Produced by: G-Forces
Runner up: Autoquake.com
STORMING to victory in the Car Supermarket category by an incredible 21 points over its nearest rival is the Car Shop.
The firm’s winning website combines a bold and bright colour scheme with useful functions and clever touches that curried favour with our judging panel.
The car supermarket group currently has three locations across the UK in Swindon, Northampton and Cardiff, with a fourth due to open in Doncaster in November.
CarShop.co.uk is the second site in this year’s Ewards to be designed by G-Forces and has been an integral part of the group’s success.
Launched in August 2008 the site has steadily improved as the firm adds more functionality to help car buyers make their buying decision there and then.
Group marketing manager Cathie Kemp said: ‘We are delighted with this award. It just proves we are doing the right thing.
‘We place huge importance on the website as we know around 80 per cent of buyers turn to the web first when they’re making their buying decision. We ensure all the information is there for them to chose the car they want from finance to insurance to vehicle choice.
‘It started out as a very pure site, but we’ve gradually added more functionality and in the last 18 months the website has gone from something that was rarely mentioned to our number one priority. We’re delighted with this Eward.’
Really Good Domains’ marketing manager Richard Lawton is well placed to comment on the winning site – his firm’s portfolio includes Carsupermarkets.co.uk, a directory of the dealers across the UK, so he’s seen most of the UK’s supermarket websites.
‘We love the bright, cheerful graphics – it really hits the nail on the head of what a car supermarket is about,’ said Lawton. ‘Another excellent feature deployed on the website is the video testimonials, while the stock search is easy on the eye and incorporates a good green search option.’
Black Horse MD Chris Sutton agreed adding: ‘The site has a contemporary design with strong appeal for a consumer audience. It is easy to navigate and there’s good consistency throughout the site, both in look and content.
‘Where many in this category bombarded the user with information, the Car Shop has about the right level of information on each page. It’s graphically interesting too.’
Codeweavers’ commercial director Martin Hill was also impressed with the design and use of colour to brand the site.
‘The video testimonials are very useful, as are the animations,’ he said. ‘Plus the use of the cartoon character provides a consistent presence for the end user as they move through the site.’
Visit Cars MD Shaun Armstrong liked the fact it had a ‘fun, light-hearted and engaging’ feel and praised the stock lists which he believed would appeal to the target buyers.
While Compucars and UK Websites marketing chief Rob Queen added: ‘There were a number of innovative features that swung it for me, most notably the My Car Shop that allows personalisation of the site and video testimonials that leave the consumer reassured.’
Our headline sponsor says: ‘Nice to see an uncluttered homepage that doesn’t overburden the consumer on their first visit. Good and highly visible use of video testimonials from happy customers to build confidence with new prospects and a simple but effective search interface helped Carshop.co.uk emerge at the front of the pack.’