Welcome to the new year, everyone. While we’ve been at home on vacation visiting family or just relaxing from a busy 2011, we have also been busy adding new updates to CommercialTruckTrader.com and EquipmentTraderOnline.com. There’s a slew of new additions to the site with a few goals in mind. I’ll run through each briefly!
The most obvious change is the tab that now displays on the left side of the page. If your resolution is above 1024, you’ll see it hover just outside the content area. If it is 1024 or smaller, then it’ll hover inside. You can test this by shrinking and expanding your browser.
This tab allows you to share on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+, certain pages of the site. It appears on our homepage, search results, ad detail, and dealer galleries. This way if you find something you really like, you can share it with a group of people very easily!
OEM Sponsored Pages.
We have been reaching out to various manufacturers to help provide additional content to our search pages. This helps present our users with some information about products that they may or may not know, allows a manufacturer to provide what the information is, and gives the search engines some more content to chew on
Featured Dealer Inventory.
One thing we’ve continually heard from our dealer community is a desire to create new spaces to feature their inventory on our site. On the consumer side, it can difficult to identify a dealer that has what you’re looking for, or @ least something similar to what you’re trying to find.
To attempt to address this, we’ve created a new area, called Featured Dealer Inventory. This is a space in our search results which shows a specific dealership’s inventory which is relevant to what you’re searching for. We currently limit this to Category or Make and Model.
Here’s an example with some demo data. The Featured Dealer Inventory will always show in the 6th position of the page, or if there are fewer than 6 ads, after the last.
Upgraded Keyword Searching.
This, too, has long been a concern with our buyer and seller communities. We’ve been hearing you and sympathizing that our keyword capabilities have left something to be desired. To upgrade our abilities, we first had to integrate new technology, something call Solr, which significantly expanded what abilities were available to us.
Last summer we added Category to our keyword searching and now we’ve also added “options”. Options are things like air conditioning, leather seats, alloy wheels, cruise control, etc. They’re check boxes available when creating a new listing in the Place An Ad process or inside the Inventory Management Tool.
We’re working on adding all of the other specification pieces to our keyword searching, too. Expect it in the next couple months.
Upgraded Feedback in Search.
As we said back in May of ’11 – we need your feedback! To make it easier, we’ve upgraded the old “mailto” link in our search results to a modal form. This grabs some details about the user session so we can better understand the context of the feedback we receive.
Remember to send us your thoughts – whether they are “good” or “bad”. In my book, all feedback is good feedback.
Interstitial Search Banners. BETA!
What do I mean by this? So you know when you’re looking for plane tickets on a travel site and after you enter your travels dates and places, hit enter, and see a page with a big advertisement on it? That’s what I mean. Sort of.
We’re testing out the effectiveness of adding these to the site. These will feature certain dealers who we’re selecting as part of a beta program. The advertisements will take the user, should they click on it, to that dealer’s gallery on our site. These are targeted to a geographical area, that way folks in Phoenix don’t see advertisements for people in Chicago.
This is big deal for anyone who manages inventory on our sites. For a couple decades now, the best path to getting photos on the website for a truck or piece of equipment was to take the photos with some device in the lot, then take that device to a computer, log in, and upload. This included note taking, stickies, and other things to make sure the right photos went with the right thing.
Now you can do this from your iPhone, Droid, or other iOS and Android powered device. Let me say this again – you can now do this directly from your phone! The product is new and we’re anxiously gathering feedback so we can polish it up. In fact, an update is days away that will add more photo functionality!
A new tab in the web-based version of the IMT will be appearing soon with an instructional video included.