We have been talking different automotive businesses and these are some of the most common questions that have come up in recent discussions.
- We sell mainly to distributors; do we need a website?
The short answer is “YES” you need a website. One reason to have a professionally designed website is to showcase and educate consumers on your brand and products. Even if customers are ultimately buying your products through other channels, many will want to research your products first before making a purchase. You can also use your website as a channel to market and sell products to your distributors. This can reduce the need for printed marketing collateral, and could reduce the load on your call center by allowing distributors to order products online.
These are only some of the reason why you should have a professional website. If you need more reasons check out this blog post on the Benefits of Having a Professional Website.
- How does Social Media help with word of mouth marketing?
Technology is shifting the advertising landscape away from traditional media (radio, newspaper, TV, magazines). People are able to take control of how and what is broadcasted to them. For example: you can record a TV show, but instead of watching the commercials, you can fast forward through the ads. Personal recommendations and opinions for products and services have once again become important. With the advent of the Internet, these conversations no longer have to happen face to face; they can happen online and spread around the world and be heard by millions of people.
Social Media (such as Facebook and Twitter) can give you a platform to have these conversations, and help draw peoples’ attention to your business. As long as you treat your customers the same as you treat your friends, you will continue to have positive word of mouth and it will be heard around the world.
- A lot of companies have links to Social Media on their website, is it really necessary?
Links to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are quite common and are used to push consumers to these sites to continue the interaction with your brand. It allows consumers to see what others are saying about you online in an unbiased forum. Social Media is more than just a tool for looking at pictures of cars and chatting with friends. It has become a tool with measurable results that truly has a place in any automotive business’ marketing strategy. There are many business benefits to using social media such as branding, reputation management, lead generation, and improved customer service.
- How do I get started with an automotive ecommerce website?
At first glance, the creation of an ecommerce website may seem complicated; however with the proper planning, many businesses and entrepreneurs have established successful ecommerce businesses without any previous experience. We recommend that you start by understanding your own needs - ask yourself a few questions:
- What are you selling? This one should be easy…
- What are you short term and long term goals?
- How will adding ecommerce website affect your existing distribution channel?
- How will items be delivered?
- How will payment transactions be taken online?
- Do you have existing photos and product descriptions or will you need to create it?
- Have you found an ecommerce platform that will make deploying an automotive related ecommerce website easy?
We encourage you to do your research in advance of embarking on an ecommerce project. Find a web services company with relevant experience in your industry with a proven track record of launching successful ecommerce projects. The right partner will help you plan out the project properly, which will help to ensure a successful and cost effective solution.
- How long does it take to get an ecommerce website? Can it be live before the next SEMA conference?
The typical ecommerce website takes about 4-8 weeks depending on your business requirements, size of your product catalog and the complexity of the website.
- How do I avoid alienating my distributors and retailers with an ecommerce website?
To avoid alienating your distributors and retailers when developing your ecommerce solution, we recommend including them as part of the online sales process and not competing with them. Four ways you can include your distributor and retailers as part of the sales process are:
- Showcase them on your website as “Authorized” resellers and actively promote your distributors and retailers.
- Make online purchases easy for consumers and give them an option to buy the part locally from a retailer.
- Become the #1 sales resource for your distributor and retailers for your products. For example, having “World Class” information about your products on your website will help reduce the time and mistakes of finding the right applications for your products.
- Allow your distributors and retailers support the buyer with delivery, installation and other ongoing services.
The decision to have an ecommerce website is not about your direct sales alone, but to grow and develop your existing relationships with distributors and retailers to increase your brand’s reach, improve the consumer experience (Distributor, Retailer or Enthusiast) and strengthen the distribution channel.
- How easy is it to maintain my product catalog?
Maintaining your online product catalog is a classic challenge for any company selling online. This really comes down to choosing the right website management application. Some of the features you should look for are:
- A simple and straight forward way of adding new products and fitments.
- The ability to import/export large amounts of product information easily.
- Scalable to support the refinement of product information and industry standards like ACES and PIES.
With the correct resources, some automotive companies choose to maintain their own online catalog in order to reduce overall costs, however most web services companies will also offer this as an additional service.
- We run a lot of automotive magazine ads, is there a way to use our website in the ad campaign?
Consumers can now navigate between traditional media (radio, newspaper, TV, magazines) and interactive media (websites, mobile apps) seamlessly. We believe your magazine advertising campaign should do the same thing. Coupling your automotive magazine ads with a dedicated website landing page or a microsite (a mini website) can be very effective and create amazing results!
By integrating your magazine ads with your website, you can:
- Extend the life of the magazine campaign.
- Allow you to track your print and direct mail marketing efforts online.
- Capture information about people that are interested in your products.
- Leverage Social Media to promote and increase the reach of the magazine ad campaign.
- Create an amazing interactive customer experience that brings the magazine ad to life.
- Why should I choose WebInjected?
WebInjected is your full service option; we provide affordable automotive website design, ecommerce, social media and Internet marketing services exclusively serving the automotive industry.
We focus on helping automotive businesses obtain more customers leveraging the Internet and online marketing. Our solutions are designed to be effective and easy to manage. We work with you as a partner to keep your website up to date and your marketing initiatives on track. Our extensive experience in the automotive and technology industries makes us uniquely qualified to service your business needs.
Some of our recent projects include work for Centerforce Clutch, Wossner Pistons and Lawson Industries.
If you have other questions you want us to answer, please leave a comment. For more information about how WebInjected can help you with automotive websites design, eCommerce, Social Media and Internet marketing. Contact Us today!