Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
The CDK Global dealer website platform is an extension of, and the current version of what was The Cobalt Group's "Nitra" dealer website platform... It has received extensive development work and refinements over the past twenty years and what CDK Global has brought to marketing is a very stable and robust dealer website platform. There seems to be many features which dealers must ask to have turned on before they are fully functional. Beware of the expensive service package, although it may actually be worth it. The platform makes it fairly easy to create special landing pages for various ad campaigns.
I'm going to try and control myself on this one. For years, CDK was our only option. Several years back, VinSolutions was offered as a second choice, but we chose to stick with the lesser of two evils. I say evil with a heavy heart, because for the most part, the people @ CDK are quality. It's the product that makes me ill. They just migrated our site over to their new, updated platform, and it almost makes me want to cry. They just don't seem to "get it." I'll highlight two of the major issues I have with their platform and then I'll stop ranting.
1) Although our site is responsive, the mobile experience is horrific. Given that CDK themselves tout how many users are on utilizing mobile these days, it's unforgivable, in my opinion. Our home page experience on mobile is laughable. Hero rotators in multiples sizes, endless scrolling, etc.
2) Don't even get me started on SRP's and VDP's. Every time I attempt to make a change, they play the "your OEM won't allow it" game. Really? Our OEM insists on a horrible user experience?
Those are just two examples without getting into specifics. I blame them for most of our digital issues, and for good reason. I can show you the tremendous amount of traffic our marketing efforts push to our page and the corresponding bounce rate. The product they offer and the conversion rate it provides is absurd, especially in 2016. We're watching our business suffer and there isn't much we can do about it. CDK always tells us that other OEM's allow them more flexibility, so I wish you the best of luck.
I have now moved to a responsive CDK site as well. Although I do not share the same thoughts as Nate. I heard Lexus was first to go on this new technology but that others will be getting it too.
Some things I like about my Lexus site
It takes up the whole screen no bumpers
It is fully responsive (yes 1 site but you can still view it in mobile maybe Nate is not happy about that view)
It has a sticky nav
My mobile metrics for click to call and inventory have sky rocketed
Full screen mobile nav
More VSR choices
Going first there were some challenges but my only real struggle was learning the new editor. Once I had someone take some time to explain it to me I am very pleased. I also believe we are getting more freedoms than before except colors we are down to black and white. Also hoping for some more VDP and VSR layouts in the future. I proposed one to my area office and both CDK and Lexus seem to be open to implementing it which is great news so we will see.
I heard that Cadillac will go next and may already have sites live, ours is not yet. I am sure infiniti will get this. The previews I saw of Cadillac look different than Lexus so I am positive the OEM still has control over these to an extent.
Lexus didn't get the standard adaptive cobalt sites we have had responsive for 3 years with cobalt but the new ones we just got are an extreme improvement to what we had for responsive before.
To not call out specifically any dealers including myself you can check almost any Lexus dealer in the country and see the new sites as long as it is not one of the few dealers who use a VIN Solutions site.
Hi Michael ---- Well thanks for sharing this information....... nice to see there may be light at the end of this tunnel then with INFINITI as well.
Our CDK site options are considerably better than the ones we used to have. I'm a Chevy store so I don't get the new platform until January but wish I could have it yesterday as the customization looks awesome. All automotive sites seem to have bugs and/or design problems. I believe that when a person is hands on the site reflects it. We are constantly updating our site and it keeps getting easier and easier. Try today's CDK with an open mind. :)
"All automotive sites seem to have bugs and/or design problems" ----Really?? Hmmmmmmmm....... well I never had any issues with other site vendors when I kicked off a new site. Ever.
"I believe that when a person is hands on the site reflects it" -----??? Not sure exactly what you`re referring too here. Care to elaborate Celeste?