Your Website Is Your Virtual Forecourt

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Welcome to another “two pennies worth” by The Manager from the Warranty Admin Video Series!

Greetings my dear reader, it’s the Manager here from the Warranty Admin Video Series! So today I wanted to talk about websites and the internet. After a frustrating time trying to buy Barry Manilow tickets online for Martha and I, it got me thinking – it seems nearly everything and everyone has some sort of presence on the interweb nowadays. A way to say ‘hello world – here I am’ and communicate with friends, colleagues, or customers with the minimum of effort and expense.

Yes indeedy. Gone are the days where you randomly phoned a friend for a polite chinwag to talk cricket and the weather. If you call someone out of the blue nowadays you end up going straight to voicemail while the person on the other end decides if they actually know your number, or if it’s morally ethical to answer the phone whilst sat on the toilet!

Nowadays it seems a vast majority of people prefer to talk, read, and shop online. Everyone is doing it! At home, on the Tube, at work, in bed… it’s so easy to pick up the nearest handheld gadget and take a virtual stroll through a shopping emporium – or perhaps say, a used car dealer website.


“With an estimated 7.14 million cars being sold in 2015, the used car market in the UK is the largest in Europe. But with the wealth of data available online, car shoppers today are increasingly searching online before making a decision on their purchase.” (Inspire Through Insights, 2016).


Before a customer even sets foot upon the hallowed ground of your pristine forecourt to brush their fingertips over the shiny stock you purvey – chances are they will have taken several minutes ‘checking your business out’ online.

Your website has become the new front door to your dealership. The first impression you make to passers by. If your website is slow to load, it’s like having the front door to your showroom stuck ever so slightly ajar as your customer tries frustratingly to push it open. You know what happens then? After a few seconds they give up, hit the back button on their browser and get invited to watch funny videos of cats dancing the Macarena!

From my own research and also hearing Scott Sinclair from Google Motors talk at this years amazing CDX’16, the two important features for any used car dealer website is the speed in which it loads, and how cleanly it presents relevant information. If someone visits your site wanting to see cars – give them cars! Avoid tricky menus and flashy banners. Give the user as little work to do as possible.

Also take a look at your website on your mobile phone or tablet. Is it loading quickly when not on WiFi? Is your website ‘responsive’ in that it cleverly recognises the visitor is using a handheld device and adjusts your website layout to make everything big and easy to read?

My friends! A migration is afoot! Consumers have your forecourt in the palm of their hand and even though you may have the perfect car for them, is the performance of your website upholding the standard of your vehicles?

How your virtual forecourt presents your stock is just as important as the showroom the customer will walk into.

Just pick up your phone and visit your site to see how it performs. Is your stock appearing straight away and easily scrollable? Are the photos you’ve taken bright and detailed? Blurry dull images of cars parked in front of wheelie bins or a skip will struggle to entice a visitor to browse more. Take your time with your pictures and use a decent camera or a phone camera. You can even upload videos nowadays which offers the customer even more of a personalised experience.

With people flocking online to research their next purchase and make the most informed decision possible, and the huge amount of competition there is in the motor trade, it’s so easy for someone to hit the back button on above your website and go somewhere else.

Right, I’m going to try buying those Barry Manilow tickets again, let’s hope the page loads otherwise it’s another Friday night dinner at Martha’s mother-in-law’s house!

Speak soon everyone,
Ciao!