MODN Problem Solving

Salesforce powered dealer finder

By Daniel Jones • 12th August 2022

The Problem

Fast and user-friendly dealer finder, backed by Salesforce

If you’re on the hunt for a nearby dealership or showroom, it’s safe to say that you’ll want that hunt to be an easy one. And that’s why - when you’re building a B2C manufacturer website - it’s important to create something functional, streamlined and intuitive.Not only does this make it easier for customers to purchase, but it’s an expectation of the dealerships that manufacturers rely on. 

The basics of a location finder are pretty straight forward: a simple Google map and some static location data will be enough for a branch/store finder in many cases. However, if your setup is a tad more complicated - such as with rapidly changing data, multiple stakeholders and a call for more advanced search and filtering then you need a more MODN solution. 

In this case, the client requirement was that the dealer data was sourced from the company’s Salesforce database. Luckily, it had our name written all over it.

Client:

Kitchen Appliance Manufacturer, Essex (via partner agency)

Scope:

Full website build, from 3rd party agency designs including dealer finder and customer CMS)

Technology employed:

  • Salesforce API
  • Laravel
  • Google Maps

Specific challenges

  • Performance: querying Salesforce on every page request had the potential to slow the website down considerably

  • Filtering: multiple types of location were required so that users could filter the results.

  • Custom search radius: different customers have different acceptable search radiuses. It was important that customers could set their location and an acceptable search radius to get the best results.

The MODN solution

With dealer data changing frequently and being owned by multiple teams, it made sense to have the location data sourced directly from the existing Salesforce database. However, there was a risk that this would impact the speed and usability of the website. We wanted to offer the best of both worlds, and so we built a customer API that queried Salesforce and cached results in a format that the website could consistently serve up at the speed users expect.

Once we had enabled all data to reach the site quickly, it was super straightforward to overlay it onto Google maps. Next, we added a user interface that allowed users to filter the results and set their location either manually or using browser location data. Finally, we tied it all together with nifty and impactful custom functions that pulled the filtering data from the user, collecting results from the new API and displaying those results back on the map with dealer information and distance from the customer’s location. Another MODN solution signed, sealed, delivered.

Broader uses

The list of organisations that would benefit from having a well executed location finder on their website is long. It’s a popular feature, and one that is well-received by end users as it actively drives foot-fall to physical locations. 

Some different ways this feature could be utilised include:

  • Branch finder for chain stores and businesses, ranging from fashion outlets to insurance offices

  • Local event finder for runs, clubs, fundraisers and entertainment events

  • Seller location maps for any multiple-vendor business, from estate agents selling houses to classified ad platforms

  • Dealership finder for any business with a local distribution network

MODN builds smarter websites that better support your business. If you would like your website to be a bit more MODN, contact us today and tell us more about your business challenges.

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