Website Providers Comparison Guide

Publish Date: 
Jun 22, 2009

Last Updated: June 25, 2009

BY MARKET SHARE, the top three powersports-specific website providers (in alphabetical order) are ARI, 50 Below and PowerSports Network. To get an idea of how their sites compare in features, Dealernews sent them a comprehensive survey.

We’ve combined all their answers below, and we’ve invited them to update their information as often as possible. To see only ARI’s answers, click here. To see only 50 Below’s answers, click here. And to see only PSN’s answers, click here. These pages also contain the companies’ contact information.

Please note that the “Last Updated” note above is for this page only. To see when each vendor last updated its information, you must click on the links above.

If we go by the information provided by the survey (see question four), roughly 5,500 dealers have a website built by one of these three companies. Of course, this means the majority of dealership websites were not. Let us know of any website providers you think deserve their own article. We’re also interested in any comments about our survey, as well as suggestions for future questions. E-mail editor Arlo Redwine at aredwine@dealernews.com.

Not only do we present this guide for dealers looking to build a new website, but we hope dealers already signed up with ARI, 50 Below and PSN can use the guide as a reminder of what these vendors offer. Too often dealers who opt for a turnkey service don’t take advantage of all it has to offer.

Below are the questions and answers.

1. When was your company founded?

ARI: 1981.

50 Below: 50 Below started in 1997 with a single client. Over the past 12 years, Mike Rollo and David Hogge, have taken that same one-to-one philosophy to expand the company’s scope and direction. 50 Below has grown beyond the bounds of powersports to now host over 30,000 retailer, agent/advisor, franchisee websites and e-commerce stores.

PSN: PowerSports Network was founded in 1998 by three entrepreneurs working out of a garage. From humble beginnings, PSN became one of the fastest-growing private companies in Wisconsin. In 2006 the company was listed at No. 316 on Inc. magazine’s list of the 500 fastest-growing companies in America. In 2007 the company was acquired by Dominion Enterprises, a media and information services company based in Norfolk, Va. The acquisition has allowed PSN to continue to offer the service associated with a small business while leveraging the benefits afforded by being part of a larger company.

2. How many people does your company employ? How many are dedicated to powersports dealer services?

ARI: ARI employs 135 associates in our offices located in Milwaukee, Wis. (corporate headquarters); Cypress, Calif.; Virginia Beach, Va.; and Alphen, the Netherlands, as well as remote workers.

50 Below: 50 Below has a staff of approximately 200 dedicated employees working in sales, design, data and development. There are 60-80 employees dedicated in some capacity to the powersports industry.

PSN: PSN employs over 90 people at their Sussex, Wis, location. Approximately 80 of those people are dedicated in some way to powersports dealer services.

3. When did your company start building websites for powersports dealers?

ARI: In 1998. Since that time, our website products evolved and have been enhanced to meet the ever-changing business requirements of powersports dealers.

50 Below: In 1998, 50 Below approached Polaris Industries with a website model and a plan to provide each of their dealers a robust online solution. 50 Below continues its strong relationship and commitment to Polaris more than 10 years later.

PSN: 1999.

4. How many powersports dealers have a website built by your company? How many dealers of other types have a website built by you?

ARI: Powersports dealers: 400-plus dealers, many of whom have multiple sites.
All other dealers: 650-plus dealers, many of whom have multiple sites.

50 Below: Powersports = 2,500
Others = 28,000

50 Below is a multi-concept, full-range provider of online solutions. We have hundreds of dealers that have the simplest of website designs such as template or branded to a specific design or company. Meanwhile, we have hundreds more dealers who have the more robust, multi-function, custom-designed websites with e-commerce carts.

Our business consists of four business units: Advisor Solutions (such as Citi Smith Barney and Morgan Stanley), Franchise Solutions (such as Mail Boxes Etc. and The UPS Store), Retailer Solutions (such as Arctic Cat, LeMans, and Invacare) and Corporate Consulting (such as Golden Technologies, Pentair, and Arctic Cat).

50 Below designs, develops, maintains and continually upgrades large-scale Web applications for many corporate entities with a vast network of dealerships, agents or advisors, and franchisees. We have Marketing Account Executives working directly with hundreds of dealers in the following industries: Pool & Spa, Home Medical Equipment, Tire & Automotive, Purina, IGA, and many more in our Retail Solutions side. The same is true on our Advisor Solution and Franchisee Solution side where MAEs are working with hundreds of financial advisors and business owners across North America.

PSN: Powersports: 2,500.
Marine: 500.
RV: 250.
Agriculture: 150.
Heavy Equipment: 350.
Large Truck: 150.
Total: 3,900.

5. Can you estimate the total annual sales through all the powersports websites?

ARI: $35-40 million in annual sales move directly through the ARI-managed shopping carts of powersports dealers; this does not include whole goods and units promoted on the websites that are purchased by a means other than the ARI-provided online cart, nor does it include sales through OEM, distributor or other managed sites.

50 Below: Not available.

PSN: Annual sales for parts and accessories is approximately $30 million. Unit sales are not tracked by dollar figures.

6. How do dealers pay? Describe your pricing structure, including all options, setup costs, monthly fees, etc.

ARI: Dealers have the option of paying on an annual basis or a monthly basis.

