In 2008 we launched our search for the best automotive websites – and now we’re doing it all again.
We know as well as you do just how important the internet is to car dealers. Our survey of buyer trends, in association with HPI, in Issue 12 revealed that some 88 per cent of purchasers looked to the web as their first port of call for a new vehicle. Whatever way you look at it, that’s a figure you really can’t ignore.
But with so many web design agencies out there, how do you actually know what makes a good one? And that’s the main reason we launched the Car Dealer Ewards – to help show you the best sites online, explain why they’re so great and help you produce a website that not only looks superb, but makes you money too. That is, after all, why we’re in this game!
This year, we’re looking for Eward winners in five categories. They are:
1 Franchised Dealer
2 Independent Dealer
3 Car Supermarket
4 Car Manufacturer
5 Web Innovation
Entering is simple and takes just a few minutes (see panel below right). After the closing date we’ll produce a shortlist of 10 car dealer websites in each category which will be sent to each judge for analysing and voting. Then, like Eurovision, the judges will put the websites in order of their favourite with the first winning 10 points, second nine points and so on. Only once we’ve received all the votes back will the winners be revealed.
The only Ewards that differ from that procedure are the Web Innovation category and the Car Manufacturer gongs where all carmakers are entered automatically. In the Innovation category, it will be up to the individual judges to come up with their nomination for this Eward and each will be debated when the panel gets together.
We’ll be looking for a website, web-based product or service to the motor trade that is truly innovative – if you think your site has what it takes, send the details in the normal way and we’ll make sure all the judges see it.
Our judging panel is made up of the great and the good in car dealer web design. Firstly, there’s headline sponsors Autotorq.com, the sister company of Global Beach. Founder and CEO Clive Jackson will be pouring over the entries to offer his expert opinion and in the run up to the main event will be writing an exclusive column for us.
Other newcomers to the panel include Black Horse Motor Finance managing director Chris Sutton; British Car Auction’s group marketing manager Keith Rountree; Visit Cars’ Shaun Armstrong.
These experts join our established panel of automotive web masters – and Car Dealer columnists – that’s made up of G-Forces marketing director Tim Smith; HPI automotive director Daniel Burgess; Codeweavers managing director James Tew; and Really Good Domains’ marketing manager Richard Lawton.
All bring with them a unique take on what they think car dealer websites should excel at – and for an idea if yours fits the bill, check out what they’ll be hunting for below.
Last year, Ewards were handed out to some truly stunning sites. The Franchised Dealer Website of the Year Eward went to Lifestyle Europe; the Independent Dealer Website of the Year went to car supermarket Motorpoint; Jaguar picked up the Car Manufacturer title and the Special Achievement Eward went to Fiat.
If you’d like to pick up the bragging rights for 2009, make sure you get you entry in to us as soon as possible. Over the next few issues we’ll be highlighting some of those dealers that have already entered and pointing out what they’ve done right – so the sooner you get your entry in, the better chance you have of being featured.
Enter now! Send your details to us by clicking here and we’ll make sure you’re included.