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Building Carhuna

An Online Auction Website Case Study

Meet Carhuna, the innovative online marketplace and automotive auction platform that connects buyers with reputable and established dealers.

Category:

Web Design & Development

Client:

Carhuna

Website:

Industry:

Automotive

01 . Introduction

To stand out in the highly competitive industry, Carhuna sought a reliable, secure, and scalable platform capable of integrating numerous third-party services and offering an API for external partners. In addition to the branding and design, our team was entrusted with the responsibility of developing a web solution to bring Carhuna's vision to life.

The remarkable results of our collaboration with Carhuna highlight the transformative power of strategic branding and captivating design in propelling a tech start-up to success. By delving deep into Carhuna's unique requirements and its target audience's preferences, we crafted a visually stunning and seamless online auction experience that distinguishes the company from its competitors.

02 . The Challenge

In an era where the digital transformation of the automotive industry is not just a trend but a necessity, our client recognised a golden opportunity to make their mark in the online automotive auction space. Despite the potential for growth and innovation, the path to launching a competitive platform in this relatively untapped market niche was fraught with uncertainties and challenges. Without a company name, branding, or a clear starting point, they were at ground zero, ready to embark on a journey to establish a pioneering online automotive auction platform.

Our client's search for a trusted partner to guide them through this ambitious endeavour led them to Digital Speed, due to our reputation for building successful online automotive auction websites previously. They needed a partner not just with technical expertise but with a holistic approach to building a brand from scratch and launching it into a competitive market.

The first hurdle was the lack of a foundational identity for their envisioned platform. They needed a name, branding, and domain. Our client's requirements were clear: to carve out a unique identity in the online automotive auction industry. This meant we needed to come up with a company name that resonated with the market.

Our approach was methodical and collaborative. We dived into the creative and strategic process of brand creation, crafting an identity that not only encapsulated the essence of the client's vision but also stood out in the digital landscape. After deciding on a name, successfully brokering the domain name was the next step in setting the foundation for the brand's online identity.

With the brand name and domain name in place, we shifted our focus to developing the visual and verbal identity of the brand. This involved producing comprehensive brand guidelines that encompassed colour schemes, tone of voice, and a logo that would become the visual representation of the brand's ethos. Our collaborative workshops and design sprints utilising Figma facilitated the transition from low-fidelity to high-fidelity designs, ensuring every aspect of the brand resonated with its target audience.

The transition to web development marked the beginning of bringing the client's vision to life. Our team was poised to develop a platform that not only met the market's needs but also set a new standard for online automotive auctions. This phase was about turning the carefully crafted brand identity into a dynamic, user-friendly website that would engage users and stand the test of time in a digital-centric world.

Our client's journey from having a vision to establishing a groundbreaking online automotive auction platform was marked by challenges, from the inception of a brand identity to the technical intricacies of web development. However, with strategic planning, creative thinking, and a partnership built on trust and expertise, we were set to navigate these challenges, paving the way for a successful launch into the online automotive auction market.

Carhuna online auction platform
Carhuna web development

03 . Our Work

Developing a robust platform capable of handling growth, ensuring security, and seamlessly integrating with various services is essential for thriving in a highly competitive market. We provided Carhuna with the following services:

Web Development:
We built the frontend of the website based on the brand guidelines, brand assets, UI design and working prototype. Our expertise lies in modern web development tools, so we chose NextJS as a frontend framework which utilises the ReactJS library – we used React Query for querying the API. For the backend we opted for NodeJS and the ExpressJS framework, Prisma ORM as our data layer, and Redis for the session cache. A common practice in 2023 is to build everything in TypeScript.

Infrastructure Architecture:
Our preferred architecture utilises a microservices approach. This allowed us to develop, deploy, and scale different parts of the application independently, increasing flexibility and resilience. To ensure seamless deployment and management of these microservices, we dockerized them. Docker containers offer numerous benefits, including simplified configuration management, increased portability, and improved resource efficiency.

We set up the infrastructure on AWS, featuring separate accounts for development, staging, and production. The setup included unlimited ASGs for the production site, S3 buckets for data storage, PostgreSQL RDS for each account, CloudWatch, CloudFront CDN, and a full CI/CD pipeline using CodeCommit, CodePipeline, CodeDeploy, and CodeBuild.

Website Security:
We adhered to security best practices throughout development and conducted a penetration test pre-launch. We built validation into the backend by default for each request, added rate-limiting software to prevent DDoS attacks, and ensured our tooling (Prisma ORM) prevents SQL injection attacks.

