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Have dealers ever really looked at their websites and all the stuff that is on these pages? ISMs, I know you are looking but are you seeing.

I'd like to hear from you about what content, buttons, functionality you think is dumb, not working properly, or items that need to be re-tweaked so they provide a better user experience.

This is your chance to let it all out, and rant about these things that really bug you.

Tags: Dealer, Experience, Functionality, Sites, User, Web, design, graphic, poor

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I found the Scarsdale site to be scattered and unbalanced. There is no focal point and way too many colors.
I think Continental Auto Group site isn't much better than Scarsdale. 12 blue background boxes hit me as soon as I land. Consumers top priority is not News and Events on a dealers' site. Logos big on the top, Logos big on the side (redundant) eat up too much real estate. Phone number layout on the top is not easy to read.

Now on to inventory: I am searching for an SUV in the preowned section for under $12,000 and don't care what make it is. Ooops, seems I have to know a make and model before I can search for a vehicle. And if I want to filter the system is not populated by actual inventory but all models come up under the Make. So it allows me to select a Kia Amanti even though there are none in stock.

I have to give this site a C- Not horrible, but certainly lots to improve upon.

C'mon Blake, give us a site, that is not another "me too" site that we can praise and hold up as a good site.
Mark-
Grade this: website . I've had a lot of suggestions that I'm in line waiting on the content people at Dealer.com to put into place for me and other things that I'm over-ruled by higher ups. Other things that I would like to do, such as add the search bar capability I've been told by Dealer.com is unavailable, however this site: website 2 has the search bar ability.

Now, the goal I have been taught and I strive for is simplicity- because my job is to provide a great online experience for the consumer that is not searching dealership websites every day. Lots of times I go to a really nice dealer website and I see something that is neat, yet I have to pause and realize that the only reason I know to click on/scroll to find something- like the address to the York Toyota dealership- I knew to scroll down to the "Directions" section to find out where they were- is only because I do this every day and it's what I do.
This topic reminds me of the customer who did what they were supposed to do- call about a vehicle and we ask them for a stock number...we do the SEO/SEM to bring them to the site and then we want them to work for the information that they want- or want them to know that they actually have to "click here" on the button on the Scarsdale Ford site.

The consumer who is computer literate- able to turn it on, surf the net minimally and sporadically checks their emails- those consumers are still shopping for and buying cars...and they don't know what that really cool word cloud does, what the point of talking people on the home page, dropping down chat windows on the homepage, etc. They are used to "type into search bar" and it does the work of finding what they are looking for- like our website.
When I was selling sites, I always liked to use http://www.max71.com/. It has changed a bit but I think you will still get the point!
That's hysterical. I actually enjoyed that. I'd buy a car from that guy! I love how he stood up to the CNN left winger. I bet that video clip wins him more business than it cost him. Now if he had a dealership in a conservative market, he'd be out of business. But yes overall opinion, something like that should not be on your website. Thanks for the chuckle today.
Buy a car and get a free "handgun"?? That would be scary in VA, LoL
Max needs to handle PR for the NRA!
Here are two examples of sites that I feel do a good job for the dealership and are user friendly for online auto shoppers.

http://www.scottrobinsonhonda.com/

It has one main image/photo box to draw in the eye. Simple buttons on the bottom for inventory, quotes, and credit stuff. Innocuous link on top left for chat and a simple navigation bar. This is certainly an example of “less is more.”

Another one I like is http://www.maroone.com/
Simple layout, one main image box to draw your attention.
Ability to search inventory by vehicle type, make, model or payment. Very Nice. Once inventory is presented they also provide multiple ways to further filter the results. They also offer tabs to see Certified Pre Owned units too. All the important stuff is “above the fold.”

Neither of these are junked up with lots of crap on the home page. No intrusive videos, NO Coupons pushed in my face, no flying chat boxes that I have to close. Just the basics that online shoppers want.
Blake and other contributors to this discussion. Please understand there is no right or wrong for dealer websites and just as every dealer has a different style of how they sell and market cars, their websites have different styles and functionality too.

My concern is that dealers are too often focused on the "icing" and not on the "cake." They make money by selling and servicing vehicles. All the other stuff is extraneous. After 25 years in the business and six years of Art School I have developed a more critical "eye" than most people. I pay a lot more attention to usability, layout, design and functionality and see that 90% of dealers have way more "fluff" on their website than is necessary. Website developers feel they have to offer and implement the full buffet, when all that's really needed is a satisfying appetizer.

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