2 Keys to Differentiating Your Automotive Dealership Online

Many vehicle shoppers perceive all dealers as being the same.

Especially when comparing dealerships that sell the same brands and offer similar services, prospective buyers often see price as the only compelling reason to choose one dealer over another.

To meet the challenges of a tougher-than-ever economy, discerning automotive dealers realize that an identifiable company image and a loyal clientele are critical to their survival in the community. Dealers recognize they can no longer rely on the traditional branding and marketing inherent to their manufacturer. Decisively, they take control of their fate by making differentiation from their competitors a high-level priority.

How can your Web site be used as a strategic tool for distinguishing your dealership? Here are two ways we can help you make your mark.

Don’t miss your market

As you strive to keep abreast with current online marketing techniques in the industry, you have likely become acquainted with the innumerable list of dealer-oriented Web design and marketing companies available to service the market.

Most of these offer turnkey re-brandings of pre-made sites that require little more than a monetary investment to get up and running. Marketed as “custom” and aggressively plugging convenience, flexibility, and built-in management tools, these sites present an alluring package.  Understandably, overworked or overwhelmed dealers may see these Web solutions as convenient and error proof — and many dealers seem happy enough with the product. But consider:

  • Is that the sort of online representation that really makes your dealership stand out from the rest?
  • Can it truly help the customer to understand your dealership’s unique offerings?
  • Will it inspire trust in the local community and cement the relationship between you and your customers?


Worse yet, many dealerships who have taken this approach inevitably end up conveying a very similar presence on-line, inadvertently contributing to the inaccurate idea that dealers really are all the same.

What will help you rise above the crowd?

Dealers who do understand the value of differentiation may feel they have little alternative to the everyday when it comes to developing their Web site.

E Media Architects offers a refreshingly different approach to online dealership presentation. We won’t force your company to conform to pre-made Web solutions. We never re-brand, tailor or custom-ize template designs. In fact, the complete opposite is true. Not a single part of your site — from the design to the functionality — gets made before we discern your needs and, most importantly, the needs of your customers. We literally build each site by hand each and every time to obtain the best product possible, and all for less cost than the big Web companies charge.

How does this approach uniquely benefit your dealership?


Represent yourself accurately

Forget about the brands you sell for just a moment. Consider the reputation that your specific dealership has in your local community. The dealership may even bear your name or that of your family. It might have taken generations to establish your dealership’s reputation. Does an in-your-face, high-pressure Web site embody the values you have worked hard to forge? Will presenting the same standard-issue Web sites that everyone else has really make you stand out?  Will it speak to your local market? Does your existing Web site help customers to perceive the ways that you are different from other stores, and introduce them to the positive purchasing experience they will enjoy?

You already understand the reasons why someone should buy from your dealership. Now you must convey these accurately and clearly on-line, regardless of the marketing for the brands you sell. In doing so, you will attract the sort of customers you really want — and need.

Related article: What Sort of Auto Dealer Web Site Works Best In Canada?


Demonstrate understanding and respect for your customers.

Many dealership Web design companies make their living on appealing to a dealer’s needs. But just as importantly, what about the customer’s needs? After all, it is your customers who will determine the value of your Web site — and your business — in the end.

In many communities, the brassy and overbearing approach that many automotive Web designers sell is the last thing that will actually inspire a prospective customer to buy. Can you see why? No matter who we are, we all hate being pressured. We don’t like to jump through hoops when visiting a Web site, or give out extensive personal information in exchange for nothing. We all want to feel we’re progressing at our own pace and making our own independent decision about what and when we buy and from whom.

By developing your Web site with your customer in mind, you are able to make choices that will reach out to him or her more effectively. You can prove you remember what it’s like to be a customer. Yes, be empathetic. In showing respect for your prospect’s personal values, tastes, time, privacy, and decision making, you prove that you value his business, and will appreciate his loyalty.

To be effective, your Web site cannot be little more than a veiled information harvest for CRM. It must offer genuinely useful information and tools that your local customers will truly respond to, those which will assist them in making an educated purchasing decision.

Related article: 3 Expectations the Public Has When Using Your Dealership’s Web Site

Turnkey… or distinctively different?

If you recognize the value of accurately representing yourself in your community and using the Internet to strengthen your relationships with current and potential customers, let us assist you.

Because of our totally individualized approach to Web site creation, we’ll help you reach out to your customers in a way no one else can. With us, we’ll never rebrand a pre-made site; your dealership Web site is entirely custom-built to meet needs of your staff and reach out to your customers.

Our attentive, personal service is second to none. We are a husband and wife team, known for personally helping our clients each step of the way — answering your questions, listening to your needs, and offering honest suggestions about how to create the most effective online presence.

Our all-original Web site designs are clean, modern, and very user-friendly. Most importantly, they accurately represent your dealership’s distinct personality in a tasteful manner.

With attention to detail, we hand-craft your Web site; yet our prices are surprisingly affordable.

Explore our Web site to get to know us, and learn what we can do for your business.

What’s next?

No matter the state of the economy, discerning dealers are proving they’re here to stay — not because of the brand they sell, but because of the overall value they offer. Make your mark with a high-quality Web site from E Media Architects.

For more information on harnessing the power of your dealership Web site, check out our Special Series for Canadian Auto Dealers.

Considering hiring us? Get started with answers to your questions, a step-by-step outline of our design process, and our project request form.

What are your thoughts on how dealers can better differentiate themselves on-line?  Express yourself by leaving a comment.

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