Third-Party Integrations:
We seamlessly integrated 10+ third-party services, including Stripe for one-time payments and invoicing, Credas for user identity verification, SendGrid for transactional and marketing emails, Twilio for verification and SMS, Imgix for image optimisation, Pusher for real-time updates, Zendesk for customer support ticketing, and Salesforce CRM.

Dealer Management System Feeds:

We integrated the Carhuna platform with 6 industry-leading DMS system providers to enable classified feed imports for the DMS provider to create classified ads on behalf of their clients’ (car dealers) websites. These include Automotive Transformation Group (GForces), 67Degrees, Dragon2000 and Car Dealer 5. We also designed and built PDF documentation and online Redocly documentation for the API, facilitating a smooth integration process for anyone with the technical knowledge.

API Development:
We built a programming language agnostic API that enables authorised data transfer for website providers to create classified ads on behalf of their clients’ (car dealers) websites. We also designed and created PDF documentation, as well as online documentation for the API using Redocly, facilitating a smooth integration process for anyone with the technical knowledge. Since then, some of the industry leading DMS system providers have successfully integrated with the Carhuna Classifieds API. These include Clickdealer, Spidersnet and Bluesky Interactive.

To thrive in a highly competitive industry, it was crucial to adopt a fresh approach to building and launching a company. Establishing a strong brand identity from the outset is essential for standing out in a saturated market. We provided Carhuna with the following branding and design services:

Exploration, Naming & Identity:
We embarked on an in-depth exploration of the concept, identifying the target audience, researching existing names, and brainstorming innovative options. After various workshops and meticulous research into domain names and trademarks, we helped the client settle on the name “Carhuna,” which resonated with the target audience as “an expert in all things automotive – a person who’s in charge, with authority, wisdom, and repute.”

Branding:
We developed comprehensive brand guidelines, encompassing elements such as colour palette, tone of voice, fonts, styles, in situ designs, and more. We also created a distinctive logo and visual identity that aligned seamlessly with the brand identity.

Carhuna Brand Guidelines

03 . Conclusion

Our collaboration with Carhuna demonstrates the immense value of having a team of expert web developers architect a resilient, scalable, and secure platform that propels a tech start-up to success. By understanding Carhuna's unique requirements and leveraging cutting-edge technologies, we delivered a robust platform with seamless third-party integrations and an accessible API for external partners. The remarkable results of our collaboration with Carhuna highlight the transformative power of strategic branding and captivating design in propelling a tech start-up to success. By delving deep into Carhuna's unique requirements and its target audience's preferences, we crafted a visually stunning and seamless online auction experience that distinguishes the company from its competitors. To elevate your online platform with cutting-edge web development and branding, reach out for a consultation today and allow our expertise to steer your business towards greater heights.

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Tiff Needell Series:
Carhuna Carpool

Category:

Marketing

Client:

Carhuna

Website

Industry:

Automotive / Film & TV

01 . Introduction

Join us on an exhilarating journey with Carhuna Carpool, a captivating TV series meticulously crafted by Digital Speed. Follow Tiff Needell, a renowned TV personality and Motorsport Icon, as he embarks on a cross-country adventure into the world of automotive excellence. From thrilling drives along the Monaco Grand Prix track with racing legend Thierry Boutsen to countryside escapades in the iconic Morgan off-roader, Carhuna Carpool promises an unforgettable exploration of automotive marvels.

02 . Our Work

Digital Speed took the lead with a vision to redefine Carhuna's online presence, cleverly aligning with their unique offerings. At the core of Carhuna's proposition lies the transparency and reliability of dealership auctions, a cornerstone of their platform. Leveraging this, we introduced an innovative concept where Tiff Needell not only scrutinized the cars but also collaborated with dealerships to enhance their visibility and credibility, thereby amplifying the platform's promise of transparent bidding.

Drawing upon our extensive network within the automotive industry, we carefully selected Tiff Needell, a natural fit whose expertise and charm perfectly complemented our vision. With meticulous attention to detail, our team conceptualized every facet of the series, from scouting picturesque locations to curating engaging routes and captivating narratives. We transformed each episode into a compelling story, weaving together elements of thrill, expertise, and authenticity.

In addition to crafting the series, our role extended to producing teaser trailers, captivating thumbnails, and attention-grabbing titles, ensuring an immersive viewer experience from start to finish. Through our holistic approach, we provided Carhuna with a comprehensive end-to-end production service, delivering exceptional value at an affordable cost.

