Auto shoppers have a new tool in hunting down the perfect vehicle.
A revamped Up North Autos Web site, at www.upnorthautos.com, is giving consumers an opportunity to build the vehicle they want and have their wish list sent out to area dealers - all without driving through car lots or kicking tires.
Through a partnership venture between the Dispatch and area auto dealers, Up North Autos also offers tools to help dealers reach customers with the latest information.
Borrowing from technology used in real estate marketing, the revamped Web site gives dealers an opportunity to put the newest vehicles on their lots on the Web site quickly with an automated system. Using a vehicle identification number, templates are used to put the information up rapidly. Consumers get vehicle photos, prices and specifications.
In addition to being able to build their own car with the "find a vehicle" feature, consumers can use the Web site to find dealers, research vehicles, find reviews, compare prices and locate coupons for discounted tire purchases.
Through the advanced search to find a vehicle, customers may chose make and model, body type, year, price, mileage, among other features. the vehicle advertisements come with 800 telephone numbers and feature a free recorded message available 24-hours a day to give consumers more details.
The multi-media effort includes photo slide shows on the Web site to give interior and exterior views of vehicles. Featured area dealers include Dondelinger Chevrolet Cadillac, Dondelinger Hyundai, Mills Auto, Motor City of Nisswa-Auto World, Tanner Motors, Tanner Honda, Tanner Nissan.
For advertisers, there are tools to reach out to customers. A Yahoo user may be surfing the Internet for cars. While individual users aren't identified, the technology is able to recognize the search effort and target an Up North Autos advertisement to the prospective car buyer.
Tim Bogenschutz, Dispatch advertising director, said by revamping the Web site, which is tied in with the printed Up North Autos section that is part of the Dispatch on Thursdays, the effort is going into capturing customers' wants and needs and making sure people are able to find what they are seeking.
In addition, Bogenschutz said the technology is there to assure advertisers they are getting results, which is a must in today's economic climate.
"We're going to be able to do that with this system," Bogenschutz said. "We are trying to make it user-friendly for both the advertisers and the readers."
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.
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