  • WebsiteSmart Pro, our award-winning dealer website solution, has three tiers: Complete, which includes a shopping cart; Basic, which does not have a shopping cart; and Dedicated OEM. All three have a one-time setup fee ranging from $300 to $1,000 and monthly hosting fee ranging from $175 to $400, depending on the catalog content and optional features selected.
  • OEM catalog content fee for display of parts, whole goods and/or accessories on WebsiteSmart Pro.
  • Optional: WebsiteSmart Pro SeasonSmart with a monthly fee.
  • Optional: WebsiteSmart Pro WeatherSmart with a monthly fee.
  • Optional: Footsteps lead management tool with a one-time setup fee and monthly fee.
  • Optional: Footsteps Jumpstart Education Solution, one-time fee.
  • Optional: ePro Mobile: Customers’ website are optimized to fully function on smart mobile phones. Inventory from websites automatically populates on the smart phone website, monthly fee.

50 Below: 50 Below doesn’t have a “one size fits all” payment scenario because we don’t provide “one size fits all” online solutions. All of our clients go through an evaluation where it’s determined exactly what their needs are now … and into the future. Our websites can cost in a range from free for a “basic” solution (home page, map, contact us, etc.) to $9,000 or more for a custom solution with far more bells and whistles, including the award-winning features of rotating Professional website Merchandising and EZ-Shop with Fitment. We have dealers who are willing to spend upward of $14,000 a year, but that’s their choice to get the proper solution for their store needs.

Some dealers choose to pay annually, while other clients find it more beneficial to work out other options such as quarterly or monthly payments. We want to be as accommodating for our clients as possible during these uncertain economic times for them.

50 Below is upfront with all pricing including setup costs, monthly fees and any other payments. We won’t lock clients into auto-renewal contracts and don’t take a percentage of dealers’ online retail sales.

PSN: The initial setup fee (including graphics design and training) ranges from $500 to $1,500. The base monthly fee is $225/month. Since each dealer utilizes their web sites differently, PSN offers a wide array of optional products and services (such as Rider Reviews and Industry News), each available at varying monthly rates, that dealers are able to pick and choose from.

7. Do dealers get to keep their domain URL even if they discontinue their service with you?

ARI: Yes.

50 Below: Our dealers have always been able to keep their domain should they unfortunately ever decide to end their relationship with 50 Below. Unless specified by the dealer, 50 Below is set up as the domain registrant for each domain name. This does prevent spammers from hijacking the domain through fake renewal letters, which is a common practice.

PSN: Yes. PSN clearly states this policy in its dealer agreement.

8. How long does it typically take to build a site without e-commerce? About how long does it take to build a medium-sized site with e-commerce?

ARI: Once a dealer has selected an ARI website, the first step is to complete a survey that provides the structure, look and feel and content that a dealer’s website will contain. The normal time from sale to “go live” is approximately four weeks for a site with or without e-commerce. There may be additional time required after that for the dealer to upload any custom pricing they want displayed on their site. When necessary to meet a dealer’s specific time-sensitive requirements, we will work with the customer to expedite the process.

50 Below: To begin with, a default website can be up and online within 48 hours after purchase.

A “predesigned” 50 Below website generally gets built with seven to 10 days of the completed sale. A couple of weeks aren’t uncommon from purchase to approval for many site builds.

“Custom” designs, which most of our sites are, can take 24-28 days, but that’s also dependent on getting the dealer’s approval at a couple of key stages of the build. If a dealer purchases a top-tier website with multi-offer merchandising and EZ-Shop, it’ll take three to four weeks to get it done to the specs of the dealer.

Turning on and incorporating catalogs and a shopping cart doesn’t really add to the timeline. The time element is all in the design and approval process.

PSN: The initial setup, with or without e-commerce, takes about three weeks on average. However, PSN has been able to activate dealer sites within days in case of an emergency.

9. Do you offer initial training? If so, what is it and how long does it take?

ARI: Initial training consists of a one-hour turnover training session where we walk the dealer through the basics of maintaining the site and answer any questions. In addition, before a website goes live, we put the site on a test server for a 10-day period during which the dealer can “play” with the site. At the end of the 10 days, ARI’s Technical Support team follows up with each dealer to provide any additional training or answer questions. The website itself contains a user guide in the administration region. If needed, a dealer may opt for a more intensive one-on-one training session at an hourly rate.

50 Below: 50 Below all but makes it mandatory for dealers, or a least a dealership’s designated Webmaster, to go through training. The training varies from dealer to dealer, but it’s done over the phone and online using tools such as GoToMeeting and WebEx. Training is conducted generally one-on-one by an experienced trainer and in certain circumstance we’ll use the mass medium of Webinars.

The functionality of websites today, while completely manageable, is more complicated than a decade ago or even a couple of years ago. And we also want dealers to be more hands-on with their website. There are a lot of changes dealers can make in their website and online store with immediacy. They don’t have to call in for their MAE or a customer service representative to help. While we always encourage dealers to call, it’s sometimes simpler and takes less effort for properly trained dealers to make changes themselves.

PSN: Yes. This varies depending on the site functionality being utilized and the dealer’s Web-based knowledge. During training, dealers are walked through how to use their site maintenance environment, load inventory and content, manage leads and much more. Typically, the initial training is done over the phone and takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.

10. What types of ongoing support do you offer? Phone, online, on-site, remote access? When is it available? How do dealers pay for the support?

