Case Study: How a Local Car Dealership Redesigned Their Website For Success

What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of a used car dealership?

Most likely it’s not excellent customer service and a great deal.

It’s probably tough negotiations followed by taking a car you are unsure about at a price that you feel is too much.

So what would you do if you were a used car dealership that really was as different?

Introducing Providence Auto Group.

The Problem:

Providence Auto Group is truly a different type of used car dealership. The problem was that you couldn’t see this anywhere on their site.

Like most car dealerships, they had a crappy out of the box auto site powered by the car database that almost every used car dealership uses.

So while they were different, they certainly didn’t look different. And while my mother told me 1000 times not to judge a book by it’s cover…to an extent, we all do, especially when it comes to websites.

Providence Auto Group was stuck with a generic out of the box site. They were tied down by the limitations of the technology running their car data base and unable to customize their experience to differentiate themselves from any other car dealership online…

And the vast majority of their leads game through their website…so you could say it’s a pretty important channel for them.

Just how different is Providence Auto Group?

Well if a typical used car dealership is here, Providence Auto Group is…way the hell over there.

The guys at Providence Auto Group genuinely love cars and love serving people, getting them the best deal they can possibly offer. They run their business on transparency, quality, and giving back.

Yes, you heard that right. Giving back. Providence Auto Group sets aside a portion of every sale to give away a car to a family in need. Pretty awesome, right?

But without a way to communicate this through their website, they weren’t able to set themselves apart from the rest of the car dealerships around.

So what did we do?

Well, simply put, we created a custom solution for them to be able to clearly communicate their unique value proposition and to really sell through their website.

This started with a complete rebranding and repositioning project to create a brand and core messaging that would not only communicate their uniqueness, but also resonate with their target audience.

Our goal was to create loyal fans of Providence Auto Group…and loyalty isn’t something you usually get with car dealerships. Cars are seen primarily as commodities and a car dealership is simply a necessary evil on the route to getting one.

The next phase was to design and create a beautiful car buying experience online, one that was not only easy to use, but that mimicked the great customer service and personal attention that visitors to their dealership receive and that converted, providing qualified leads.

So in addition to creating a site that was easy to search and find your dream car, we created a set of unique tools and features to help facilitate the buying process:

Price Comparision Chart

Price Comparison Screenshot

This custom feature graphs every other car in the area with the same criteria and quality against each other according to price and mileage so you can see how the car from Providence Auto Group stacks up.

Transparent Pricing

Transparent Pricing

We mentioned above that Providence Auto Group runs their business on the value of transparency…and we meant it. Just how transparent are they? On the detail page for every car on their site, you can see the exact price that Providence Auto Group paid for the car, so you know exactly how much money they are making at the price you see listed. You can’t get much more transparent than that.

Payment Calculator

Pricing Calculator

If you want to finance your car through Providence Auto Group, you can calculate right there on the spot exactly how much you’ll pay per month given your down payment.

Hold This Vehicle

You can even hold a vehicle to make sure you can make it down to the dealership to check it out before it’s gone.

With Providence Auto Group, there are no surprises…and their site now makes this abundantly clear.

Now instead of an out of the box used car dealership site, they have a custom site experience that actually makes the search for a car easy and fun.

Soon you’ll also be able to create your own garage of cars (read “portfolio”) to keep track of all the cars you like, and even be able to make a down payment once you’ve made your decision.

Designing Providence Auto Groups dream site was no easy feat. But the really tricky part was then integrating this with the antiquated car database technology that they are stuck working with. This involved developing a nifty custom middleware to communicate effectively between with two platforms.

The Result

This new site has allowed them to push the envelope for selling cars online and do a larger precentage of the sales process on their website, freeing up their sales people’s time for doing the final close on heavily qualified leads and focusing on sourcing more great cars for their inventory. And quite successfully too.

Not only that, but now with the ability to effectively communicate their message and their story, they have been able to build a loyal audience…dare we even say fans?

How did this effect the bottom line? Check out this article in the Tennessean about the how the launch of their new website propelled their business to the next level.

Not only has their new site launch lead to increased sales month over month, but also an increase in the number of cars they’ve been able to give away!

We’d like to take all the credit, but the website was not magic. It’s now simply doing it’s job in providing heavily qualified leads and automating the business to free up Providence Auto Group to do what it does best: love cars and love people.

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