DSES Breakout Session: “Ask Less, Get More: You’re Trying to Do Too Much with Your Website” with Eric Giroux

By: Felicia Savage

Immediately following Kristen Hadeed’s Day 2 Opening Keynote were the first of many breakout sessions. The first session I attended on the 2nd day of DSES was presented by Eric Giroux, Sr. Product Manager at Dealer Socket. In his DSES session, Eric discussed the importance of having a clean, simple and easy-to-navigate dealership website. All too often, dealership websites fall into bad habits that make the online consumer experience less than stellar.

Here were the key takeaways from Eric Giroux’s DSES presentation, Ask Less, Get More: You’re Trying to Do Too Much with Your Website.

Your Homepage is the Most Visited Page…. Don’t Clutter It Up!

As it is for most industries, your homepage is the most visited page on your dealership website. Additionally, it’s typically the first page consumers see when they first visit your website. That being said, the worst thing you can do is clutter up your homepage.


All off often, dealership website home pages have too many offers, too many things to do, too many calls-to-action and too many slideshows.


“The worst thing you can do is clutter up your homepage.”


By incorporating too many of these things on your homepage, you increase your changes overwhelming a consumer; causing them to leave your site. If you want to ensure that consumers stay on your website or, at the very least, return, make sure you keep the layout simple.


Eliminate the slides, make sure to clearly state the benefits of shopping with your dealership and avoid any unnecessary clutter.


Don’t Overdo It with Website Navigation

This ties in very closely with the previous tip. Although you want to provide as many options as humanly possible, you want to optimize your website navigation for consumers who are journeying through a shopping funnel.


For example: The homepage shouldn’t include every single section of your website in the navigation bar. Instead, the homepage should include sections that would cater to someone who is visiting the website for the first time.


It should be a set up like a hierarchy; where you go into a section and sift through subcategories (in different parts of the website) to discover what you’re looking for.


“You want to optimize your website navigation for consumers who are journeying through a shopping funnel.”


Also, never ever, EVER put these in your website’s navigation bar:

  • Home
  • Contact
  • Parts
  • Body Shop
  • New OEM Names x2 or x3


Commit to Third Party Tools “Or Die”

The majority of third party tools and providers are fantastic and can be extremely beneficial to your dealership’s bottom line. However, throwing a third party tool on your website and expecting it to “just work” isn’t going to cut it.


If you’re going to leverage third party tools (any third party tools), you need to go all in and commit to developing a strategy (or at least a simple game plan) around it. There’s no “set it and forget it” for tools like these.


If you’re going to integrate third party tools onto your dealership website, you should pay close attention to how it’s functioning/performing on your website, make sure those tools aren’t competing with OTHER third party tools on your website and lastly, make an effort to customize it so that it’s catered to your specific consumer base.


Your Homework (Straight from the Horse’s Mouth)


  • Perform your own site analysis
  • Audit your 3rd party plug-ins
  • Determine your competitive advantage / primary value statements
  • Determine what action you want your users to take


Photos from the Session


Additional Auto Resources