Our automotive platform enables us to build a service that meets your needs. You select the modules you need – or maybe you want something bespoke?
Customers like to choose a car to match their needs, mood and style. More models now are giving consumers the control to choose many aspects of the car tailored just for them. While this approach is new in car manufacturing it is something website developers have done from the start. It’s not driven by mood and style, but by our desire to help clients to be individual in a mass-market world.
We do provide a range of design options and a comprehensive choice of modules to provide the level and type of functionality required. It is then up to our clients to choose if they want the standard modules or a refined or new module to meet their specific needs. This means that we can tailor make our websites and our services to meet their exact requirements.
Some clients might want dedicated marketing resources so that we manage the website content – we are happy to manage this. Other clients might want open access to our development team and dedicated developer resources only working for them. Not a problem!
We like to operate as an out-sourced part of out clients’ team and we will provide the services that exactly deliver what our clients want. Nothing is too much bother. We make it really easy for clients to get the website they want and then add some new functionality (to try it and then remove it if you want). We’ll build our service around your needs to ensure that you get the best from having a tailor-made solution.
Rewind to the early days of the internet and things had to be very simple. There were just 16 colour palettes and pages had to be uncluttered because of slow download speeds. We have been through a series of developments since then. Short pages - no scroll, full pages, mini images and now there is
a distinct fashion towards long pages and mega images. What is driving the change and do dealerships need to be more design conscious?
Your customers visit a massive range of websites each day. They are influenced by the sites they see and expect the same great site design in fashion, new entertainment and yes, automotive too. Dealerships need to learn from other sectors and embrace new creative ideas to make their website and marketing stand out.
Take a loot at the new Harvey Nichols website for example. There has been a lot of debate about whether its upmarket enough but the site is fresh, full, exciting, and also cool, helpful, and authoritative. There is fantastic use of images, clean design, bright graphics along with a personality to engage any customers. Whilst we may not like estate agents there are some lessons they can teach some lessons on search filters and presenting layers of information.
Google are now getting in on the act with 'Material Design'. This is the future of web design where customers will enjoy a far richer experience that leads directly to greater engagement. Google are leading the charge from a technology perspective and responsive design is the first step. 3D, and movement will follow and video.
Great design makes a difference (see Apple) and creates unique brands that consumers adore. It is now time for dealers to step away from indentikit design and creates something to excite and engage customers. Fresh and exciting website design will win customers so don't follow your competitors but look whats happening in other sectors.
It is a general belief that the USA lead the World in technology and many other areas. They are also pretty good at self-publicity too! Last week I read a blog post that stood out titled - I’m sick and tired of incompetent, self-serving automotive website providers! Who’s with me? It was on automotivedigitalmarketing.com and written by Timothy Martell. Whilst Tim has a vested interest to knock the big platform providers, perhaps there are some lessons to learn.
It seems like the article generated a lot of interest as it quickly opened a debate. The article talks about blame shifting, and ball dropping. Customers in USA are experiencing really poor service at a basic level from their website provider and a blatant disregard for resolving issues. They were not fixing critical problems and there was no accountability. The focus was on the platform, and not the client. The website providers appeared to be deaf to the clients’ requests and incapable to manage individual or tailored requirements. One of the replies also made the point that there is ‘Nothing worse than trying to compete with the same tech that all your competitors use’.
Whilst there is a general industry ‘style’ that means most automotive sites look quite similar and have similar functionality. That does not mean they should all come from an identikit or all be in the same vanilla. The market is very competitive so web providers need to help dealers stand out. Getting the basics fixed and being focused on delivering what clients want seems essential.
We believe in delivering a first class service and getting all the jobs done quickly. We assume all providers should do the same. Is your website run for your benefit or to suit your website provider? What service are you getting?
Website speed is very important – users like fast sites, and more to the point visit more often and stay for longer on faster sites. A 1 second delay in page load can reduce conversion by 7%, and reduce page views and customer satisfaction too. There’s another benefit too – search engines love fast sites.
Analysing website performance is another specialist task – it requires a very detailed understanding of browsers, PC’s, networking, Internet architecture, server architecture, server software, etc. Also it demands an incredible attention to detail – no element is too small to measure and to gain an improvement. Many sites (most even) have some really big wins you can get quickly, but after that it is a forensic examination of the fine detail from the web browser all the way back to the server, database and the source code. Don’t be put off though – you are rewarded for every 20th of a second you can save.
There are many tools to help, most of them freely available, and on top of that we have built our own in-house systems. None of the free tools will solve the problem for you – they are sign-posts pointing you in the right direction.
The first stage is to monitor and understand your current site performance, break it down – front-end, networking, web server, database, software. At each stage you need a way to measure the performance – the front end is easy, use Google Analytics (site speed section), Google Webmaster Tools, PageSpeed Insights (from Google), webpagetest.org, pingdom, etc. There are likely some big wins there – but follow through with the moredifficult areas – the network and the back-end (web server, database and software).
Performance needs to be addressed before launch, after launch, and monitored through the lifetime of the site. It is normal to need a tuneup every few months (as adding new features and content to the site can degrade performance considerably).