ARI: There is no charge for support. We have a customer service team that is available 24x7 via an 800 number to answer any questions. Questions are also accepted via a dedicated e-mail address, and we also maintain a FAQ site available to our customers via the Web. In addition, user guides are available in the administration portion on the dealer’s website.

50 Below: All support 50 Below provides is ongoing. It’s part of the intrinsic agreement we make with our customers. Our MAEs, customer service reps,

and design liaisons will always make themselves available to assist dealers … at no additional cost. Dealers can reach a 50 Below representative by phone (customer service 866-880-1615) Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., or they can certainly make an appointment for more in-depth conversations.

 

PSN: PSN offers online videos for ongoing training, as well as phone and e-mail support. Support is available 7:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m., CST, Monday — Thursday and 7:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m., CST, Friday. There are no additional charges for support.

Also, PSN has recently launched a Dealer Reference Center to help dealers learn how to better utilize their website and the Internet. This resource is updated on a regular basis and is available 24/7/365 to all PSN dealers at no additional charge.

11. Can your sites integrate with any of the dealer management systems? If so, which ones, and are all the integrations one-way (meaning data can be downloaded off the site, but not uploaded)?

ARI: Yes. Currently ADP Lightspeed and Ideal have an interface with our website product. We are actively working with our other 80-plus Compass Partners, including MIC Systems, c-Systems, SofTek, Softpower, System 2000 and IDS, so they can also easily integrate with an ARI site.

50 Below: As part of an exclusive agreement, 50 Below websites integrate directly with the ADP LightspeedNXT dealer management system. (ARI and PSN websites also integrate with LightspeedNXT, but ADP Lightspeed has agreed to work on a two-way integration with only 50 Below. — ed.) When a dealer goes into their DMS, they simply click on the Web orders button and the order is pulled from the 50 Below Command Center, which is holding the order made via the online store.

In the near future, the ADP Lightspeed integration will give dealers the ability to list inventory levels on their website. This will allow their customers to see if an item they’re interested in is available, or can be available in 24 hours, or is completely out of stock.

Our open lead management application programming interface (API) allows for a dealer to have their preferred DMS or CRM provider integrated to the 50 Below Command Center.

PSN: PSN currently integrates with SofTek, LightSpeedNXT and MIC Systems (Brainstorm) for e-commerce. Integration with V-SEPT, Traffic Log Pro, Higher Gear and H-D Connect also exists for lead management.

12. From how many vendors do you collect product information and images? Are there any major OEMs or suppliers from which you do not collect information?

ARI: We currently support more than 650 catalogs. There are no major OEMs or suppliers whose information we do not provide. We are continuously updating the information and adding new vendors/suppliers as their information becomes available.

50 Below: The 50 Below Data Acquisition staff has currently loaded more nearly 1100 total catalogs of which roughly 210 are powersports-related catalogs. The remainder of the catalogs is Pool & Spa, Home Medical Equipment, Tires & Automotive, HVAC and Custom-types.

PSN:The PSN Vehicles Department currently collects product information and images from over 200 OEMs across 380 product lines. The PSN Catalogs Department has 169 current catalogs available for dealers. These include:

  • 58 OEM catalogs (43 U.S. and 15 Canadian across 16 OEMs)
  • 40 distributor catalogs (32 U.S. from nine distributors, eight Canadian from three distributors — three or more Canadian catalogs will be added later this year)
  • 71 “Other” OEM catalogs (66 U.S. from 42 companies and five Canadian from one company)

Additionally, there are thousands of past catalogs that PSN has available in its archives.

13. Do you collect information from any Canadian vehicle or aftermarket distributors/dealers?

ARI: Yes. We support manufacturers who have dealers in both the U.S. and Canada. In fact, ARI produces CD- and/or Web-based parts catalogs for many of the major Powersports OEMs, including American Honda, Arctic Cat, BRP, Genuine Scooter, Harley-Davidson, Kawasaki, KTM, Polaris, Schwinn, Suzuki and Yamaha, and this information is available for use on dealer websites.

50 Below: Yes. Where there is a Canadian version of a catalog, we make sure it’s loaded — for example, Arctic Cat, BRP Can-Am, BRP Sea-Doo and Ski-Doo, Polaris, Victory, Klim, Scorpion and Yamaha. Catalogs such as Parts Canada, Kimpex and Motovan are in the progress of data loading.

PSN: Yes, PSN supports Canadian OEMs and distributors including: Alpinestars, Arctic Cat, BRP (Can-Am, Sea-Doo, Ski-Doo), Icon, KTM, OGIO, Polaris, ScorpionEXO, Thor, Triumph, Kimpex and Parts Canada.

14. How do the dealers receive the product information and images? Do they pay the same regardless of how many suppliers they have?

ARI: The information is automatically uploaded to the servers that host a dealer’s website. The dealer does not need to take any action; we do all the work on the backend, so updates are delivered to the site automatically as soon as new information is published. There is a small monthly fee for content access per vendor catalog, but not for updating the information. The information may include parts diagrams, MSRP, whole goods and accessory images, OEM-sponsored factory promotions, product information and more, depending upon what the OEM provides to ARI as content.

