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New platform aims to bridge OEMs, dealers

Dave McMahon, Editor-in-Chief
February 27, 2013
Filed under Features

E-commerce, SEO are part of new Bridgeline Digital branding service

Dealers and OEMs might have just found a match made in heaven, with manufacturers able to provide a universal brand message to individual dealership websites, and dealers capitalizing on an easy-to-use site management tool that provides built-in e-commerce and SEO.

Brett Zucker

iAPPS ds, a new distribution subscription platform from web development company Bridgeline Digital, will make its debut in the powersports industry thanks to implementation from an as-yet-unnamed OEM. It’s designed for franchised networks and multiple-dealer groups to unify web content management, web analytics, e-commerce and e-marketing capabilities for franchise owners and dealers, according to Brett Zucker, Bridgeline Digital’s chief technology officer.

Bridgeline Digital’s platform ensures uniformity across all media.

“iAPPS ds allows for personalizing and localizing content and information at the individual dealership level while sticking to company branding and templates,” said Zucker, himself a PWC enthusiast who often finds himself frequenting local East Coast dealerships, both online and in-person.

iAPPS ds also enables dealers to measure incoming traffic with analytics and offers built-in SEO and responsive design, ensuring that each site is mobile- and tablet-optimized. Bridgeline Digital’s first iAPPS ds customer was The UPS Store, and it most recently announced the launch of Triumph Motorcycle’s new business-to-consumer ecommerce site.

“We’ve had great success within other industries, and powersports is the next segment we’re targeting,” Zucker said. “It’s a model that works well with any distributor, dealership or franchise type of business.”

By leveraging the iAPPS Product Suite, multiple dealer network or franchisee website administrators benefit from the easy-to-use website management tools, making it extremely easy to edit and publish content that includes forms, images, embedded video, integrated Google Maps or social media plug-ins, along with email marketing campaigns.

iAPPS ds licensing includes technical phone support and can range from $55 to $75 per month per dealer or manufacturer.

Dealerships maintain their own identity while promoting the OEM brand.

Each license provides web content management, e-marketing capabilities and website analytics. Dealers with robust e-commerce can pay an additional $25 to $50 per month in SaaS licensing fees.

Zucker said a single dealership owner, who might not have the resources to implement similar online management tools, can take on the platform with a low cost of entry.

“I’m interested in a new WaveRunner, so I go to the Yamaha site first to check out the product. Then I might want to find a local dealer, so I go there to learn more about them, see how long they’ve been in business, see what other brands they carry. But probably the biggest thing I do is look at the brand site, whether it’s Sea-Doo or Kawasaki, for more product information,” Zucker said. “From the local dealer site, I might want more information about service, maintenance, sales programs. The way the iAPPS ds model operates, it provides owners with their own site, and access to analytics and content management resources.”

OEMs, for instance, can control one section of the site for all of its dealerships, thereby blanketing all of its dealerships with same content message in the same spot.

“It gives the local dealer access to analytical tools that they wouldn’t have otherwise gotten, and the corporations are able to get their message out with consistency, since they have access to the content on each site. It’s a full turn-key solution.”

 

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