Top web design hints for tire dealers to boost sales
These days almost every company has an online presence, but if you really want to boost your business, you don’t need just a good website, you need a great one. Whether you are building a new website or upgrading your existing one, here are some things you should discuss with your website developer and tips to create the best online experience for your customers.
Why a good website is important
Often, your website will be the first contact potential customers have with your company, and first impressions count. Your website should reflect your brand, look good and be easy to use, as well as have all the information your customers need.
Virginia Tire and Auto invested in a new website after the company rebranded. The new website was something company president Julie Holmes said was crucial in helping connect with customers.
“A website is oftentimes a customer’s first touch-point with a brand and incredibly important for creating a positive first impression,” she said. “We want the site to reflect who we are as a company and make it incredibly easy for customers to find information and answers to any Virginia Tire and Auto and general automotive maintenance/repair questions they might have.
“If a customer finds your website confusing, difficult to navigate, or full of irrelevant information, they might expect a similar experience in your store and never set foot in one of your shops.”
Make it easy to navigate
Customers use websites not just to find a company’s contact details or location but to research their products or services, make online inquiries, look for deals and bargains and book appointments. They need to be able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily – if your customers can’t get around on your website they won’t stick around. You should have navigation on your web pages that is clear, direct, and easy to use. Use simple tabs to direct customers quickly to the information they are looking for such as “contact us,” “search for tires” and “our services.”
“Look at your site from the customer’s point of view and try to make changes that will benefit them from an information and ease of use perspective,” says Holmes.
It’s got to look good
Cluttered, messy and over-designed websites turn people off. Simplifying things and cleaning up layouts make them visually more attractive and will encourage customers to stay on your site longer, find what they need and hopefully convert into sales.
Tireweb Marketing founder Matthew Walker said: “Cluttered websites don’t work. It’s much better to have good visuals, a clean layout and obvious calls to action. Writing for the web is different from writing for print. People skim online, especially when they first get to a page. You want the content of your homepage to give them what they want quickly but provide enough detail for those who want expansion on the basics.”
You want your store to stand out, so it’s worthwhile hiring a professional photographer to take great shots of your business, rather than using stock images. You might want to include pictures of your staff at work to inject more of a personal feel. And when it comes to your products, you want great, clear images of your tires and detailed specifications. Walker recommends 360-degree images that allow the customer to see all aspects of the tire. If the customer can really see the product you are selling, they are more likely to buy it.
Mobile responsive design
Basically, mobile responsive design means your website is designed so that it looks good and is easy to use whether it is being viewed on a desktop computer, a cell phone or a tablet. Websites without this are hard to use on mobile technology.
According to Google’s Think Insights on Mobile, if people arrive on a mobile website and become frustrated with it, there’s a 61 percent chance they will leave and take their business elsewhere. So if you don’t have a mobile responsive website, talk to a web developer about making sure your site is mobile-friendly.
Have a clear call to action
Successful websites always have a call to action. This is a quick and simple way to encourage customers to engage with you. These might say “Buy Now,” “Book a Service Now” or “Request a Quote.” Buttons like these on your site make it as easy as possible for customers to take that next step from browsing your site to making a purchase.
“We’ve introduced chat functionality, which allows customers to be able to chat directly with an associate online and get their questions answered quickly,” says Virginia Tire and Auto’s Holmes.
“We also allow customers to schedule appointments on the website for service, which makes it incredibly easy for them to plan out their visit without ever speaking with someone on the phone. Additionally, customers are able to gather extensive information on the different tire brands and models we sell and can reserve those tires online to be purchased at the store.”
Keep working on it
Holmes’ final piece of advice is to keep improving your website and looking at ways to improve customers’ online experiences with your company.
“You always need to be investing in your website. It’s not something that you can build and put on a shelf and not touch for five years. Technology, design, and consumer habits change so quickly these days that it’s a must for businesses to continually make updates. We’re always tweaking and improving it.”
Check out these examples of great tire websites
If you’d like help getting your website design right, check out Ezytire or call (212) 634-4846.