50 Below: The product information and images are preloaded in the 50 Below database and available to be activated on a dealer’s website. There are no extra costs for the number of catalogs a dealer needs in their online store, whether it’s one or 100. Product information and images are updated automatically on dealer websites. When 50 Below gets pricing revisions, product information, promotions or image changes, updates are made to the appropriate dealer websites automatically through a weekly data sync.

PSN: PSN loads and maintains all product information and images for the dealer sites. A dealer need only call to request an OEM or catalog be added to their site. From there the information can be made visible on the dealer’s site almost immediately.

Monthly fees vary depending upon the number of OEMs the dealer wishes to display. Similarly, there are different catalog packages available depending upon how many catalogs the dealer wants to offer.

15. Can dealers buy the product information and images only? If so, how much do they cost per vendor?

ARI: No. This information is available only through a website subscription.

50 Below: No, we don’t provide product information or images al a carte for general dealer use.

PSN: No. This data is only offered as part of PSN’s website solution.

16. Are OEM promotions automatically uploaded to the applicable sites (i.e., all Honda promotions uploaded to all Honda franchise dealers)?

ARI: Yes. The promotions are updated as frequently as they change. We currently track OEM-factory-sponsored promotions on a daily basis and update as soon as we are aware that they have been announced or changed. There is no additional charge for this feature.

50 Below: Yes. Over 100 powersports promotions are continually updated and available for 50 Below dealers.

PSN: Yes. OEM promotions are automatically uploaded to a dealer’s site (with the PSN “OEM Promotions” functionality). The dealer elects whether or not the promotion appears on their site. Promotions are displayed on their own page and are also integrated into the dealer’s showroom. Additionally, promotions are date-sensitive and extend or deactivate automatically. Currently, over 140 powersports promotions are available for PSN dealers.

17. What type of security do your websites use to protect customer information?

ARI: We use Verisign’s products to ensure the security of consumer information.

50 Below: 50 Below uses 256-bit encryption technology for the check-out process of all dealers websites. Anti-virus software and intrusion protection is also used to secure online transactions and business over the Internet. Independent daily “hacker” scanning is done. Both physical and virtual access to sensitive customer data is prohibited at the employee level.

PSN: PSN uses Verisign’s SSL certificate with 1024-bit encryption technology to ensure secure communications between PSN and the customer during the purchasing process. After the purchase, the customer information is encrypted in the database.

PSN dealer sites do not allow customers to view their stored credit card information or automatically use it again for repeat purchases. This way, if someone were to compromise a customer’s username and password, they would still need to re-enter the credit card information to make any purchases. This makes it impossible to complete a fraudulent purchase with information a customer used on a PSN dealer’s site in the past.

Additionally, dealer sites have been scanned and approved by multiple third-party PCI compliance companies. If dealers use new scanners, or if the scanners find and add new vulnerabilities to their scans, PSN works with both the dealer and the scanners to get the vulnerabilities resolved quickly to ensure continued PCI compliance. PSN is in the process of finalizing multiple options that dealers can use to ensure 100 percent PCI compliance and provide a consistently up-to-date secure environment for consumers.

18. Do you offer any organic SEO or paid SEM services? If so, how much do they cost?

ARI: Yes, ARI provides both services. SearchEngineSmart is designed to provide dealers with paid SEM (Search Engine Management) services. SEM provides

dealers an immediate solution to get the dealer ranking highly on the search engines. There is a one-time setup fee, and the dealer establishes the monthly expenditure for keyword purchases, geography to be covered, etc. on all of the search engines. All sites are designed in a way to maximize SEO, and a more formal optional enhancement program is in final development.

 

50 Below: Yes. Every 50 Below powersports dealer receives an SEO-friendly website, which is pre-optimized to 2009 industry best practices. 50 Below SEO Specialists, with an average of six years SEO experience, manage each dealer website at no additional charge.

Paid SEM (Search Engine Marketing) services are available with the cost bid on a per-campaign basis.

PSN: Yes. All the sites created by PSN are search-engine-friendly and are submitted twice a month to search engines for indexing. Additionally, PSN offers enhanced organic optimization and paid optimization services. The one-time setup fee for each is $500.

The Organic Optimization service costs $150 per month. This service includes Meta tag and online content management as well as monthly consultation and reporting (i.e., organic keyword performance, page view statistics and website marketing tips).

Paid Optimization starts at $250 per month. This number can increase depending on how much the dealer would like to budget for the pay-per-click campaign. This service includes the development and purchase of recommended keywords, optional geographic keyword optimization, monthly consultation and the reporting and analysis of the campaign performance.

19. Please note whether your standard website offering has the following features and answer applicable follow-up questions. Please note if the features are options that cost more. Feel free to make comments or (where applicable) to note the third-party company that provides the feature.

  • Shopping cart for P&A sales

    ARI: Standard.

    50 Below: Yes, standard.

    PSN: Yes, standard.

  • Ability to market new/used vehicles

    ARI: Standard.

    50 Below: Yes, standard.

    PSN: Yes, standard.

  • Merchant account for credit card payment processing and the payment transaction software (which cards are accepted? can dealers use their own payment processor instead?)

    ARI: We provide third-party services for secure credit card processing — EZIC and/or PayPal — and there is a small fee for this service based on a percent of the transaction. All major credit cards can be used. A dealer may opt to manually process orders via their own in-store process.

    50 Below: A dealer can choose to authorize Web orders via Authorize.net or use their existing merchant account. The credit cards accepted are determined by the dealer and configurable on their website.

