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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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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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Have questions or want to work with us?
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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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Have questions or want to work with us?
Contact us directly or schedule a call with our directors William & Taylor.