03 . Conclusion

The collaboration between Digital Speed and Carhuna culminated in the creation of Carhuna Carpool, a testament to our team's creativity and dedication. Over the span of eight months, our series captivated over half a million viewers, with each film spanning a duration of 10 to 15 minutes. Not only did the series garner acclaim, but it also emerged as one of the primary sources of traffic on the Carhuna website, epitomizing our collective efforts in driving engagement and fostering brand loyalty. With Carhuna Carpool, we didn't just produce content; we crafted an immersive automotive experience that resonated with enthusiasts worldwide. As we continue to push the boundaries of creativity and innovation, Digital Speed remains steadfast in our commitment to delivering excellence, one compelling story at a time. Contact Digital Speed to discuss working with our in-house production team, creators and talent.

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The Economics Subscription Platform: SuperMacro

Category:

Web Design & Development

Client:

SuperMacro

Website:

Industry:

Finance / Subscription Platform

01 . Introduction

SuperMacro, a prestigious weekly economics broadcast catering to its exclusive subscriber base, sought Digital Speed's expertise to address a pressing challenge. Jonathan Matthews, the founder of SuperMacro, encountered difficulties integrating complex economics data into a seamless mail-out subscription service. A glimpse into Jonathan's journey and experience with Digital Speed is captured in the following client testimonial video.

02 . Our Work

Digital Speed responded to SuperMacro's needs with a tailored solution aimed at enhancing user experience and operational efficiency. This solution empowered SuperMacro's subscribers to effortlessly manage their dashboard of economics data, receiving timely updates on a daily basis. Additionally, Digital Speed constructed a comprehensive backend dashboard for SuperMacro, facilitating streamlined management of subscribers, payment statuses, and the seamless integration of financial data into mail templates for scheduling and publication. This all-encompassing platform has significantly simplified SuperMacro's business operations.

The journey commenced with Digital Speed's meticulous wireframing, ensuring an intuitive user experience for both SuperMacro's subscribers and internal team members. These blueprints were then brought to life through a combination of low and high-fidelity designs, and then meticulously executed during the development phase.

03 . Conclusion

The collaboration between Digital Speed and SuperMacro has yielded transformative results for the latter's business operations. With Digital Speed's integrated solution in place, SuperMacro's newsletter has achieved unprecedented success, leaving Jonathan and his team highly satisfied with the outcome.

TESTIMONIALS

What People Say?

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AMARI Supercars Marketing

Category:

Marketing

Client:

AMARI Supercars

Website:

Industry:

Automotive / Car Dealership

About

Digital Speed embarked on a transformative journey with AMARI Supercars, tasked with enhancing customer engagement, increasing following, and crafting a long-term digital strategy. Our collaborative approach involved regular strategic meetings where we delved deep into industry trends and tailored our strategies to align with the unique personality of the AMARI Supercars brand.

Drawing inspiration from the brand's voice, culture, and assets, we meticulously crafted digital text copy, images, and stories for social media and the website. Our goal was to create an immersive online experience that resonated with AMARI's discerning audience. Through strategic planning and execution, we not only translated the brand's essence into digital content but also prepared AMARI for online verification, a crucial milestone in establishing credibility and authenticity. .

Our efforts bore fruit when AMARI Supercars became the first independent supercar dealership to achieve verification on Instagram in the UK. This prestigious recognition garnered attention from industry influencers, including renowned TV personality Yiannimize, who later became an AMARI customer. Leveraging this exposure, we orchestrated a joint promotion that featured AMARI Supercars in a YouTube video, catapulting the brand to trend #7 Worldwide. Within a span of nine months, our strategic initiatives yielded remarkable results, with a significant increase in engagement and a surge of over 20,000 new followers. .

Digital Speed's partnership with AMARI Supercars exemplifies our commitment to delivering tailored digital solutions that drive tangible results. Through collaborative consultations, meticulous planning, and strategic execution, we not only elevated AMARI's online presence but also positioned the brand as a trailblazer in the competitive world of supercar dealerships.

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Kaaimans International Dealership Marketing

Category:

Marketing

Client:

Kaaimans International

Industry:

Automotive / Car Dealership

01 . Introduction

Kaaimans International, a bastion of luxury in the automotive world, embarked on a transformative digital journey with Digital Speed, a pioneering force in software development and digital marketing. Seeking to extend its global footprint and captivate discerning audiences, Kaaimans International partnered with Digital Speed to redefine its digital presence and propel its brand into the digital age.

