Every once in a while we like to look outside of the motor trade and find some great websites that can offer some new inspiration or fresh ideas. Let’s see what’s on the table today…
Folks is an independent shop with a focus on carefully curated clothes, vinyl records and books. What’s so interesting about that? Rather than showcasing products on their homepage, they have chosen to use the space for a large, evocative video. Running in the background, this has the neat effect of putting visitors into the right mind-set to enjoy the shop as much as possible.
How does this idea apply to car dealers?
A lot of the products you sell (perhaps depend somewhat on your franchise or product focus) are actually less about product specification, and more about selling a feeling. Selling power, or luxury, or speed, is difficult to do on facts alone, and in those instances you could possibly say more with an evocative video.
Interestingly, the idea of using a road rings true for dealers too – it could really make you stand out from the crowd!
UK women’s clothing brand Boden has a cheery, happy website that manages to be simple and straightforward to navigate. They’re not afraid of white space, and they use happy, on-brand imagery to sell their products. So far, no surprises.
However, we really wanted to draw your attention to the benefit-focused bar directly below their website navigation. It quickly informs visitors at the very earliest stage of reaching the website about important factors that may well have a strong influence on whether or not the visitor chooses to order.
Can car dealers do something similar on their website?
The short answer? Yes! It’s important to remember that there is historically a mistrust in the general public of car dealerships, no matter how inaccurate that is. Taking the opportunity to showcase your benefits right there under the navigation could be transformative in how visitors view you.
Mailchimp has one main thing they want you to do on their website – sign up to their product. As such, everything is focused around persuading people to complete that action. The menu is top left so as not to distract attention too much, and the main sign up button standards out front and centre. It’s a lesson in clear calls to action!
But we’re selling multiple products, how could we use this approach?
It’s true that because you sell vehicles AND services, a single call to action front and centre on your homepage may not offer much of a benefit. However, as your customer gets further into the site there should be one key action for your main pages. For instance, is there a clear action for when someone is on a used car page? Are you giving them too many options and thus actually reducing enquiries?
Being streamlined and making the next step super-obvious for customers is vital.
Ipsy is a beauty subscription product that wants visitors to sign up. Quite straightforward, but what’s interesting is how they approach the sign up process. Rather than a clinical data collection, Ipsy give new customers a 3 minute quiz on their likes and dislikes, answering factual questions along the way in a fun format. The result? They have real, usable data for customer segmentation and targeting, making them immediately more relevant.
How can a survey apply to motor trade websites?
Do you collect data anywhere on your website? Maybe via a newsletter sign up or similar? If so, then collecting segmentation data at the same time will help you to be able to target these sign ups with more relevant marketing messages. If you’re really clever, you can actually make sign up an enjoyable, entertaining process. It certainly gives us some pause for thought!
ASOS is another fashion site that dominates the interwebs, and we can see why. First off, they follow a similar idea to Boden, focusing some key marketing effort in the small area directly below the homepage navigation. However, our favourite feature is on mobile – they strip out every unnecessary bit of information and take people straight to the key area of the website that is most relevant to them.
How can a car dealer improve their website navigation?
When a car buyer arrives on your website, the likelihood is that they want one of four things. They either want to get in touch, or they’re interested in new cars, used cars or aftersales. Have you ever considered just sending customers straight to the landing pages for those areas, rather than making them navigate a long mobile page?
Don’t get us wrong – people are used to scrolling on a mobile and you can take streamlining too far – but being clever like ASOS is definitely worth considering!
So there you have it – five non-automotive websites that all offer some unique website user experiences, designs and approaches that can inspire a new generation of car dealer websites. Do you see anything you like?