    PSN: Currently dealers are able to use Authorize.net and PayPal for online transactions. Additional options are in development. All major credit cards are accepted and a dealer is free to use their own payment processor if they choose.

  • Proper tax calculations for all 50 states and Canada

    ARI: Standard, dealer-defined.

    50 Below: Yes. The dealer can configure a tax rate for each state. Note: Proposed “Internet Tax” laws are being monitored.

    PSN: Yes, standard and can be defined by the dealer.

  • Shipping price quotes and tracking (which carriers?)

    ARI: Real-time estimates provided using UPS World-Ship.

    50 Below: Shipping carriers and prices are set by the dealer. Tracking notification is provided automatically for ADP LightspeedNXT integrated dealers.

    PSN: Shipping carriers and prices are determined by the dealer. The dealer is able to set up shipping cost tiers in their maintenance environment if desired.

  • Shipping price estimator for used-vehicle purchases

    ARI: No.

    50 Below: No.

    PSN: No.

  • “Other Customers Also Purchased” feature

    ARI: Not currently available.

    50 Below: No.

    PSN: PSN is currently developing a similar feature (“Suggested Products” or “Related Items”) that would offer recommendations based on previous customer purchasing patterns as well as the brand and category of the product being purchased.

  • “Also Consider” recommendation feature

    ARI: Not currently available.

    50 Below: No.

    PSN: PSN is currently developing a similar feature (“Suggested Products” or “Related Items”) that would offer recommendations based on previous customer purchasing patterns as well as the brand and category of the product being purchased.

  • Customer Relationship Management system including customer registration, an e-mail blaster and leads management

    ARI: Yes, Footsteps Lead Management System is an optional service that can be added to an ARI website. Footsteps allows a dealer to track leads and customers, deliver automated e-mails, schedule and send email blasts, track phone conversations and other contacts, and many other marketing tasks. There is a one-time setup fee as well as a monthly hosting fee.

    50 Below: Yes. 50 Below websites integrate with the V-SEPT Powersports CRM to make sure sales leads are available to a dealer’s sales team for follow-up.

    PSN: PSN’s standard offering includes the features of most CRM systems (including customer registration, mass e-mails, lead management, etc.).

  • Ability to create a toll-free 800 tracking number to direct leads to the lead manager

    ARI: Optional feature on websites, or as part of either Footsteps or SearchEngineSmart.

    50 Below: No.

    PSN: PSN offers optional toll-free 800 number call tracking for $30 per month. Available information including the caller’s name, address and phone number are captured and automatically entered into the PSN Lead Manager program.

  • Customer Guest Book

    ARI: Yes. With certain website solutions, ARI can provide a customer guest book Web page for customers.

    50 Below: No.

    PSN: Yes, standard.

  • Auto response to customer e-mails

    ARI: Standard in response to e-commerce orders and available as part of the Footsteps Lead Management System.

    50 Below: Yes.

    PSN: Auto-response is standard for any e-commerce orders placed. PSN also offers an optional service in connection with “Quote Requests” for vehicles.

  • Ability to accept finance applications

    ARI: Yes, standard.

    50 Below: Yes.

    PSN: Standard.

  • Payment calculator

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: Yes.

    PSN: Yes, available at no charge.

  • Fuel savings calculator

    ARI: No. ARI provides payment calculators and trade-in value tools on dealer websites. Dealers may also create “new/used inventory buying tips” Web pages if desired.

    50 Below: No.

    PSN: Yes, available at no charge.

  • Ability to create user accounts

    ARI: Yes, standard.

    50 Below: Yes.

    PSN: Standard.

  • Instant messaging for customer support (on the dealer sites for their customers)

    ARI: The company is in the process of launching a “live chat” instant messaging program straight from our website so clients can communicate with the support team easily and quickly. This product will also be available for our customers to purchase, so they can also chat with their customers online.

    50 Below: Optional. This is based on dealer request.

    PSN: PSN has partnered with ContactAtOnce! to create an optional live chat service available to PSN dealers for a monthly fee.

  • “Events” page

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: Yes.

    PSN: Yes, standard.

  • “Testimonials” page

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: Yes.

    PSN: Yes, standard.

  • Google Maps integration for “Contact Us” page

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: Yes. However, we provide separate pages for Map/Directions and Contact Us. The mapping may not necessarily be provided by MapQuest or Google Maps.

    PSN: Integration with Google Maps, MapQuest and/or other providers is available on the “Map/Hours” and/or “Contact Us” pages.

  • “Staff” page with photos

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: Yes, standard.

    PSN: Yes, standard.

  • Rotational graphic modules for the home page

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: This is available through our award-winning multi-offer/rotating

Professional Web Site Merchandising product. It is not standard and requires an additional cost.

 

PSN: The PSN “Featured Inventory” and “Featured Items” rotating modules are available to dealers at no charge.

  • Ability to create and manage Internet advertising and coupons

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: Yes.

    PSN: Yes, standard. PSN has recently launched the PSN BannerBuilder to allow dealers to create their own graphics for use on their website and newsletters as well as for any other marketing materials. The functionality is available to all dealers at no additional charge.

  • Search box

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: Yes. This has always been a standard function in our e-commerce carts.

    PSN: Yes, standard.

  • Search box auto-complete

    ARI: In development.

