Case Study: Sun Country Marine

by | Sep 30, 2014 | Boats Group, News

Why Marine Dealerships Need an Great Website

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Click here to see the new Sun Country Marine site.

90% of consumers research online before ever stepping foot in a dealership. The days of relying on personal references are over; websites are how new customers get a feel for the dealership, what you offer, and why they should do business with you instead of your competition. Your website needs to act as your new show floor, an online extension of your dealership.

Although the process seems scary, revamping your website is easier than you might think. We met up with Sean Bunker, Director of Marketing for Sun Country Marine, who just went through a massive website redesign. We wanted to know exactly how their new website has helped them bring more customers and leads into their dealership. They talked us through the evolution of their website, its key strengths, and what feedback they have been hearing from customers.

Our goal: to find out if having a well designed, easy to use website, really made a difference for a marine dealership.

The Evolution of Your Online Presence

Sun Country Marine redesigned their website to give customers a better feel their potential purchase before they come to the dealership.

Sean Bunker, Director of Marketing for Sun Country Marine.

Sean Bunker, Director of Marketing for Sun Country Marine.

They moved from a template-based website to a fully-custom, image-heavy, responsive site that was designed specifically to reflect the feeling people get when they actually come to visit the dealership.

One goal for their new site was to make boat shopping easy and fun for their customers — anywhere, on any device. It also allows the dealership to provide superior customer service and react more quickly to their ever changing customer base.

Changing content regularly was also important for Sun Country Marine to distinguish themselves as resource for customers beyond the boat buying lifecycle. To keep their site new and engaging, Sean is solely responsible for regularly update the header and footer with new promotions or financing options, post weekly to a blog, and maintain a presence on various social media platforms.

Does It Really Make a Difference?

All the time and effort that Sun Country Marine has put into their website has paid off. Since the launch of the new design, Sean said that “the website has turned into a much more powerful tool than we had originally expected. It has surpassed every hope we had for it.”

The sales team uses the redesigned site to provide better customer service both in person and over the phone. The site serves as a sales tool for when customers call in with questions about a specific make or model. The dealership has noticed a decreased bounce rate on their site since the redesign launched. People are staying longer and looking deeper. Now, leads that come into the dealership are more qualified; because the customer has visited the website, done their research, gotten an accurate feel for what Sun Country Marine has to offer, and is ready to discuss the possibility of purchasing a boat in more detail.

Is Your Dealership Represented Online?

Sean says it best: “I would say, if you don’t have a website, you need to get one, immediately. That being said, if you do have a website and are on the fence about changing or redeveloping it, don’t be. One thing that marketing for a dealership has taught me is: adapt or die. It’s harsh, but at the same time if you aren’t evolving, it’s going to hurt you. You are doing yourself and your customer a disservice. If you can’t deliver the online experience they’re searching for, they will let someone else provide that experience for them.”