AM Online

CarShop to reveal the power of its new website on improving business


An AM Awards winner and independent dealer is to reveal how its new website has helped boost online enquiries by 90%, online ‘reserve & collect’ appointments 36% and valuation appointments by 28%.

With more than half of its users accessing its website by mobile in 2014, independent used car supermarket CarShop relaunched its website last year to meet the changing online behaviour of used car buyers and boosted conversion rates in the process.

Its new website netted CarShop, which operates five used car supermarkets in Cardiff, Northampton, Norwich, Doncaster and Swindon and represents the MG franchise at all its English locations, AM’s coveted Best Dealer Website award this year.

Marketing director Leo Nelson will share their insights and experience when he speaks at this year’s Used Car Conference at the Hilton St George’s Park in Burton upon Trent on October 20.

Nelson will explore the importance of a cutting edge website as part of a highly successful used car retail strategy at the conference.

CarShop, which retails 20,000 vehicles a year, had found visitors from tablets and smartphones went from less than 10% in 2012 to over 30% in 2013 and made another leap to 55% in 2014.

CarShop relaunched its website to win back its digital position after website enquiries dropped by 13% in 2013 and customer feedback reported a poor website experience by delivering one fully responsive website rather than trying to maintain individual ones for desktop, tablet and smartphone.

Nelson said: “We set ourselves a challenging brief: to design and re-engineer our website from a customer perspective, but most importantly employing a ‘mobile first’ design philosophy to deliver faster response times and page loading.

“We have now ensured every page contains relevant information as well as being clear and engaging to help customers make more informed choices.”

For example, in September last year enquiry forms generated from the website increased 90% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis, online ‘reserve & collect’ appointments went up 36% and valuation appointments by 28%.

In 2013 the bounce rate from January to September was 41%, but for the same period in 2014 it had dropped to 29% whilst the average time visitors spend on the website increased from eight minutes in 2013 to 13 minutes in 2015. 

Conversion rates have increased from 28.48% in 2013 to 36.08% in 2014.

The website, which was designed, developed and now maintained by CarShop’s in-house team, incorporates features such as easy-to-use shortlists and comparisons including price, specification and running costs as well as a ‘watch’ facility which sends an email notification if the price changes or another buyer ‘watches’ or reserves the vehicle and a stock alert function.

In addition, the website was designed to be fully integrated with the CRM system enabling the customer contact centre advisors to retrieve online quotes, vehicle valuations and complete the sales process by phone or live chat.

Meanwhile, each vehicle has 32 exterior and interior images.

Nelson said: “Our key objectives were to improve the customer experience and increase our conversion rate from website leads.

“An integral element of the new website was the ability to track visitor behaviour and certain events at a granular level which has enabled us to direct optimisation activities more effectively.

“On average, the website delivers 2,000 leads each month which are handled by a team of expert agents within our dedicated customer contact centre.

“With information such as from what web page the enquiry was driven, or whether the customer is new or existing to CarShop, the impact on both ratios and lead volumes (without an increase in traffic) and thus customer engagement following the launch of the new website has been incredible.”

Conference tickets

Tickets are available to dealers, manufacturers and industry suppliers to book. Please visit

Conference venue

Hilton St George’s Park in Burton upon Trent DE13 9PD


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