Opinions & Advice

It’s a Jeep thing, you won’t understand

Owning a Jeep is straight-up fun!  Taking the top off, hitting the trails/mud/sand/snow, making the truck dirty because that’s how it should be, or giving the secret sign to other Jeep owners as you pass are all parts of Jeep ownership.  I come from the family at Checkered Flag Motor Car Corp where we don’t carry Jeep, but I’ve always wished we did.  In fact, I snuck a 1974 CJ5 with a nasty V8 on 35″s behind my grandfather’s back (he doesn’t like anyone in the family driving a car Checkered Flag doesn’t carry new) when I was 20 years old.  I loved that thing, except I could never get the electrical system working right.  Anyway, granddad found out and I got rid of it for a lifted Tacoma.  It was cool, but not nearly as fun on the Hatteras beaches in North Carolina.  I do love Jeep, and still do today.  But due to the immense respect I have for my grandfather, today, I haven’t looked at one since I got busted with the CJ5.

Why did I put that story in writing?  Well, ask any Jeep owner about Jeep and they’re going to tell you a story.  There aren’t many cars that carry that kind of connection with their drivers.  The best part is Jeep knows this.

Have you been to Jeep.com lately? If you haven’t, go there and simply follow the top navigation.  First thing you’ll probably notice is it isn’t overloaded with stuff.  There are all the tools you need to become a Jeep owner and all the tools you need once you become a Jeep owner.  It is a very simple concept.

  • Make sure you put your zip code in and either use the “Build My Own” link or under “Shopping Tools” >> “Search New Inventory”.  You’ll be taken to the dealer’s website on the model of your choosing.  Now that’s relevancy.
  • Current incentives are clearly laid-out, with no need to re-enter a zip code, and also shows you your local dealers.  It is all about getting the shopper to the point where they can make a purchase.
  • I also like that they offer the customer the ability to purchase an extended warranty as well (Shopping Tools >> Service Contracts), or look up details on his/her current plan.  That is a very nice convenience.
  • The owners section isn’t as flashy, but it definitely gets you to the things you’d want to look at or buy as a Jeep owner.  You can even check for recalls on your Jeep.
  • It is simple.

Are there things I don’t like?  Of course.  I don’t like websites that launch links in new windows, and Jeep.com does this in a few places, but there aren’t many….not enough for me to get upset anyway.  And with some more digging I could pull out a few more minor things, but those things would pale in comparison to the greater goods Jeep.com does.

Besides, nobody is perfect.


I want to praise Jeep for building a website that speaks to its visitor.  I have no idea what the bounce rate is but I bet it is one of the lowest in the industry.  They have made a site that also moves a customer from the informational stage to the purchase stage with ease by pointing shoppers back to the dealers quickly.  I certainly don’t get the impression that there is a Tier 2 middleman clogging up the consumer process by trying to track leads – it is purely built for the right reasons.  I say fantastic job Jeep!  You win my award for the best OEM website.  Are some other manufacturers listening?

P.S.  I know the other Chrysler brands are on identical platforms, but like I said earlier I’m a huge Jeep fan.

P.P.S.  Yes, the Chrysler Group does force dealers to use 1 website vendor for their websites.  That is not the point of this article.  You can read my take on that here:  OEM policies on Dealership Websites; which, was written when I was still a dealer.

Who knew an argument with Jeff Kershner, in 2005, would lead to Alex becoming a partner with him on DealerRefresh. Where will the next argument take ...
Bravo Alex..they did a great job designing this website...I agree. And I love the fact that they drive consumers right into the local dealers inventory.
As you know Brian, it was our conversation that inspired this article. Thanks!
  • J
    Jeff Kershner
  • September 29, 2010
Fun article Alex, just like a Jeep Wrangler. I've always contemplated a Jeep Wrangler ragtop. Now visiting Jeep.com you have me thinking again.

Overall the website offers a great experience. I enjoyed the "Jeep Experience" and the 4x4 Basics is a nice and simple way to educate the 101 Jeep shopper.

Nice drop on the dealers inventory. Kbb.com opening in another tab...what for?

I'll take a Mango Tango Wrangler Mountain.
Great write-up Alex! One thing Jeep missed on this website are accessories. (unless I missed it) I own a 2005 Wrangler that I have lifted, winched, loaded with accessories to get me through the incredible VT backwoods terrain. I know Jeep offers upgraded bumpers and all kinds of other OEM performance and off road accessories. Being a Jeep owner, I know I spend alot of my free time thinking about what I'm going to buy next to improve the looks and performance of my off-road beast.

Jeep knows there is a HUGE aftermarket industry around their products, why not try to come up with a way to standardize accessory pricing and allow them to be added during the build on the OEM site?

I think they would see a big bump in accessory sales if they took this approach. Just my two cents.
Good point Mike. I was so caught-up in the other things I totally missed the accessories portion. Maybe they can pioneer that part of the business too?
  • J
    john oconnell
  • October 4, 2010
There is a great accessory site called JustforJeeps.com located outside of Boston. I bought my Wrangler there and have bought an untold ( to my wife) amount of parts and upgrades great service. I believe the dealers son runs this on his own out of the dealership. Just an FYI
  • A
  • January 24, 2011
Mike, You are right on about the accessories. I have a gateway on our website but is is actually through snap on. I hear you Alex so I won't comment on how they built a website with conversion yet I had to have DDC build me a separate retail site in order to get conversion?