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Dealer Designs

Posted July 4, 2009 by Brett Snyder
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I tried to find solutions that address the need of the dealer and while still making it easy to navigate for the user…and look cool. While most client driven site designs seemed to think louder and more is better initially, I look at concise focus for the home page. Too many home page elements compete against each other…thus defeating their purpose. Obviously, more actual customer input on their requested features, and sites they like would help narrow the direction immensely…but my approach was based on – if I could create a cms auto dealer site home page, what would it be:

Target Audience: (Car Dealers & Customers)

  1. User Centric – Easier to Navigate and User Friendly Auto Search
  2. Dealer Centric – More Navigation and Auto Search Elements Shown
  3. Product Centric – More Immediate Product Focus

Home Page Structure:

  1. Top Menu
  2. Header & Main Menu
  3. Main Media & Car Search (Sub pages can switch out a leaderboard image or ad)
  4. Four Tabbed Features/Tools and Spotlights (Sub pages will have main content)
  5. Three Sub features – Can be random content on refresh (Sub pages can have different sub features)
  6. Footer

Global Features: (Besides Logo, Nav, and Footer)

  1. News Ticker – With navigation arrows
  2. Large Feature Slideshow – Beauty Shots, Major Special Offers, Contests, Feature Articles, Videos
  3. Tabs – Efficient way to present multiple features (Ajax refresh or smaller forms, no iframe scrolling)
  4. Spotlights – Human element for believability. (Random refresh modules – no accordion menus on front page)
  5. Car Search – Simple Search and a Form Search
  6. Standard Banners – For Special Offers and can be reused for external ad campaigns

Look and Feel: (CMS Modular Columns and Dimensional Layers – 960px wide – View at 100%)

  1. Light
  2. Dark
  3. Light and Dark
  4. Standard Sans Serif font to match most systems – Most all text should be dynamic.
  5. Drop down menus will be simple dark color cells for fast loading.
  6. Collapsible modules/columns

Get Leads: (Site Registration form and Contact Us form – all features connect to those forms)

  1. Create “MyDealer” Membership (new arrivals mailing list, killer coupons/freebies, watch list, etc.)
  2. Community or School Programs (i.e., Keys To Success, Sponsor businesses, etc.)
  3. Referral Lead and Sales Affiliate Program
  4. Crazy Contests (i.e., Give away a car!)
  5. Can post on the tech support forums (Public can view)
  6. Live Chat ( Less scary than calling a salesman)
  7. Recommend or send to friend email links on sub pages
  8. Social Bookmark links on sub pages

Retention:

  1. Tech Support Moderated Forums (i.e., Car Talk, Modifications, etc.)
  2. Redeemable Forum Participation Points (i.e., Free Oil Change, etc)(Reg Member)
  3. Car Groups (Corvette Club, etc.)(Reg Member)
  4. Online “How-To” Video Support Tutorials (i.e., Replace a fuse, etc.)
  5. New “Happy Owner” Photo Gallery
  6. Online Parts Store with Shopping Cart (Reg Member)
  7. Special Events Calendar with Notifications (Reg Member)
  8. Subscribe to weekly Tech Podcasts (Tech will bring them back more often)
  9. Games Arcade with Hi-score or redeemable prizes (Reg Member)
  10. Private Messaging System (Reg Member)