    50 Below: Yes. This method and the following nine methods for which our answer starts with an asterisk (*) are all available in our award-winning EZ-Shop with Fitment. The X-ActFit parts fitment is a $1,200-per-year option to EZ-Shop that’s provided through an exclusive partnership with Ready2Ride. It allows consumers to find parts for their exact vehicle make and model. (Also note that 50 Below’s standard e-commerce product has these “shop-by” methods available: OEM and/or Aftermarket Catalog, Featured Products & Sales, Store Promotions, and OEM Promotions. There’s also a standard Search Box that you can type keywords in and pull results from.)

    PSN: While currently unavailable, plans exist to develop this feature in the future.

  • Search results help to correct spelling errors (i.e., “Did you mean?”)

    ARI: In development.

    50 Below: *Yes, via EZ-Shop.

    PSN: While currently unavailable, plans exist to develop this feature in the future.

  • Search by fitment (model, make, year) for OEM parts

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: *Yes, via EZ-Shop.

    PSN: There is a monthly fee for parts fiche. Any PSN dealer offering fiche on their site will have this functionality included.

  • Search by fitment for aftermarket parts

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: *Yes, via EZ-Shop.

    PSN: In development.

  • By-catalog shopping

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: *Yes, via EZ-Shop.

    PSN: Yes, standard.

  • By-brand shopping

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: *Yes, via EZ-Shop.

    PSN: Yes, standard. A “Featured Brands” module is also available for dealers to utilize on their site at no additional charge.

  • By-vehicle-type shopping

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: *Yes, via EZ-Shop.

    PSN: Yes, standard.

  • By-promotions shopping (a “Specials” page)

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: *Yes, via EZ-Shop.

    PSN: Yes, standard.

  • Aftermarket-category shopping

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: *Yes, via EZ-Shop.

    PSN: Yes, standard.

  • By-price shopping (or by-price search refinement)

    ARI: Yes. Specific website solutions provide dynamic search options so consumers can search by price (low-to-high and high-to-low), model, size, and more.

    50 Below: *Yes, via EZ-Shop.

    PSN: In development.

  • Parts fiche presentations

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: Yes.

    PSN: PSN offers a search-engine-friendly parts fiche viewer at a monthly rate.

  • Configurable landing page

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: Yes. The 50 Below Command Center allows for flexibility and creativity, practicality and functionality by a trained dealer and/or 50 Below representative.

    PSN: Yes, standard.

  • Vehicle comparison function (how many units can be compared at once?)

    ARI: Yes. With certain website solution consumers and clients can compare two units (includes specifications, pricing, coupons/specials, and more) simultaneously. This function helps consumers make a better purchasing decision. Note that inventory comparison is only for brands that the dealer carries.

    50 Below: Yes. Three units can be compared at a time.

    PSN: Yes, standard. The complete specs and features of two units can be compared side-by-side.

  • Craigslist integration

    ARI: No.

    50 Below: Yes. This and other functionalities below are part of our exclusive partnership with Auction123.

    PSN: Not at this time.

  • Google Base integration

    ARI: Not to Google’s Shopping Area, but SEO allows individual units for sale to appear in Google searches.

    50 Below: Yes, part of our exclusive partnership with Auction123.

    PSN: PSN’s Data Distribution program offers a selection of online classified sites (including Google Base) that dealers can choose to send their inventory to. The cost is 95 cents per vehicle per month regardless of the number of sites selected by the dealer to transmit the data to. Dealers are able to send one, some or their entire inventory and are able to make updates as needed.

  • CycleTrader integration

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: Yes, part of our exclusive partnership with Auction123.

    PSN: This is standard for any PSN dealer with an active CycleTrader account. Also, discounted rates are available for any PSN dealers who wish to set up CycleTrader accounts.

  • eBay Motors integration

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: Yes, part of our exclusive partnership with Auction123.

    PSN: Yes, standard.

  • Auction123 integration

    ARI: No.

    50 Below: Yes, part of our exclusive partnership with Auction123.

    PSN: Not available.

  • Yahoo! Stores integration

    ARI: No.

    50 Below: No.

    PSN: Not available.

  • Price book integrations (please specify which)

    ARI: Inventory portal integrations available today in marine and under development for other markets.

    50 Below: No.

    PSN: PSN offers a Black Book pricing module at a discounted monthly fee. Automatic updates are provided to dealers throughout the year.

  • Compatibility with mobile devices

    ARI: ARI’s sites are compatible with the leading mobile devices. Channel Blade, recently acquired by ARI, has developed a specific interface, ePro Mobile, that is compatible with the leading smartphones including iPhone and Blackberry Storm. We are planning to make this optional service available to all of our customers.

    50 Below: Compatibility, we would define, is if a consumer could find a dealer website, search for a product and securely order it on a "smartphone.” Most websites are viewable on a smartphone (iPhone, Blackberry, Treo, etc.), but they are not really usable from a consumer’s point of view.

    Over the next couple of years, more consumers will expect that websites be fully usable via smartphones. The 50 Below CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) Platform will make it fairly easy to make that transition.

    PSN: Yes, standard. PSN’s Sales Assistant works on the iPhone and Blackberry. Plans are also in place to develop enhanced mobile functionality.

  • Website traffic analyzer

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: Yes. Our proprietary SurfWatcher is a Web traffic monitoring tool available to dealers through the 50 Below Command Center. SurfWatcher records where website visitors are coming from, the most popular pages, and the amount of traffic. Dealers can view their website’s daily performance.

