In the early days of car shopping a few power players took leading positions in the competition for online auto sales. Long standing auto sales magazine AutoTrader took it’s marketplace dominance to the web world with a nationwide site bringing classifieds to everyone. Other competitors, such as Cars.com and AOL Autos jumped into the game and made a splash with their sites. For over a decade the rules of the marketplace remained mostly unchanged, but shoppers failed to receive the many innovations taking place online in other industries.
You see, while companies likes AutoTrader were proficient in auto sales, they were not technology companies at heart. This deficiency opened doors for new players like CarGurus to break onto the scene with a big splash. Even legacy brands like Edmunds and MotorTrend were able to gain substantial footing with websites focused on selling used vehicles. But what did this all mean for the common buyer?
While many dealers continues to maintain their own websites, this caused the process of searching for a car across dealers to become tedious and tiresome. With the strongly focused classified sites like eBay and Craigslist gaining ground on those that were focues solely on the Automotive industry, the stage was set for a showdown. What would come out of the battleground would pave the way for online shopping in the decades to come. A new approach to sales would be birthed, giving car buyers and dealers the best of both worlds. That new solution was dedicated micro sites.
To define it simply, a micro site is a single website dedicated to a specific brand of cars or even a specific model. The site collections listings from various sources across the web and combines them in a single place allowing shoppers to only see the specific vehicle they are shopping for. A great benefit of this approach is that the sites can specialize in the cars they are selling and give buyers the most informative look at the vehicles they seek, along with providing news and industry related information. Most micro sites are funded by advertisements, as opposed to car listings, so they are motivated to provide the best possible content to their customers without the need to monetize the listings. With the listings, pages, and site content managed by technology specialists, a clean and intuitive interface is at the forefront without the bloat of other sites.
Let’s take a look at a few example sites that have tackled the new microsite approach with great success.
The people behind corvette-dealers.com have launched into the world of used Corvettes for sale with great success. Focusing primarily on C6 Corvettes, they have garnered a strong position that leverages their single car approach. While their individual car listings leave room for improvement, the simple site approach has consistently proven to be a customer favorite.
As the primary competitor to the Corvette, the Porsche 911 and it’s siblings have jumped onto the micro site bandwagon launching a dedicated site in 2014. Featuring nearly 1,000 Porsches for sale, a great selection is one of many features that have shoppers coming back time and time again.
Dedicated Camaro Dealers
The reintroduction of the Camaro line has been a great success for Chevrolet with fans flocking out to buy their fifth generation Camaros. The Camaro Dealers site has capitalized on the popularity and created a site that feeds the hunger of the fans. A strong showing with the latest Camaro promises a long future for the Chevy muscle car staple.
A somewhat surprising addition to this list is the quickly rising luxury brand, Audi. With the launch in 2013 of audiautodealers.com, the high class automaker began appearing in micro site searches, which continues to build on it’s brand name recognition. While industry veterans like BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus have yet to make a splash, the Audi site is at the forefront and could soon see large spikes in traffic – which also means more used car sales.
What the future holds in the area of these dedicated auto sales sites is still somewhat unknown, but these players we have listed certainly are in position to make a strong run into the future of online auto sales.