What used vehicle buyers are so desperate for is an easily accessible, reputable location to find used vehicles. The site is uniquely positioned to allow people with no technical expertise to easily find the vehicle that best suits their needs, whilst allowing for more efficient interaction with dealers.
With new vehicle sales having dropped in excess of thirty percent year on year, the local vehicle industry is in a dire situation. Potential buyers are downscaling to smaller or used vehicles as the recession leaves them with less disposable income and limited access to credit. Whilst new vehicle sales are lagging, the used vehicle market is still selling as many vehicles as before. Current figures show that used vehicles outsell new vehicles by a factor of two to one and that they are losing less value than ever.
The new site is built using AJAX, a new technology meaning the site works more like an installed application (think Microsoft Word rather than CNN.com). Simply put, the site loads a little slower to begin with, but, there is no reloading of any pages when searches or filtering occurs.
The system is built on top of the Cambrient Contentsuite (CCS), a locally developed and highly acclaimed content management system. CCS not only speeds up the time taken to set up the website, but also allows for index searching, a similar system that Google uses to search the Internet. What this means is rapid and accurate searches every time the system is queried.
When creating the site a large amount of time was spent looking at local competitors. The emphasis on the new Automark site is to provide a visual experience for vehicle buyers, in contrast to what a lot of other local sites offer. For many buyers it is the vehicle photos, and ability to see the vehicle extensively online, that provide the added push to enquire, or even make the purchase.
A number of different ways of getting to vehicle list results were defined. Users can search by make, price or type. The site then allows the user to filter their results even further using categories such as model year, accessories and province. In order to help a user decide they have the ability to compare four vehicles with one other. Once chosen one can compare kilometers, price, as well as accessories. When searching for vehicles the user is also given a list of “recommended vehicles”, making the process of finding a vehicle even easier.
For dealers, the new site increases the number of qualified leads. Previously, dealers would receive an email with a vague request for a vehicle that might not be in their stock let alone actually exist anywhere. The new system guides user to choose available vehicles, and contact the right dealer with requests. Not only does this save dealers time, but it also puts them in touch with someone that is genuinely interested in a car rather than just window shopping.
“Cambrient's outstanding software breaks away search engine obstacles and provides an efficient solution which ignites the various levels of service offered by Toyota which, will continue through a shared commitment and sustained investment as one of the top providers of used vehicles in the automotive industry.” - Guy Keeling, Automark
The site was recently given an award on SA Web Awards, as voted for by the community of volunteer reviewers.
To access the Automark website visit http://www.automark.co.za