How redesigning your website can be like renovating a house

Redesigning a dealer group website can be like buying a house in need of renovation and quickly discovering one job leads to another.

Often, as work progresses, problems are uncovered that no one realised existed but need fixing before the job can progress to the next stage.

When one dealer group realised a ‘single source of truth’ was required for each vehicle in its inventory after embarking on its group website redesign, the company turned to us for help.

Our platform architect Chris Banks said: “We don’t know what we don’t know. When a new website is commissioned, suddenly problems come bubbling to the surface. Often, a single source of accurate vehicle information and description sits at the heart of the issue. Dealer groups quickly discover, it doesn’t actually exist and often the same vehicle can be described differently and even be advertised in different places at different prices.

“The redesign becomes a digital transformation project often on an epic scale and all the dealer group thought they were doing was updating the website look or creating an ecommerce solution.”

It usually falls to a group’s digital marketing manager to oversee the task of redesigning the website and they often have the biggest realisation of the enormity of the project since they have an overview of the many disparate systems in operation across the group which are expected to feed content into the website. 

Chris said: “It can be just like peeling up a carpet in a house renovation project only to find damp rot has set in and the entire foundations need underpinning. Suddenly, the job has become far more complex than first thought.

“Even if the digital marketing manager is confident in raising the problem, it is not unusual for them to be told to work with what they’ve got and simply give the website a lick of paint. The website may look good but disparate and unconnected systems in individual dealerships means many, and sometimes all, used vehicles are inconsistently advertised. Individual vehicles are marketed at different prices on different platforms and vehicle descriptions are poor. But by papering over the cracks, a bigger problem is likely to emerge further down the line especially if inconsistencies result in non-compliance.”

Working with us provides a group with a reliable single vehicle inventory source which can power not only the group’s own website but other marketing channels such as classified websites and the manufacturer’s website. 

Dealers can be confident the vehicle’s information is accurate because all other sources draw from a single depository. 

Chris added: “It means avoiding some quite dangerous pitfalls such as advertising a vehicle with different prices since when utilising finance quotation software, that results in FCA compliance problems or Mr Smith comes into the dealership for a test drive he booked two days ago only to find Mr Jones placed a deposit on the vehicle last night or even completed the entire purchase online.

“Creating a single source of truth for the vehicle inventory is like underpinning a home affected by subsidence, it prevents it from falling down. It may be something a dealer group’s senior management team hadn’t contemplated, and it may delay the new website, but it’s worth it in the long run.”

As well as price and spec consistency for each vehicle, managers also have real-time information on the group’s inventory, overage stock, vehicle location and the vehicle’s sales status. 

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