The focus of Sonic Automotive Inc.’s relaunched corporate Web site is on retail customers. Rachel Richards, Sonic's vice president of retail strategy, said that this revised site is the first step that the nation's third-largest dealership group is taking in order to set up a national brand for the publicly held retailer.
She said that the company has to “offer a consistent customer experience to be able to create a national brand.” The old Web site as well as the new one had features that enabled visitors to find a dealership and browse new and used vehicle inventory.
However, the old site had the general company information and history at the front and center. Richards described the old site as appearing “more like an investor relations site.”
Richards declined to say how much the changes had cost the company. She said that the new site has the appearance of an automotive shopping portal. The home page gives the users five ways to search for a new or used vehicle (whether by year, make, model, body style or price).
Users could also narrow the search by proximity. Furthermore, Sonic, which is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., asks visitors to sell their vehicle for cash or trade to the company on the site.
To get an estimate of the vehicle's value, the customer has to accomplish an online form. For the final price, the customer would have to visit the store for an inspection. [via autonews - sub. required]