Has your website got what it takes to stand out? We’re starting our hunt for the best automotive websites of 2011.
But you have to be in it to win it. Here’s how you can take part.
The internet is one of those rare things that no matter what size of dealership or operation you run, it affects you in the very same way.
You could have a forecourt with six cars or 600 and the internet will still play a vital role in the selling of those vehicles.
Why? Because it’s a ‘virtual showroom’, a ‘window into your business’, and a ‘shop front for cars’. Call it what you will but the internet is a key area of business which dealers are logging onto every day because that is the wish of their customers.
Just put yourself into your customers’ shoes and you’ll see why. That dishwasher you have been promising for the wife? It’s unlikely that you’ll be visiting every single dishwasher shop this side of London to find the best deal. You’ll naturally have done your research – visiting hundreds of sites, probably while her indoors is watching Casualty – and you’ll know where to go to get that Bosch unit either for the best price, the best customer experience, or both.
The same is true for cars. Customers know where to go to get their Citroen C4 because they’ve done their research at home. They’ve read the reviews, watched people on YouTube doing handbrake turns in it, and they’ve chosen what spec and colour they want via the manufacturer’s car configurator.
Having a website that informs the customer about the Citroen C4 is vital, so too are plenty of pictures to let the customer make their mind up. It has to be easy to use and look rather good too.
But what happens when that customer wants to buy? Does your site have the capability to buy or not? Does it show the best deals to tempt the customer into your showroom?
And that’s precisely what the Car Dealer ewards are all about. It’s the awards where we showcase, analyse, dissect and celebrate the best websites out there selling cars.
Now in their fourth year, the Ewards – held in association with Autotorq.com – have become known as the leading gongs celebrating this sector.
For 2011, we’ll be looking for winners in eight different categories and they are:
1. Single Franchised Dealer – this is open to all franchised dealers that represent just one manufacturer.
2. Multi Franchised Dealer – this is open to all franchised dealer groups that hold franchises for more than one manufacturer.
3. Car Supermarket.
4. Independent Dealer.
5. Car Manufacturer (automatic entry).
We’ve also added three new ewards this year, and they are:
6. Social Media user of the Year.
7. Web personality of the Year – nominated and voted for by the judges.
8. Innovation of the Year.
Submitting your website is a piece of cake. All we need is an email to [email protected] with the following details:
1 Your name and position
2 Company name
3 Website address
4 Name of the agency who designed the site, or if in-house state this
5 100 words (or more) saying what makes your site an Eward winner. Think about what
you considered before building the website and the reasons for adding its functions.
If you’ve entered before that doesn’t mean you can’t enter, but you will need to send us details of your website again. We will also consider nominations made by other parties and our judges will get to nominate some of their favourites too.