This will be an ongoing series addressing the challenges and shortcomings of dealership websites.

Dealer websites are never eye-popping-ly amazing. When they are at their best they function well enough so that customers get the info they need. But no one ever visits a dealer website and is blown away by the beauty and fluidity and functionality of a dealer site. There are very few absolutes in this world, but of this I am sure.

The predominant reason for this has to do with our main product: vehicles. A regular dealership has a few hundred cars on hand; for example our Audi store in Norwell currently has 230 new Audis in stock. EACH of these cars is unique, with a mind-numbing amalgam of make/model/trim level/options/packages/accessories (your car’s VIN – Vehicle Identification Number – is the basis for beginning to decode each car). Then you add in 75-100 used cars, all of which need to be figured out and presented in their current condition. So you have to take 300+ complex products and present them to a user, trying to make sure that each vehicle in all its complexity is presented succinctly and accurately AND beautifully of course. It’s a challenge.

No dealer website company has figured out how to present cars so that the customer is blown away. And to their defense it is not an easy task – you have to display a bunch of great images, list out a slew of features and specifications, add in some space for custom verbiage, show pricing and financing info and trade-in links, etc.. – all on one page without overwhelming the customer. WE get overwhelmed sometimes, and we deal with it every day.

Lesson #1: complex products = complexity in making a great website.