You probably know this already but I make dealership websites for used car dealerships and have for about 7 years now. Through this experience I know what questions dealers ask and what they look for when choosing a website company. Here’s a short guide to help you in the process of starting up your dealership website.
Narrow your list before you start shopping
- See what your friends in the industry are using
Word of mouth recommendations are the best way to start your search. Getting general information from other dealers and not the sales staff of the website company will give you the good, the bad, and the ugly. You can then take that information and ask better questions when you do speak with a sales rep.
- Get pricing information
Shopping just based on price is not a good way to shop but shopping within a budget is. Websites can range from $20/mo to $500+ a month. Find a comfortable budget to work with and start there. Most independent dealership website companies have landed within the $75-$199/mo window.
- View portfolios
Make sure the website company you want to work with meets or exceeds the level of quality you are looking for. Look through all of the pages of some of their live websites. Don’t just look at the homepage or a screen shot image of the website.
10 things to question when shopping for a dealership website
- Mobility: Do they have a mobile version of your website?
- Domain: Do they manage your domain and renew it annually? Do they own it? (DO NOT let your web company own your domain!)
- E-Mail: Do they provide email accounts / host emails? If not, it can be an additional expense to budget in.
- Content: Do you have the ability to edit content on your site? What are the limitations? What are the benefits?
- Inventory: How do your cars get on your website? Can they feed in from another source? Do you enter them through a mobile app? How often do they update on your website?
- Social: How do they integrate with social sites like Facebook and Twitter?
- Leads: How do they help draw in more leads through your website?
- SEO: How is the site optimized for search engines?
- Contract: Is there a service contract? If so, how long are you tied to your contract?
- Support/Service: How hands on are they? How quick do they fix problems? How quickly do they make requested changes? Do you like who you’re working with?
Popular dealership website companies
- SEOCarWebsites.com / Dealer Solutions Software / Me (North Carolina)
- Carsforsale.com (California)
- Dealercarsearch.com (Kentucky)
- V12software.com (California)
- Dealereprocess.com (Illinois)
- Vinsolutions.com (Kansas)
- ecarlist.com (Illinois)
- ebizautos.com (Nevada)
- dealer.com (Vermont)