    Google Analytics reports are reviewed during monthly and quarterly consultation phone calls between 50 Below and the dealer.

    PSN: Site statistics are available to dealers for $10 per month. The statistics package offers a general overview of a site's performance and visitor behavior as well as information about Web server activity, the type of data visitors accessed on the site, referrer information, search engine performance, visitors' geographic regions and visitors' browsers and platforms.

  • Ability to upload videos

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: Yes.

    PSN: Yes, standard.

  • Ability to create a blog

    ARI: This feature is being used today by Channel Blade customers, and we are planning to deploy it to ARI websites.

    50 Below: This is not a built-in function. Free blog services are available for the dealer to set up and link to from their website.

    PSN: PSN does not provide this service as a large number of free and well-crafted blogging services are already available. Dealers are encouraged to utilize such a blogging service and link to it from their website. Or, if available, a blog’s embeddable code can be placed within the dealer’s site.

  • Ability to list seminars and courses offered to customers

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: Yes, via a custom page.

    PSN: An optional “Rider Course Application” function (tied into e-commerce) is available for a monthly fee. Dealers can use the course maintenance area to manage class listings, class calendars, applications and waiting lists as well as offer coupons and create survey questions. Customers are then able to register for the courses online.

  • Ability to manage a rentals business

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: Yes, a dealer can create a page in their e-commerce cart to display and manage rentals.

    PSN: The rentals module (tied into e-commerce) is available for a monthly fee. Dealers can manage their rental options, reservations and pricing structures in their Dealer Maintenance environment. Customers are then able to request a rental and put a deposit down right from the dealer’s website.

  • Ability to create a forum

    ARI: Under development.

    50 Below: Not a built-in function. Free forum services are available for the dealer to set up and link to from their website.

    PSN: Similar to blogs, PSN does not provide this service as a large number of free forum creation tools are already available. Dealers are encouraged to utilize a forum service and link to it from their website.

  • Ability to conduct surveys

    ARI: Yes, if the customer adds Footsteps lead management as an additional product.

    50 Below: Not a built-in function. Free survey services are available for the dealer to set up and link to from their website.

    PSN: Yes, standard. PSN provides dealers with the tools to gather customer surveys and present these surveys in their dealer maintenance environment. This provides the dealership insight into it its overall position. The dealer can then focus its resources to enhance service in specific areas if needed.

    Additionally, many of PSN’s optional services (HTML newsletter, rentals module, rider course application) also offer dealers the ability to create and conduct surveys.

  • A customizable Privacy Policy page

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: Yes.

    PSN: Yes, standard.

  • Ability to allow customers to schedule service appointments

    ARI: Yes.

    50 Below: Not at this time.

    PSN: Yes, standard.

20. Are there any other features you’d like to note?

ARI: Yes. The availability of manufacturers’ parts look-up catalogs. Our relationship with more than 85 manufacturers allows us to add value to a dealer’s website by making current, accurate and “hot-spotted” parts catalogs available on their sites, using information obtained directly from the manufacturer. Dealer’s

customers and/or prospects can use these catalogs to look up and order parts online or print out a diagram and bring into the dealership to order. This, in combination with inventory, whole goods and apparel catalogs, allows the dealer to capture virtually every revenue opportunity.

 

50 Below: Through our partnership with HLSM, an industry leader in online and in-store parts microfiche diagrams for genuine OEM parts, we make it easy for consumers to find the exact part they need, and purchase it online. [Update September 2009: 50 Below has added PayPal as a payment option. It's free to dealers already having a PayPal account. 50 Below has also introduced its E-Series of website designs, which are wider than normal. They reportedly take advantage of changes in Web browser screen resolutions. — ed.]

PSN: In addition to the features mentioned previously, PSN also provides dealers with a Specials page that dealers can use to advertise any discounts or offers they may have available.

Dealers also have the ability to create and display coupons to be used with online purchases or for in-store promotions.

All PSN dealer sites enjoy the benefits of being integrated with PSN’s portal site, www.powersportsnetwork.com. The dealership’s information, along with links to the dealer’s site, is listed in the Dealer Locator. All dealer-loaded inventory and eBay auction items are also listed for the hundreds of thousands of portal site visitors to search.

Dealers should contact PSN to learn more about “Featured” modules for inventory, products and brands, PSN’s integrated electronic newsletter product and PSN’s two new, exclusive features — the PSN Dealer Reference Center and BannerBuilder.

21. What features could many of your dealers make better use of?

ARI: Custom Pages, Coupon Codes, Flexible promotions, uploading YouTube videos, social networking, search engine optimization and lead management. These provide flexibility to the dealer to really make the website their own, and offer specials specifically to fit their business goals. We conduct regular webinars to help dealers learn more about how to leverage the features listed above to help them increase exposure and incoming leads on the Web, as well as managing incoming leads properly.

50 Below: This is double-edged. While we never want dealers to feel like they’re alone, we want them to feel comfortable on their own, too. The 50 Below Command Center allows dealers to do so much with their website. They can edit, create, monitor traffic, and retrieve lead information from the secure Command Center. We provide a “walk-through agent” to train the dealers on navigation and function. No dealer is expected to run before they’re comfortable walking. Our representatives are always a phone call away and always ready to help.

