Just over 2 years have passed since we migrated the Autostyle online store to Magento Community edition. Since then our site has grown tremendously, huge gains in traffic, search rankings and conversions. More importantly we’ve received very positive and constructive feedback from our customers.
Recently we held our 8th annual Autostyle Motorshow in Umhlanga, Durban.††† What started of as a simple meetup of car enthusiasts has now become an annual tradition for us and each year the even gets bigger and bigger.† This year unfortunately we could no longer host the event outside our store.† Luckily the helpful guys at Gateway Shopping Centre† partnered up with us and offered us full use of an entire parking lot.† A mere 300m away from our store. Check out photographs over here
The event was absolutely awesome with Durban showcasing some of the best automotive styling concepts and designs out there.†† We commissioned FreeStyleFilms.co.za to shoot the event,† check out a trailer video of the days event.
We at Autostyle Motorsport have been an integral part of the technical side of the movie. Stuff like advising on race car models, design trends and popular products. Being in Cairo means I missed the official launch and will most likely only watch it on dvd this June (unless Cairo Cinema decides otherwise:)
That said, be sure to support South African cinema and support a movie with a positive message. Their cast should appeal to all race groups in South Africa, check out the trailer below. Iíve been told there’s tons of Autostyle placements from the race tracks to the vehicle signage to authentic street credible accessories.
The Race-ist Movie is showing at major cinemas in South Africa from 1st April 2010
Way back in 2006 I created this little company overview to pitch us to potential suppliers, publishers and the like.
Earlier today I posted it on Slideshare.net to share the document with more clients.† At time of this post, Slideshare.net has it featured on their Automotive category
Recently the Autostyle website was given a facelift.† Many new features on screen and behind the scenes were implemented to keep up with current trends and usability.
Right from the start, you’ll notice the site is a lot more wider.† On the old site (2 years old) we had to cater for a substantial 800×600 monitor resolution userbase.† Fast forward to 2009 using Google Analytics, I can now safely say that minimum monitor resolutions is now at 1024×768.
Colors and side navigation has not strayed too much from the old site. I have grouped the categories further and given the popular Car Audio its own menu bar. The titles of each category is also alot more visible. Read More »
This is an interesting issue.† Over the years I have asked various scholars and received fairly mediocre answers.† Personally with the Autostyle online store, it was started with the correct intentions.† Sure one of it was to improve turnover but also to provide a service to our customers with:
1) online catalogue,
2) easier & quicker way to order,
3) safe online enviroment to purchase,
4) door to door delivery,
5) servicing customers who cant drive to our store.
However, in Islam one cannot sell a commodity without owning it.† For you to sell a tyre, you must own the tyre and then sell it to whoever. I suppose using this logic the world economy would be in a better place right now. Read More »
Recently I have been subjected to a spate of emails and telephone calls from friends and strangers asking me to host their website.† I’m no web hosting guru, and do not plan to be one.† Yes I have a the odd dedicated server, shared hosting and so on which I use to host my own sites and a few close clients.
Everyone else? Allow me to recommend a few companies.† The first two I can personally testify to their excellent service and competitive pricing.† You get what you pay for and the $1.99 rubbish from the so called companies, well that can only end badly. Read More »
The Autostyle Motorshow is a favorite in Durban’s motor enthusiast calender. Every year we hold a street festival outside our Umhlanga-Ridge store.
Back in 2003 we had this silly idea of a motor show and if 20 cars pitched, we were happy. Were we shocked when the day came, at 10am there were well over 100 vehicles and thousands of people dropping their jaws at Durban’s finest automotive rides. Rest assured the show was a huge success and immediately we planned for the next year.
As the years went by, it grew exponentially, we learned from previous years mistakes and fortunately I seem to have grown a bit in graphic design skills.
Below is a collection of each years poster. 2008 & 2009 were done in Photoshop while the rest were in Corel Draw.
I cringe today when looking at the first few years. Personally I think 2008 & my version of 2009 are the best of the lot.
These posters are somewhat of a juggling act trying to keep all sponsors happy by placing their logos, adding as much information about the actual event as well as making it as visible as possible. These get displayed on street poles, magazines, newspapers, leaflets and store windows.† 2009 Autotrader came on board as a title sponsor and had their designers update the poster accordingly. The last image below is the Autotrader version while the second last is mine.
Click on the images to view a larger version:
Online fraud. Cornerstone of any successful ecommerce store. Autostyle is no exception. Every week we cancel a bunch of orders which slip through the banks, slip through the online gateways and end up ‘approved’ in our mail boxes.
We do have measures in place to prevent this and having less then 5 charge backs over 3 years is a pretty good average I think.
The scammer below sent us a copy of his credit card and Identity Document as part of our verification process.
I’m offended, at least have the decency and professionalism to send proper ‘fake’ documents instead of this newbie induced photoshop vomit.
Seriously – this is the original image he sent.
Nice to see Jump Shopping, the guys behind the South African E commerce Awards, giving a physical recognition for winning an award.
Autostyle Motorsport has won the award for Best Automotive website in 2006, 2007† & 2008.
Will we win 2009? I sure hope so.
A layout overhaul is already underway and should be up in a few weeks time and and a few other plans are in the pipeline to keep us ahead of our competitors as well as grow our online presence.
March 2009 saw Autostyle receive its highest ever traffic, 144 000 visitors viewing 1.79million pages. I’m curious to see where we rank up on WASA (websites association of† South Africa)