DEARBORN, Mich. — FordDirect, a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and its franchise dealers, today launched a new web 2.0 platform, based on SiSTeR’s Technologies’ VSHOC and Publisher platform, DealerConnection Vehicle Showroom (VSR) for its Ford and Lincoln dealers. FordDirect VSR seamlessly integrates with a dealer’s digital marketing or social media platform including blogs, Facebook and their YouTube pages so that consumers can search the most current new and used vehicle inventory without clicking out of their original destination.
The service will be available to all 3,500 Ford and Lincoln Dealers that have DealerConnection websites, and offered for no additional charge to dealers that currently have both DealerConnection Elite and DealerConnection Premier Advanced Inventory Service (DCPAIS) web services.
The VSR’s unique interactive filtering and keyword search functions provide users with their desired selection in real time. Furthermore, unlike other video inventory tools, VSR switches automatically to an HTML 5.0 version for users who access it via a smart phone or tablet to maximize the users’ experience and the dealer’s ROI.
DealerConnection VSR maximizes the effectiveness of a dealer’s digital marketing and social media platforms and enhances the user experience by offering consumers the ability to not only search for a new vehicle by make, model and price, but can also submit an inquiry directly to the dealer or refer a vehicle to others without ever leaving the digital or social platform. VSR also automatically displays the desired vehicle on the dealer’s website for visitors who come from YouTube and, if such a vehicle is sold, lists of similar vehicles are displayed, saving the users from the annoying “search again” issue.
“We are finding that consumers are turning to social media and other digital platforms to initiate their research for a vehicle purchase, so it’s important for Dealers to capture their attention with the most current information in an interactive way,” said Valerie Fuller, COO of FordDirect. “DealerConnection Vehicle Showroom provides consumers with an enhanced online experience so that they can find the vehicle that they are looking for and be able to connect with a dealer without the hassle of having to visit numerous websites.”
A recent study from Autoguide.com states that 2.4 million in-market shoppers used Facebook in some way to make a vehicle purchase decision. In addition, 58 percent of consumers are likely to mention their new car and/or buying experience via social media and 82 percent of mentions about car purchases on social media are positive.(1)
“Over the last eight months we have worked on perfecting the details of our video product for FordDirect, ensuring it meets the needs of both dealer and consumer,” said Israel Alpert, CEO of SiSTeR Technologies. “Today, we are proud to be taking a huge step forward – publishing the inventory beyond the Dealer’s website and making shopping even easier for potential car buyers.”
DealerConnection websites average more than 2.5 million monthly unique visitors and drive more than 55,000 monthly leads for Ford and Lincoln dealers. For more information, visit www.forddirect.com/dealercenter.
FordDirect (forddirect.com/dealercenter) is a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and its franchised dealers to create a comprehensive Web presence for dealers and provide digital marketing services that help dealers sell more cars and trucks. FordDirect provides dealers new and pre-owned marketing services, call tracking, lead management solutions, dealer Websites, search optimization and marketing, database marketing, marketing services for regional dealer advertising groups and other marketing services. Sales from FordDirect Internet referrals represent 22 percent of Ford Motor Co. retail sales. FordDirect is headquartered in Dearborn, Mich.
About SiSTeR Technologies
SiSTeR Technologies, based in Dallas, Texas, is a premier provider of automated video production, distribution and vSEO for auto retailers, manufacturers, and industry partners. SiSTeR provides its clients with cutting edge video marketing solutions that integrate easily into existing online and mobile platforms including third party sites, YouTube, Google and Facebook.
SiSTeR developed the Pic2Vid process that creates video using still images and TrueVoice ™ technology several years ago and has been licensing it to many resellers and business partners since 2005. Recently, SiSTeR was awarded a U.S. patent that covers the automated production of video files from still images, text and pre-recorded audio eliminating the need for laborious manual process.