Ewards Straight Talking 2: Clive Jackson's column

Time 12 years ago

jacksoncolumnHOW should a dealer start leveraging their investment in the digital channel to make it more effective and what should they focus on and expect to achieve?  

Firstly, set yourself a goal to improve the number of leads you get from your website, whether new, used or aftersales and make this a key business objective.

Get measuring. Not just the numbers but where your website traffic comes from. One hour per week spent understanding where your prospects are coming from will help you understand how you can influence the way they find your website, regardless of whether you are a franchised or independent operator.

Reporting and ownership: you need someone to spend several hours per day administering your website, so give them the time and incentivise them (not the sales manager). Most importantly, take it seriously. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting your time.

Keeping your retail proposition refreshed: Your website is no different to your showroom so it needs constant refreshing with things that could interest your prospective customers.

Treat it like any other retail environment and keep posting new promotions, offers and incentives and don’t forget to monitor interest. Be willing to try new things out; if it’s not getting the clicks or the phone ringing, change it and keep measuring.


Stay focussed. Do not over-clutter your homepage and make things confusing. We all know a bad window display when we see one, the web is no different. Try injecting some personality into your web presence and demonstrate why the quality of your people and service stands out.

Remember: the majority of walk-ins have looked at your website and already formed an opinion about you. The better it is, the more likely they will come.

And, finally, lead management. Make sure any call to action is clearly visible. Above all, you must respond to an email within hours, same day if you are just getting started. Most importantly, a prompt and helpful engagement will significantly reduce the odds of a prospect continuing to shop around.


Who is Clive Jackson? Clive is the founder and CEO of autotorq.com and Global Beach digital agency, the Car Dealer Magazine Ewards 09 headline sponsors. Visit autotorq.com or globalbeach.com to find out more.






Submitting your website couldn’t be easier. Send an email to [email protected] and in the subject box type the Eward category name you’re entering. So, if you’re a franchised dealer, write ‘franchised’. In the email, include the following details:

1 Your name and position

2 Company name

3 Website address

4 Name of the agency who designed the website, or if in-house, state this

5 Finally, 50 words saying what makes your site an Eward winner

If you entered last year, that doesn’t mean you can’t enter these Ewards, but you will need to send us details again.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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