When I first keyed in “Roadster.com,” I was half expecting to see some fancy hotrods on such a cool name. To my surprise, I found an commerce platform. But I wasn’t disappointed. I actually found this branding to be quite fitting for the product. Roadster provides consumer driven commerce solutions for today’s modern dealership. With Roadster’s proprietary technology platform, dealerships can provide hassle-free car buying in-store, online or on the go. From inventory merchandising, to financing/leasing, incentives, trade-ins and F&I– Express Storefront delivers near penny perfect deals in a beautifully designed interface that your customers and employees will love.
Michelle Denogean, CMO of Roadster took time out of her day to answer a few questions for me.
Mike: How did you decide to name the company “Roadster?”
Michelle: When we named the company, it was very important to us that we not only select a memorable name, but that the name itself represented a premium experience.
Mike: How have commerce platforms changed for dealerships over, say, the past 20 years?
Michelle: Most of the commerce solutions in dealership to date have been very dealer facing and disconnected from one another, making it hard to for sales people to easily access the information they need to complete the transaction. The big shift has been to providing tools that are customer facing– providing customers with more transparency and control over the deal making components. This goes beyond just eCommerce that is plugged into a dealership website for online car buying, these are tools that customers can use side by side with sales agents in the showroom to streamline the experience and save both parties time. Companies in the past have tried to deploy eCommerce, but they were ahead of their time. The industry wasn’t ready and frankly, consumers weren’t quite ready either. While the number grows daily, the percent of consumers who are buying cars 100% online is still very small. Commerce platforms like Roadster are working to streamline the experience in-store so that as the number of online transactions grows, dealerships are ready with their internal sales process to accommodate those online transactions.
Mike: How does your platform differ from the others in the industry?
Michelle: The biggest differentiation is that we are truly omnichannel– customers can start online and finish in-store or the other way around. Our solution is white labeled for dealerships to use on their website, or in the showroom with customers. We have spent the past several years building out tools to be used in-store so that customers can have a streamlined experience and sales agents can feel more empowered. This includes our latest roll out of Express Desking, that allows sales agents to review all of the possible deal terms with a customer, make adjustments and get approvals without leaving the customers side. We are one of the most comprehensive platforms on the market, both integrating with all of the backend systems that the dealership uses to process the transaction, but also in the amount of data and customization of the data that is available to ensure the numbers we show are as close to pencil perfect as possible.
Mike: Can you talk about how you acquired the domain name and what the process was to complete the purchase? Can you share what you paid for the name?
Michelle: The process was pretty straight forward. We went through a domain broker to purchase the name. We are not at liberty to share the amount paid at this time.
Mike: What volume of traffic do you see just from having a great domain name like Roadster?
Michelle: It varies greatly. When we first started the company, we were a direct to consumer car buying service. In June of 2018 we pivoted the company to be 100% focused on the B2B side of our business.
Mike: Do you invest in other types of marketing or is the domain and organic search results enough?
Michelle: We absolutely invest in other kinds of marketing. We do a little bit in Paid Search, but our primary vehicles for driving demand are organic media (PR) and content marketing via social channels and our Roadster blog. With a name like Roadster, we focus heavily on brand opportunities that can lead to organic search overtime.