Your website is arguably one the most important assets your dealership has. This day in age, if someone wants more information on your dealership, they will search your name with just the touch of their fingertips and your website is there for them to freely browse on. Which is why making sure everything is accurate on your website is vital.
Aside from customers, there is always that possibility your competitors are taking a peek at your website too, or even a factory rep. And if your ads are visibly non-compliant or are illegal, that opens the gate for your dealership to receive a strike. When your rebates or lease boxes are not properly disclaimed in a clear, concise manner, that goes against some manufacturer’s guidelines, and of course legally. We have touched upon the importance of automotive website management in our previous blog – but this time, we are going to dive more into the specifics of what could happen if your site isn’t being monitored and how to avoid an infraction.
So, what are the best ways to avoid receiving a website infraction or a strike?
1. Your ad agency should be managing and monitoring your website creative
Because what dealership has time to sift through their own site? Probably not many. Your agency should always be advertising your current offers and ensuring the creative they are uploading on to your website is already co-op approved. And of course, that all disclaimer info on their creative is legal and legible. If your agency sees something that is missing, (let’s say you aren’t showing your doc fee anywhere on your website), they should work with your website rep to make sure that all the legal, necessary information is easily accessible. Although, compliance doesn’t monitor the legal jargon on your site, this could still save you from a headache later down the road with a potential customer.
The agency or company monitoring your website is just an extra layer of protection for the items they are responsible for. We all know that rebates get updated all the time through a feed and there are different incentives available on different vehicles. If you have 200 vehicles in stock, it isn’t exactly realistic to click through every single VDP each day and make sure those are the accurate rebates. For the ever-changing rebates issue, there luckily is another net of protection so you don’t receive a strike.
2. Flag important emails you may have gotten from the manufacturer or compliance
If the unfortunate event happens where you do end up receiving an infraction, you will receive an email stating what needs to be fixed and how to fix the issue. You then usually would be given a time period of when you need to have the issue fixed by, so it buys you some time to address it – which is that extra net of protection.
I know a lot of the time your inbox is already flooded with emails, but always keep your eye out for any emails coming from the manufacturer or compliance. Too busy to get to it now? Flag it and come back to it. I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but we are all guilty of reading a text message and saying you will answer later (and then forget to).
3. Appoint someone at the dealership to handle inputting rebates/incentives
Not every dealership’s website is going to automatically update with the factory’s offers if you aren’t using an OEM approved website, and not every dealer wants to necessarily advertise the factory’s offers. Some websites allow you to enter your own rebates through their website. To avoid inconsistency, it is best to hold one person at the dealership accountable for updating these rebates as needed. Ensure the rebates that are being advertised are stackable. For example, you wouldn’t be able to show a Conquest rebate and a Loyalty rebate and subtract both rebate amounts from the final price. If all else fails, just advertise rebates everyone qualifies for and have a strong CTA to be on the safe side.
As I have preached in previous blogs, one of the best things about digital is that you can switch it up at any moment in time. If a newspaper ad runs and it wasn’t compliant, there’s not much you can do once it goes to print except fix it for the next time. But your website can be updated at the drop of a hat – so receiving a strike due to your website should almost never happen. Especially since you have a window of time to fix the issue, if they do find one, which is that extra net of protection that is going to save you from that strike.
At Digital to Dealer, our goal is take the guess work out of your website and take the work off of your plate. We know how busy your dealership employees are, and time is of the essence in car sales. If you would like to learn more about our website management services, give us a call at 877-958-4524 or contact us today!
Sarah is a well-seasoned marketing professional who kicked off her career soon after graduating Kutztown University. Starting right out of the gate in automotive marketing, she has spent the past four years excelling as an account manager, recently advancing to the senior position at D2D. She is an expert when it comes to juggling, organizing and following through with the day-to-day tasks that come along with the position. Having worked with most vehicle manufacturer brands, she has an expansive knowledge of co-op, creative requirements, and everything in-between.
For more information on how D2D can help, feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org