The New edealerdirect.com

Feb 26th, 2019

E-Dealer Direct is an online used vehicle auction for licensed dealers. We help dealers and credit unions move on from old age inventory and fresh trades by listing their vehicles on our online auction. Once posted, over 400 dealers all over the nation have the ability to view and bid on the vehicles. Our high sell rate and return for the lister make us an ideal option for large and small organizations looking to move on from inventory. As a buyer, you have access to over 500 vehicles monthly. Our inventory is updated by the hour and we have a wide range of vehicles ranging from front line ready to as is units.

Over the last year we’ve been busy tuning and evolving our process. We started out manually doing much of the work but have since automated a great deal. As part of our push towards the future, we’ve started building out ways to better interact with our customers. This includes everything from better formatted email notifications to tools that help our users list and buy vehicles more easily.

Today I’d like to focus on the new features that we have published to our platform over the last couple of months. Our main focus has been building a better experience both through tooling but also through aesthetics and ease of of use. Our advancements can be broken down into four categories: Layout, Filters, Tooling and Communication.

Layout

In late January we released a totally redesigned layout featuring better filters, more accessible information and more prominent book values. We initially started planning the new layout in late 2018 and took our time deconstructing and reorganizing the content from the ground up. We utilized feedback and everything we had learned from our first design to take a customer centric approach.

We focused on what information needs to be prominent to better inform buyers on a given used vehicle. Buyers need to know what the condition is and how much it takes to own it. To help better assess condition we’ve moved photos to the top where they are more front and center. Right below that you have key AutoCheck report values and the E-Dealer Direct VGR (Vehicle Grading Report), Run Type (Red, Green, Yellow, etc..) and vehicle specific notes.

Before the redesign, you would have to click through to another screen to see NADA and AutoCheck values but now they are listed right there on the vehicle layout screen. In order to better inform customers on what it takes to own a vehicle we’ve moved NADA values front and center and highlighted whether the given vehicle is Clean, Average or Rough and what retail on that vehicle could look like. We base this designation off our VGR (Vehicle Grading Report), which is our proprietary vehicle inspection report. The VGR scale is a 5 star system with 1/2 increments and the rating is derived from the results of our physical inspection of the vehicle.

We’ve also redesigned the way we handle Run Types. Instead of the generic ‘red’, ‘yellow’, ‘green’ designations like at the physical auctions, we’ve relabeled our categories to ‘Frontline’, ‘Ride N Drive’, ‘Attention’ and ‘As Is’. We feel that these labels are more descriptive and ultimately more useful.

Beyond just making buying easier, we’ve consolidated our navigation into one place. Once logged in, you can access all the required screens from one menu dropdown in the top left corner. This menu is accessible from every screen making the application more navigate-able.

We also spent quite a bit of time on aesthetics. We’ve dropped harsh white from the layout and replaced it with a soft cream color that’s easier on the eyes. We’re very proud of the website so check it out now if you haven’t seen it. (https://www.e-dealerdirect.com).

Filters

It’s important that buyers can find what they’re looking for. It needs to be clearly labeled and accessible. This was the driving philosophy behind the redesign and additions made to our filters.

We’ve consolidated and added more filtering options to our auctions view. Our categories are more granular with the addition of convertible, coupe, sedan and wagon options. Initially we only had SUV, Van, Truck and Car options but we’ve broken car up into separate, more specific categories.

Users can also now filter by VGR, Run Type, Make & Model, Location, Years, Miles and Price Range. All of these filters are conveniently tucked away in a slide in dropdown on the right hand side. Select your options and watch the results appear in realtime, without having to press a search button.

Tooling

When we first started E-Dealer Direct we controlled the whole process. We did not have a way for dealers manage their own vehicles, bids or sales. This was alright because we were small and many of our customers preferred the hands off, managed approach. We still offer a totally managed solution but we’ve also just released management functionality for our sellers and more transparency for our buyers.

This has been a necessity because of our growth. We sell more cars and work with more dealers and institutions every month. We need to give more power and trust to the dealers in our network in order to accommodate this growth.

On the selling side, dealers can now upload their own vehicles but the auction doesn’t go live until an E-Dealer Direct representative reviews the vehicle and pushes it live. To track the vehicle and status we’ve added the “My Vehicles” page which shows all vehicles uploaded to the system, whether they are currently running and the current bids.

As part of trusting our dealers more, we’ve given them access to accepting and countering bids on their own vehicles in the “My Vehicles” screen. We can still handle bids for the dealer looking for more of a managed service but for the dealer looking for more transparency and control, this is a big win.

This control over bids gives our dealers more power over the process. If a given dealer knows what they need for a vehicle, they are free to counter a low bid or if they decide a bid is close enough, they can accept it on their own.

On the buying side we’ve added the “My Bids” screen which is a comprehensive listing of the bids you have placed on vehicles and their status. If a bid has been accepted by E-Dealer Direct or the seller, it will be indicated on this screen. It will also tell you who placed the bid, for what price and the date.

We’ve also added a dashboard for our dealers which shows high level buying and selling stats. As we continue to develop out our platform, you will see more and more stats represented here.

Communication

While we’ve always had good communication with our dealers, we needed a way to automate our efforts. In short, we needed a way to let dealers know about vehicles they have indicated they are interested in.

Our first attempt cast a wide net and emailed dealers about vehicles they might not be interested in and did it often. Yes, we were at top of mind but we were starting to annoy even our most loyal customers.

We’ve done two things to remedy this situation. First we’ve consolidated new auction notifications into one daily mailer. Every morning our dealers get one email with all of the auctions created the previous day. Previously, our users would get multiple emails a day notifying them of new auctions, regardless if they had expressed interest in that type of vehicle.

To understand what vehicles a customer is interested in, we’ve added the “User Preferences” screen. This is where dealers can choose what types of vehicles they want to be notified of. Dealers can choose Year, Mile and Price ranges, as well as Make & Model, VGR and Run type preferences. These are used to proactively let interested dealers know about vehicles they would be interested in without having to wait until the next morning to know.

Giving control to the user not only ensures that we are not over stepping but also provides a true utility. Be the first to know about competitively priced units and jump on it before the competition. Our auction is open 24×7 and a bid could accepted anytime; we’re not limited to specific hours or a geographic location.

Summary

We want to be an ally to our dealers and we’re focused on features that add value. Our founders have been on all sides of the equation and know the challenges that face todays dealers. Whether you’re buying or selling, we have a solution that fits your needs and unique situation.

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