PSN: PSN encourages its dealers to fully utilize every page offered on the site. This is especially important for dealer-loaded inventory, the specials page and the events calendar.

More directly related to sales, dealers should use the tools provided in the Lead Manager to quickly respond to quote requests and manage leads throughout the sales process. Additionally, the Sales Assistant should be leveraged for vehicle and OEM promotion comparisons.

To increase their visibility, dealers should use their Guest Book to encourage visitors to sign up for future dealer e-mails. From there, the dealer can use text-based e-mail blasts or PSN HTML newsletter to stay in contact with their customers.

22. Do you offer live demos?

ARI: Yes. We have several customized demo sites that were created to specifically address the business requirements of powersports dealers.

50 Below: Yes. 50 Below uses many channels to demo products to dealers. Our sales team will typically use GoToMeeting and WebEx to demo website products and features. Should the demo be of a larger scale we’re ready, willing and able with trained and competent specialists to conduct Webinars.

PSN: PSN offers live demonstrations as well as website evaluations.

23. Do you have a referral program?

ARI: Yes.

50 Below: Not a program per se, but we gladly welcome any referrals from reps, dealers, and others. For referrals that become new clients of 50 Below there’s typically some sort of remuneration to the lead provider.

PSN: PSN does have a referral program which provides a credit to the referring dealer if the referred dealer signs up for PSN’s services.

24. Any suggestions for dealers looking to improve their website?

ARI: There are several areas where dealers need to pay particular attention to make sure their website generates the results they want:

First, to be successful, a dealer needs to recognize that a website is not static. Time must be allocated to keeping a website fresh, interesting and updated with current information — including specials, new product lines and events at the dealership. The best websites provide visitors with a reason to return and things that make it different from another dealer’s website.

Second, having a website that no one can find will only lead to frustration on the dealer’s part. To get results, it is very important that the dealers remember to add their website to their signage, business cards, stationary, answering machine messages, invoices, etc. They should also consider using direct mail to prospects both inside and outside of their local area.

To also help prospects find the site, dealers should use search engine marketing to reach the millions of consumers who use the Internet to research and buy the products they need.

Integrating a lead management system into the site will allow the dealer to capture activity on the site, understand who is visiting the site — and why — and enhance the dealer’s other marketing activities. This helps ensure that no stone is unturned as the dealer looks for potential business.

Just having a website will not increase business. It needs to be actively managed, and used as a platform for other sales and marketing activities within the dealership. It should be treated almost like a “branch store” — one that can provide a large amount of incremental revenue when done correctly, as well as a way to improve the foot traffic and sales within the brick-and-mortar dealership locations.

50 Below: We keep this fact in mind when building a dealer’s website: A website is a destination. Many dealers have the mind-set that a website is advertising. We firmly contend that the website needs to be thought of as a place, a destination where consumers arrive to gather information and make buying decisions. Every business should have three key destinations: the phone, the physical store and the website. Just like the brick-and-mortar store, customers will “go to” a website. Advertising is the vehicle that drives consumers to the three aforementioned destinations.

We know that a dealer only has seconds to attract and engage an online visitor. Our goal is to make the websites as reflective of the physical stores as possible. The website needs to be exciting, inviting, easy to navigate, and easy to place an order. That was the impetus to develop the award-winning Professional Web Site Merchandising. This product gives consumers compelling reasons to visit, to take action, and return to a dealer’s website.

Navigation may be above all. According to Jupiter Research, the No. 1 reason a visitor will stay on a website is because it’s easy to navigate. The award-winning EZ-Shop with Fitment was created based on such research of consumer shopping habits. The dimension-based shopping allows customer to find exactly, and easily, what they want. EZ-Shop with Fitment is the industry standard for website product search tools.

If a dealer wants to improve their website, online sales and overall Web presence, we recommend a conversation with a 50 Below representative to discuss meeting their goals, which we identify as:

  1. Good Quality Branding — the perception people have about the business.
  2. Accurate and Complete Information — the creation of a website to mirror the physical store.
  3. Ease of Communication — the enhancing of a clear dealer-to-customer and customer-to-dealer interaction.
  4. Ability to Make Transactions — how ever it occurs — phone, online, in-store — the sale initiated by the website is the final goal.

A 50 Below representative can be reached at 866-479-2693. Product information can be easily accessed at www.50Below.info.

PSN: Dealers should look at their site and answer these questions:

  • Is the site easy to navigate?
  • Does the site provide valuable information?
  • Is the information on the site current and regularly updated?
  • Is the home page organized to drive traffic deeper into the site?
  • Do images serve a purpose to promote the dealership’s offerings? Are they optimally used to link deeper into the site?
  • Are current sales, promotions and events listed and easy to find on the site?
  • Are customers encouraged to provide their e-mail addresses for newsletters and e-mail blasts?
  • Are customer testimonials promoted?
  • Is dealer inventory loaded to the site and current?

These are just a few questions dealers can use to assess their current site. PSN representatives are available to evaluate and discuss a dealer’s current site, as well as to provide insight on how a PSN website solution, backed by powersports industry experts, can help them reach their sales goals. Representatives can be contacted toll-free at 800-556-0314, ext. 503, or via e-mail at sales@powersportsnetwork.com. More information about PSN’s offerings can be found at www.powersportsnetwork.org.