleasure, to use. (After all, a clunky, difficult-to-navigate site sends out all the wrong signals about how easy it is to do business with you.)
So usability and functionality are key. That’s why many car dealerships are choosing to work with more versatile and flexible website platforms such as Sitecore. (If that’s a new name to you, there’s a quick introduction here.)
You should also never think of your website as existing in splendid isolation either. It has to be viewed as just one component in your dealership’s entire digital armoury.
That’s why we can use Sitecore to bring together all a dealership’s marketing tools – website, mobile apps, social media and e-mail marketing – into one, more manageable place.
This consolidation will make your website work harder as part of a consistent, seamless customer journey.
Before getting into the fine detail of how big you want your logo to be on the homepage or who gets top billing in the ‘Our Team’ section, it really does makes sense to demo the platform and have a consultation with one of our specialists to learn how Sitecore could make your website a more effective marketing tool.
You’ll certainly start to get a feel for how your own website could be much more than a simple shop window for your car dealership. You’ll see how the specific, valuable insights and experience picked up from working with other leading dealerships, have shaped the way we work and point the way towards how Sitecore will improve and innovate in the future.
2 Lightspeed GMI/Mintel
Dealerships need to know their customers, anticipate their next steps and connect their interactions with their brand and take advantage of the shift in the market. Make sure your digital strategy keeps your organisation in pole position.