02 . Our Work

Digital Speed orchestrated a multifaceted approach to amplify Kaaimans International's digital presence, leveraging innovative strategies tailored to the brand's luxury ethos.
Visual Excellence: With meticulous attention to detail, Digital Speed curated captivating multimedia content to showcase Kaaimans International's prestigious vehicle collection. From professional photo shoots to dynamic video productions, we captured the essence of luxury, enticing potential buyers with unrivalled visual allure.

TikTok Dominance: In line with emerging digital trends, Digital Speed spearheaded Kaaimans International's presence on TikTok, leveraging the platform's vast audience reach. Through engaging content creation and strategic promotion, we propelled Kaaimans International into the forefront of TikTok's luxury automotive scene, generating viral content that resonated with enthusiasts worldwide.

Podcast Production: Recognising the power of audio storytelling, Digital Speed collaborated with Kaaimans International to launch a bespoke podcast series. Our team meticulously crafted high-quality podcast episodes, featuring expert reviews, insightful discussions, and captivating narratives. Leveraging our expertise in audio editing, we repurposed podcast snippets into TikTok sound bites, driving engagement and igniting viral sensations across social media.

TESTIMONIALS

What People Say?

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Car Dealership Marketing – Clive Sutton

Category:

Marketing

Client:

Clive Sutton

Client:

Industry:

Automotive / Car Dealership Marketing

01 . Introduction

Clive Sutton, a veteran in the automotive industry with over 40 years of experience, embarked on a journey to overhaul its online presence. Originating as a franchise dealer for esteemed brands like Jeep, Jaguar, and Chrysler, Clive Sutton transitioned into an independent entity exploring diverse opportunities over the years.

02 . Our Work

Prior to partnering with Digital Speed, Clive Sutton's online strategy lacked cohesion and strategic direction. Content creation and social media management were primarily handled in-house, necessitating a shift from a tick-box approach to a more strategic and commercially driven mindset. Digital Speed intervened to streamline Clive Sutton's online presence, commencing with a comprehensive strategy to enhance content quality and distribution.

Digital Speed's process simplified the task of getting cars online and disseminating content, providing Clive Sutton with a seamless experience. From orchestrating high-quality photoshoots featuring their custom builds to developing media plans for weekly online promotions, Digital Speed ensured that Clive Sutton's online presence became a well-oiled machine, requiring minimal intervention from their end.

The impact of Digital Speed's work extended beyond just online visibility. By producing captivating video walkarounds and reels, Clive Sutton was able to engage with potential customers on a deeper level. The content created not only showcased the vehicles but also conveyed the brand's passion and expertise, resulting in increased customer inquiries and sales conversions.

03 . Conclusion

The collaboration between Clive Sutton and Digital Speed has revolutionised the former's approach to online marketing and content creation. Through strategic planning, meticulous execution, and a keen eye for detail, Digital Speed has enabled Clive Sutton to present its vehicles in the best possible light, attracting customers from all corners of the globe.

From planning content days to managing paid campaigns and analysing performance metrics, Digital Speed has provided Clive Sutton with an end-to-end solution that encompasses everything from content creation to lead management. The notable increase in followers, engagement, and leads directly attributed to Digital Speed's efforts underscores the success of this collaboration.

With Digital Speed at the helm, Clive Sutton has not only enhanced its online presence but has also redefined its approach to digital marketing. By leveraging their automotive expertise and passion for storytelling, Digital Speed has empowered Clive Sutton to stay ahead of the competition and thrive in an increasingly digital landscape.

TESTIMONIALS

What People Say?

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E-Commerce Site (Shopify): AVR Automotive

Category:

Web Design & Development

Client:

AVR Automotive

Website:

Industry:

Automotive / E-Commerce

01 . Introduction

AVR-Automotive, a leading vehicle tuning and parts modifier specialising in Range Rover, BMW, and Jaguar, approached Digital Speed to create a platform showcasing their vehicles and conversion kits. Digital Speed designed and built the platform on Shopify, listing catalogues and products, and facilitating a smooth shipping and delivery process for new customers. Digital Speed also produced the visual assets, conducting a photoshoot featuring all the vehicles on the new site.

02 . Our Work

In response to AVR-Automotive's needs, Digital Speed developed a modern and sleek Shopify store that authentically represented their brand and products. Utilising contemporary design principles, we ensured the platform accurately showcased AVR-Automotive's vehicles and conversion kits, captivating potential customers with an engaging online experience. Additionally, we meticulously listed catalogues and products, ensuring comprehensive coverage and easy navigation for visitors.

