After 5 years of working in automotive advertising I’ve become aware of one glaring issue… dealership websites are terrible. No matter how great their digital marketing may be, users are arriving on sub-par websites and bouncing out. While there are some great companies out there trying to fix the problems, every solution they’ve come up with seems to be only a band-aid to the true problems. To me the basic format and structure of auto dealer websites are truly flawed. From a user’s standpoint the majority of these sites are unintuitive, slow, dated and very frustrating. These major pain points stem from the fact that most dealer websites are built around a single UI framework and then any “new” features are stacked on top.
The basic rules of the current dealer site framework are: Home page with dealer info at the top, navigation bar with everything in it, sliders, and then inventory or other information filling up the rest of the page.
On the surface this may seem fine. However when studying what the very purpose of the dealer website should be, I’ve found that the majority of these elements just aren’t helpful in a user to complete the action or find the information they need. From an auto dealer’s standpoint a happy user means a greater chance to sell a vehicle. In 2015’s internet, it is simply unacceptable to hinder a shopper the way auto dealer sites do.
Clearly I’m passionate about this subject, and to be honest I could probably do a full hour presentation on the matter. However I’ll get to the point. Below are sketches and mockups of a new auto dealer website framework. Reinventing from the ground up how these sites should look, feel and function. As you’ll see in the mockups I’ve built this with Google’s material design in mind. Everything about this new site is focused around search and ease of use. This is still a work in progress, I have a LOT of other features I plan to build out. Eventually I’ll have a full, live version of this up and running. So keep an eye out for my upcoming progress on this.