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Does your website reflect your showroom?

Liz Hochstedler, Associate Editor - Powersports Business
August 23, 2012
Filed under From the Editors

I’m on dealer websites a lot, and some are great, but I’m often disappointed by the content of others.

So many are never updated and others were never properly setup in the first place. Fortunately, some features don’t have to be touched often, yet they’re left the way they came from the website provider.

One of my biggest pet peeves is the “About us” section that’s found on almost every website. “We are a franchised dealer for Polaris, Kawasaki, etc., etc.,” is impersonal. Yes, I understand that’s what you do, but the section says “About us.” Your statement about which brands you carry don’t differentiate you from your neighboring dealership.

What’s great in an “About us” section from a customer’s perspective? A story. It doesn’t have to be a long novel about every year of your dealership since it opened in 1960, but tell me who owns the place, when they bought it, what types of people work there, what your customer service is like. Anything that can give me a picture of what sets your dealership apart from the rest gives me a better reason to want to go there. Think people don’t read that section? They do. And the best part? You probably only have to post on that page once, and it’s done.

What about your phone number and address? Are they easy to find on your site? I’ve been on some in which I’ve had to search for both. And an address that says “on the corner of” is only OK is it’s accompanied by your physical address. People use GPS systems everyday, and they want a physical address they can type into their system.

Also, make sure someone at the dealership peruses the website on a regular basis to make sure everything’s up to date. I was on a site recently that had its Christmas holiday hours on the homepage. In August!

As many people in the industry have said numerous times, your website is a direct reflection of your dealership. Would you have a sign in your dealership that says “Service Specials” that didn’t have anything listed below? No? Then don’t leave a section of your website blank. Would you have a sign up for your Memorial Day sales in August? No? Then make sure those aren’t still posted on your website somewhere.

Customers are looking for you online before they stop into your dealership. If you don’t make a good impression on your site, you may never get the chance to make one in person.

Liz Hochstedler is the associate editor of Powersports Business, a trade magazine for the powersports industry. She reports on the powersports industry through Powersports Business’ varied media, including in the magazine and online. She assembles the brand’s twice-a-week e-news and handles a variety of assignments for the magazine. Powersports Business is known for its exclusive national dealer surveys, in-depth industry analysis and dealership conference, Profit Xcelerator.

Contact: ehochstedler@powersportsbusiness.com
Website: www.powersportsbusiness.com

Comments

2 Responses to “Does your website reflect your showroom?”

  1. Liz Hochstedler on September 5th, 2012 10:24 am

    I just ran across this website checklist, and some of the points reiterate what I mentioned: http://bit.ly/Q78vXw

    [Reply]

  2. Jennifer on October 1st, 2012 11:30 am

    Its true, most dealers sites are not personal and not current and are generally not interesting enough to return to. its like an online yellow pages. Templeted mass produced websites just don’t drive enough interest….

    [Reply]

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