Furthermore, Digital Speed took charge of producing all visual assets for the platform, conducting an extensive photoshoot featuring all the vehicles showcased on the new site. This approach ensured that each vehicle was presented in the best possible light, further enhancing the overall appeal and effectiveness of the website.

03 . Conclusion

The collaboration between Digital Speed and AVR-Automotive has transformed the latter's business operations significantly. With the newly developed Shopify store in place, AVR-Automotive can effectively showcase their vehicles and conversion kits to a broader audience. Moreover, the streamlined shipping and delivery process has enhanced the overall customer experience, leading to increased sales and customer satisfaction for AVR-Automotive.

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User Friendly Car Leasing Site

Category:

Web Design & Development

Client:

FlexiCarContracts

Industry:

Automotive / Car Leasing

About

Digital Speed collaborated with Flexi Car Contracts, a prominent leasing company, to revamp their online presence and streamline their leasing process. Our goal was to develop a user-friendly website that would allow customers to easily browse available vehicles, make reservations, and book leases for both short-term and long-term durations.

One of our key tasks was to ensure uniformity and professionalism in the visual presentation of vehicles on the website. Utilising our expertise in image editing, we meticulously edited and curated images to meet the high standards required for leasing purposes. This attention to detail aimed to instil trust and confidence in potential customers as they browsed Flexi Car Contracts' offerings. .

In addition to enhancing visual elements, we designed and built a custom website tailored to Flexi Car Contracts' specific needs. The website was crafted to provide a seamless and intuitive user experience, allowing visitors to easily navigate through available vehicles and complete the leasing process with minimal friction. Our focus was on simplicity and ease of use, ensuring that customers could effortlessly find and book the vehicles they desired. .

The collaborative efforts between Digital Speed and Flexi Car Contracts resulted in the development of an efficient and user-friendly platform that transformed the vehicle leasing experience. By prioritising visual consistency and user-centric design, we helped Flexi Car Contracts enhance their online presence and attract more customers to their leasing services.

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The New Car Buying Site – Motors.Money

Category:

Web Design & Development

Client:

Motors.Money

Website:

Industry:

Automotive / Car Dealership

About

Digital Speed collaborated with Motors.Money to revolutionise the car selling experience. Together, we crafted an innovative platform designed to streamline the process for sellers. By simply inputting their vehicle registration, our advanced API swiftly retrieves comprehensive car details, enabling sellers to list their vehicles effortlessly. Our solution prioritises simplicity, efficiency, and high-speed performance, ensuring a seamless user experience from start to finish.

Our innovative design process ensured that Motors.Money empowers sellers with a user-friendly platform featuring minimal steps. This design approach eliminates barriers and friction traditionally associated with car sales, making the listing process quick and intuitive. Additionally, our targeted Google advertising strategy drives a steady influx of daily submissions at an unbeatable cost of just less than £2 per lead, showcasing the effectiveness of our digital marketing expertise.

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Motorhome Dealership Marketing: Eden Motorhomes

Category:

Marketing

Client:

Eden Motorhomes

Website:

Industry:

Automotive / Motorhome | Dealership

About

Digital Speed embarked on a transformative journey with Eden Motorhomes, Cornwall's premier motorhome dealership, to establish a strong online presence and enhance customer engagement. Recognising the importance of delivering an exceptional customer experience both on-site and online, we collaborated closely with Eden Motorhomes to elevate their digital footprint and showcase their offerings in the best light.

Upon commencement of our partnership, Eden Motorhomes lacked an online presence, presenting an opportunity for us to create a compelling digital narrative. Leveraging our expertise in social media marketing, we produced high-quality, social-first images that captured the essence of the motorhome living experience. Through strategic content creation and targeted sharing in relevant groups, we portrayed Eden Motorhomes as the epitome of premier and quality, transforming the way their motorhomes were perceived online. .

To further bolster engagement and expand their online community, we conceptualized and executed a Facebook Special Hamper Giveaway. By meticulously managing the entire process, from prize sourcing to creating robust terms & conditions and implementing an effective advertising campaign, we generated significant buzz and engagement on social media. The giveaway resulted in over 300 post shares and attracted over 1000 new followers, establishing Eden Motorhomes as a prominent player in the digital landscape. .

The success of our social media initiatives translated into tangible results for Eden Motorhomes, with a notable surge in sales. In November 2020, we facilitated the sale of six motorhomes through a strategic blend of Facebook Marketplace, organic, and paid social media posts, marking it as their best winter month yet. Through our collaborative efforts, Digital Speed has not only elevated Eden Motorhomes' online presence but also contributed to their continued success and growth in the competitive motorhome market.

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