The five-site giant was head and shoulders ahead of the competition in the independent category and was heaped with praise from the judges. The website is a big and bright showcase for the firm, packed with offers and features that capture the user’s imagination and attention. Singled out for praise were the use of video and the excellent search facilities.
Judge Dave Timmis, boss of ReallyGoodDomains.com, summed up the site perfectly: ‘It’s bright, brash and in your face which is a little like what car supermarkets are all about.’
While Lee Coomber, from CAP, added: ‘The site incorporates everything that you would want from a car supermarket, with everything under one roof.’
HPI automotive director Daniel Burgess was equally impressed, adding: ‘It’s fun, exciting and easy to navigate, coupled with top-notch information and promotions to make it a real winner. Simply put – a great site.’
What’s quite clear is the firm’s website plays an important role in Motorpoint’s success, and this was confirmed by managing director David Shelton, pictured, who picked up the Car Dealer Eward.
‘In the last 10 years the importance of having a website in the car trade has taken off and we’ve always tried to be at the cutting edge of that,’ he explained. ‘We are very focussed on the web. Everyone in the business has an input – from salesmen to valetors – so this is an award for everyone that works for Motorpoint.’
The website was launched in its current guise back in 2000 and has been constantly evolving ever since. Produced on site by a team of two, it can be altered very easily with offers updated in seconds. A dedicated sales team at the Derby office look after online enquiries, and Shelton believes this is very important.
Peak traffic is from 7pm-10pm and visitor numbers have grown 20 per cent in the past year. Year to date the site has clocked up 47.1m page impressions with 5.1m unique users – huge numbers by anyone’s standards.
‘The site has developed over the years as we’ve discovered exactly what people want from it,’ added Shelton. ‘It’s a great tool to allow buyers to research purchases and then, when they feel they’re ready, they can come and see us. It has certainly grown our reach, with buyers able to check out what they can get before making the journey here.
One of the elements of the website that particularly impressed the judges was Motorpoint.tv – an online video section. It features clips starring TV legend Tiff Needell explaining the Motorpoint buying process in bite-sized video chunks.
‘Some people come here and see the big showroom, lots of cars and 10 or 15 salesmen and that can be intimidating,’ said Shelton. ‘Originally we used Tiff to produce a DVD which we showed in showrooms explaining the sales process, GAP and stuff like that.
‘It put people at ease and it was a natural progression to add this to the website – it’s proved very popular as people can watch this at home and then they know what to expect when they get here.’
With the economy taking a turn for the worse, Motorpoint sees the site as key to keeping its showrooms busy. With many people looking for cheaper cars, the discounts car supermarkets can offer are very attractive to cash-conscious buyers and that means 2009 could be a busy year for Motorpoint.
‘We’re confident our business model will see us through the downturn but there’s no doubt the website will play a major part in that,’ said Shelton. ‘It’s great to win this Eward – the fact
it is independently voted for makes it all the more special.’
Our headline sponsor Motors.co.uk says: ‘Motorpoint.co.uk is a worthy winner in the independent category. It’s a professional-looking site with simple search facilities and plenty of eye-catching offers. Congratulations to the Motorpoint team.’
We’re already planning our Ewards 09 – if you think you should be on the judging panel next year get in touch on (023) 9252 2434 to find out how you can get involved.