Looking to buy a Range Rover, Porsche, BMW or maybe even a Maserati? If you’re anywhere near Tampa, Florida, Reeves Import Motorcars is a good place to start. Family owned since 1971, Reeves serves the Tampa area, offering new and certified pre-owned luxury cars. It also has one of the best websites in the business, showcasing current inventory and offering self-service for anything from requesting quotes to scheduling a test drive, chatting online, scheduling service times, or applying for financing.
That wasn’t always the case. Before 2015, the company’s existing website was running on a content management system (CMS) that provided limited functionality and was not truly responsive. “Our existing site was built before responsive technologies were available, so the CMS platform we were using had run its course,” said Kelly Rogers, General Manager at Reeves. “In the auto industry, time spent on a website is directly linked to a sale. We wanted a much more robust site that looked beautiful on any end device—including tablets—to better attract and serve potential customers, and therefore improve conversions.”
Reeves consulted Progress partner Bayshore Solutions, a digital agency with offices in Colorado and Florida, who recommended rebuilding the website from scratch. The new site would feature a fresh design that leveraged an ecommerce module and a new User Interface to enable dynamic inventory updates—a unique differentiator within the auto industry. Additional requirements included integrating with a complex dealer management system
(DMS). Reeves sells about 500 vehicles per month, and about 20 vehicles have to be posted and removed from the website each day.
“Google introduced ‘Schema Markup’ as a search algorithm, which changes the way we look at search engine optimization,” said Kevin Hourigan, President and CEO of Bayshore Solutions. Specifically, adding Schema markup to the HTML improves the way a page displays in search engine results by enhancing the rich snippets beneath the page title. “Developing an ecommerce module that enables dynamic page generation as a way to display new inventory would help us improve Reeves’s search marketing efforts.”
Bayshore recommended Progress Sitefinity™ CMS, in conjunction with Kendo UI® by Progress. The combination of Sitefinity CMS and Kendo UI provides a one-two punch with the most flexible and expandable solution, and the ability to satisfy all of Reeves’s requirements and leveraging structured data to maximize SEO. The combination would also enable fast creation of UI components to set the site apart aesthetically.
Single Solution, Separate Identities
DriveReeves.com took roughly four months to build, once the consulting and creative development was complete.
The new site features separate areas for each automotive brand, some of which require individual styling, based on branding guidelines. Through the integration of Sitefinity and Kendo UI, Reeves can use some key components cross-functionally—for example, the vehicle search feature on each page is updated with new inventory daily. Filter criteria such as year, make, model, body style, price, color and condition are dynamic, based on the vehicles currently in inventory.
“We used Kendo UI to develop two Sitefinity MVC widgets—one to handle the vehicle search and filter criteria, and another to display the search results,” said Hourigan. “Because the core search functionality is the same across all brands, we were able to reuse the same widgets on multiple pages.”
Moreover, applying different Kendo UI stylesheets to the Sitefinity page templates gives the pages a custom look and feel, without having to create individual assets.
“Leveraging Kendo UI was the best use of our customer’s dollar and enabled us to provide the most aesthetically pleasing user interface possible,” said Hourigan. “In fact, our developers have standardized on using Kendo UI for our customers, because it saves development time while providing the best result. In the case of Reeves, we were able to save months of development time and tens of thousands of dollars in development costs.”
According to Rich Read, Director of Programming and certified Sitefinity Solutions Developer at Bayshore Solutions, Kendo UI integrates nicely with the Sitefinity backend, enabling administrators to populate and change data and content. “For the customer, Kendo UI controls enables a professional-looking frontend to data served up from Sitefinity CMS. For developers, they’re easy to learn and pleasant to work with. They make developers look good, because the final product the customer sees is polished and professional-looking.”
Dynamic and Responsive
Responsiveness was another key requirement for the new website. “In the auto industry, there is a direct correlation of the time of a visit to lead conversion, so building a site that’s responsive to various resolutions was critical to increasing sales for Reeves,” said Hourigan. “The old CMS required us to administer two separate websites, one for desktop and one for smartphones, but we found most people were using a tablet to search inventories. Thanks to the responsive design capabilities of Sitefinity CMS, the new site is equally beautiful and easy to navigate on all screen sizes.”
The new site also uses the Sitefinity CMS ecommerce engine to add new inventory dynamically on individual pages. These pages are SEO-optimized to improve position and frequency on Internet search results. Thanks to the ecommerce module, the number of indexed pages on DriveReeves.com increased from a few hundred to more than 10,000, making the dealer’s inventory much easier to find online, ultimately leading to more lead conversions. In addition, integration with the company’s CRM enable timelier follow-up on user-submitted forms, boosting conversions even more.
“We were optimistic as we moved forward with Bayshore Solutions and Progress. This was a huge undertaking that could dramatically affect our bottom line,” said Rogers. “The end result exceeded expectations, met all of our needs and more, and delivered almost immediate ROI.”
Traffic skyrocketed after launching the new website. “Since the redesign, we’re seeing the highest number of Internet sales ever,” said Rogers.
Between 2014 and 2015, the new website and ongoing digital marketing strategy resulted in:
• Website traffic increasing 283%
• Mobile visits increasing 2,104%
• Annual Car Sales Goals exceeding projections by 22%
Additionally, results of a recent independent dealer survey reported in the Hubspot Website Grader Report shows Reeves dominating every digital benchmark score for thirdparty tools, among nine luxury car dealerships in Florida.
“Thanks to Progress, our new website is faster, beautiful and highly functional with enhanced keyword search optimization, making it easier and more enjoyable for visitors to find information on our vehicles,” said Rogers. “While I don’t think any more luxury cars were sold in the U.S. than would have been sold anyway, Reeves definitely gained a larger market share as a result of our new website.”