The site, which took two months to construct, saw 625,000 hits in its first week and now accounts for 60% of the company’s business.
Jonathan Allbones, director of The Car People says: “Sixty per cent of customers visit www.thecarpeople.co.uk prior to visiting the showroom so it is vital we provide customers with all the information they need online and extend our hassle free way to buying a car. This is the only website in the UK to search by budget or specific car and simultaneously take into consideration part exchange value, new car cost and financial deposits and payment terms.”
The company says unlike some competitors, its website’s provides open and professional advice with no hidden costs, technical jargon or clever sales techniques to assist buyers prior to visiting the showroom. The site features a unique car finder facility incorporating a financial calculator that takes a buyer’s budget, part exchange and payment preferences into account.
The site provides buyers with extensive technical data on each car including vehicle dimensions, economy, safety, and insurance details. A search facility extracts information from a comprehensive database to provide customers with instant trade-in valuations as well as new car prices.
Billing itself as the UK’s first genuinely customer-focussed car supermarket, The Car People was founded in 2000 by northern car retailers Martyn and Paul Carnell and Jonathan Allbones. The company has grown to become one of the largest car supermarkets in the north of England.
It stocks 1,500 vehicles across its two sites in Manchester and Wakefield and has an annual turnover of £98m. Last year it sold 10,000 cars and with a strong start to the year, expects that figure to increase to 12,000 in 2006.
The Car People’s new website took two months to construct site and cost under £10,000.